01/08/2013 7:45PM

2012 Eclipse Awards: Marketing Mix

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photo by: Benoit & Associates

From Kentucky to Canada to California, Marketing Mix won at major racetracks throughout North America in 2012.

Along the way, she had a successful start to her season at Keeneland, won two major stakes at Woodbine in Canada, suffered a tough loss when second in the Beverly D. at Arlington Park, and ran two brilliant races at Santa Anita in the fall, winning the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes and finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf in early November.

The outstanding campaign was recognized when Marketing Mix was named a finalist for the Eclipse Award as the nation’s outstanding turf female of 2012.

Owned by Glen Hill Farm, the filly – bred in Ontario by Sean Fitzhenry – began her 4-year-old season in April 2012 after a highly successful 2011 campaign that included three stakes wins in Canada and Kentucky.

Marketing Mix started 2012 with a win in an allowance race on turf at Keeneland, beating Inglorious, the 2011 Queen’s Plate winner.

After a fourth in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard, Marketing Mix was first or second in Grade 1 or Grade 2 stakes throughout North America for the rest of the year.

During the summer, she showed her fondness for the turf course at Woodbine, winning the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes on soft turf in June and the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes on firm turf in July.

Her only loss of the summer was a heartbreaker, a second by a head to the British filly I’m A Dreamer in the Grade 1 Beverly D. on Aug. 18.
The Beverly D. was Marketing Mix’s second career start in a Grade 1 and second runner-up finish at that level, preceded by the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland in October 2011.

The third race at that level provided the breakthrough. In the Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 29, a race known in previous years as the Yellow Ribbon Stakes, Marketing Mix was even money and ran accordingly.

Closing from sixth in a field of 13 in a race over 1 1/4 miles on turf, Marketing Mix pulled clear through the stretch to win by 2 1/4 lengths.

The win left racing fans impressed with Marketing Mix as the Filly & Mare Turf approached. In a field that included top fillies and mares from Europe and throughout the United States, Marketing Mix was the 5-1 third choice in a field of 11.

Trainer Tom Proctor was thrilled with Marketing Mix in the days before the race.

“We’re like a farmer who has picked his strawberries and we want to get to market,” he said.

Marketing Mix ran her race in the Filly & Mare Turf. She led in the stretch, but was caught late by the New York-based filly Zagora, losing by three-quarters of a length.

The Filly & Mare Turf was Marketing Mix’s final start of the year. She will be back on the track again in 2013.