07/11/2015 7:51PM

Calamity Kate stuns field in huge Delaware Oaks upset

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HoofprintsInc.com
Calamity Kate wins the Delaware Oaks by 1 3/4 lengths Saturday at Delaware Park.

STANTON, Del. – Calamity Kate pulled off a stunning victory in the Grade 3, $300,000 Delaware Oaks on Saturday as Kentucky Oaks winner Lovely Maria tired in the stretch to finish fifth.

Calamity Kate, trained by Kelly Breen, went wire to wire to win the 1 1/16-mile Oaks as the longest price in the eight-horse field. She paid $110.80 while scoring by 1 3/4 lengths.

Lovely Maria was making her first start in 10 weeks in the Delaware Oaks. Trainer Larry Jones freshened her after her Kentucky Oaks win and hopes to run her in the Alabama next month at Saratoga.

Lovely Maria raced midpack while outside horses early, was asked to advance on the far turn, but weakened in the stretch to be beaten 6 1/4 lengths.

"She was right where we wanted," Jones said. "We knew we might be vulnerable coming off the layoff and that if we were going to get beat, this might be the race."

Calmity Kate went straight to the lead out of the gate under jockey Edgar Prado. She was pressed from the outside by White Clover, Jones's other horse in the race, through splits of 23.63 seconds, 47.23, and 1:10.92. She was not seriously challenged after drawing clear entering the stretch.

Breen was emotional in the winner's circle after the race.

Breen's father died last summer, and he said his sister texted him an image of their father's tattoo of the North Star that he had gotten while he was in the service. According to Breen, the text said, "Wear it proudly."

"We had a little assistance today," Breen said.

Calamity Kate is owned by George and Lori Hall. She finished a distant second to Condo Commando in the Grade 2 Demoiselle at Aqueduct last fall, then broke poorly in the Grade 1 Acorn last month.

"She had a bad break in her last start, and we thought the race was a throw out," Breen said. "I had a couple nominated to this, but she's been training great. It looks like we picked the right one."

Calamity Kate was timed in 1:41.79 after a mile in 1:35.87.

Peace and War finished a closing second. She broke a bit slowly but rallied outside horses into the stretch and finished with interest. Hip Hop N Jazz was third, three lengths behind Peace and War.

Bar of Gold made a sharp move to contention nearing the stretch but flattened out and finished fourth.

"Turning for home, I thought she was going to go on with it," said trainer John Kimmel. "She may be more of a middle-distance horse. We'll have to see."
White Clover tired to finish seventh.

Because Kentucky Oaks winner Lovely Maria finished fifth in the Delaware Oaks, there were large show payoffs on the top three finishers.

Of the $193,534 wagered to show on the race, $172,8921 was bet on Lovely Maria. Calamity Kate paid $79.40 to show, Peace and War paid $8 and $29.40, and Hip Hop N Jazz returned $59.40.