09/20/2014 5:03PM

Blinkers help Thank You Marylou romp in Dogwood

Reed Palmer Photography/Churchill Downs
Thank You Marylou could be headed to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint after winning the Dogwood by 6 1/2 lengths under Miguel Mena.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Thank You Marylou might well have run herself into the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint by posting a breakthrough victory Saturday in the Grade 3, $112,000 Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs.

With Miguel Mena aboard, and wearing blinkers for the first time, Thank You Marylou had a perfect outside stalking trip before gliding clear to win the seven-furlong Dogwood by 6 1/2 lengths.

Henny Jenney, a 24-1 shot, was up in the final jumps to be second, a half-length ahead of Milam. Bird Maker was fourth, while Fiftyshadesofgold, the 4-5 favorite, had no major mishap when fifth in a field of eight 3-year-old fillies.

Thank You Marylou, a Virginia-bred named by owner Ken Ramsey in honor of Marylou Whitney, returned $11.80 after finishing in 1:23.19 over a fast track.

Ken Ramsey was not present, but trainer Mike Maker said any mention of the Breeders’ Cup likely would be agreeable to his top client. The seven-furlong BC Filly and Mare Sprint is set for Nov. 1 at Santa Anita.

“I don’t think I’d have to twist his arm,” said Maker.

Thank You Marylou, by Birdstone, long has been well-regarded, albeit somewhat disappointing. After winning an ungraded Gulfstream sprint stakes in March, she was a distant third at 5-1 in the Grade 1 Ashland; fifth at 17-1 in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks; seventh at 2-1 in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks; and sixth, beaten only 2 1/2 lengths, in the Grade 1 Test last month at Saratoga.

Maker said he felt the filly “was getting a little intimidated” in her races and therefore gave blinkers a shot.

“The blinkers worked pretty good, huh?” asked Mena. “She put me right in the race from the get-go. I had a perfect trip and she won pretty easy.”

Mizzen Miss set the pace down the backstretch, while Fiftyshadesofgold was bottled in traffic in the next flight chasing her. Meanwhile, Mena kept Thank You Marylou just behind them and in the clear, and leaving the turn she used an outside swoop en route to her third career win from eight starts, earning $67,357.

The $2 exacta (7-8) paid $240.80, the $1 trifecta (7-8-4) returned $339.70, and the 10-cent superfecta (7-8-4-3) was worth $219.38.

With Fiftyshadesofgold out of the money, show prices were a bit higher than normal. Respective $2 payoffs on the top three were $6.80, $17.40, and $6.40.