HOT SPRINGS, AR – One race after finishing second to Coach in the Jan. 8 Pippin Stakes, Miss Bigley turned the tables on that rival with her come from behind victory in Saturday’s $250,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3). It was the first graded stakes victory for the 6-year-old mare, who races for trainer Phil D’Amato and owners Agave Racing Stable, Living the Dream Stables LLC and Rockin Robin Racing Stables.
Miss Bigly, ridden by Ramon Vazquez, raced patiently in forth as the Brad Cox-trained pair of Matera and 9-5 favorite Coach raced side by side through early factions of :23 1/5 and :47 4/5 for the first half mile. The winner split rivals midstretch and drew off to win by 1 ¼ lengths over She’s All Wolfe, the longest shot in the field at 36-1. Jilted Bride was a head behind in third. The winning time was 1:44 4/5 for 1 1/16 miles over a fast track.
Coach faded to fourth and was followed by Queen Goddess and Matera. Mariah’s Princess was scratched.
Miss Bigly, a Gemologist mare, improved her career record to 8-4-8 in 26 starts and has now earned $641,242. She returned $12.80, $6 and $3.80 as the 5-1 fourth choice.
Racing resumes Sunday with a 1 p.m. first post.
Winning trainer Phil D’Amato, Miss Bigly: “I just thought she got a very patient ride by Ramon Vazquez. I like he was just saving ground there, just waiting for an opportunity. You could tell she was loaded and he got the perfect split in between those two horses at the top of the lane and once she kind of inched in between there, I thought she would have a good chance, and sure enough, enough to hold on. Those were all quality fillies we were running against. I think anyone could win on any given day. My filly, I think she had been making that early move in her last couple, just by circumstance, and today she was able to just relax a little more, wait and conserve with her little late burst, and I think that made the difference.”
Jockey Francisco Arrieta, second on She’s All Wolfe: “I was on the rail. I had a good trip. When the gray horse (Matera) stayed on the rail and moved out turning for home, I had to wait like three jumps. But my horse ran great.”
Trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel, second with She’s All Wolfe: “Dr. Z (breeder/owner Robert Zoellner) wanted to run her in here because it could improve her (broodmare value) because he’s got all the sisters and aunts and everything. It was worth a shot. If we’d just run third, we would have been thrilled. And, hell, she was right there trying to win the thing.”
Oaklawn Park Press Release
Photo: Miss Bigly pulls the upset in the Bayakoa Stakes: Coady Photography