07/05/2014 6:33PM

Fortune Pearl shines in Delaware Oaks

Hoofprints Inc. photo
Fortune Pearl, ridden by Trevor McCarthy, scores in the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks on Saturday.

STANTON, Del. – Fortune Pearl rallied from well back to be a clear winner of the Grade 2, $300,000 Delaware Oaks on Saturday at Delaware Park.

The win was trainer Graham Motion's second in the Delaware Oaks and the first graded stakes victory for promising young jockey Trevor McCarthy. Motion's first Oaks win came in 2000 with Sincerely, who was ridden by Mike McCarthy, Trevor's father and a six-time leading rider at Delaware Park.

Fortune Pearl, the second choice in the eight-horse field at 5-2, lagged well back off the early pace along with 8-5 favorite Joint Return. McCarthy sent Fortune Pearl up between horses on the far turn and worked his way to the outside in upper stretch. At the wire, they had two lengths on Joint Return, who took the overland route and just got up to nose out Aibhilin for second.

Fortune Pearl finished third in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico on May 16 in her prior start. Motion had put four Delaware Park works into Fortune Pearl since that race.

"We thought there would be more pace in this race than the Black-Eyed Susan, so I wasn't surprised she was farther back," Motion said. "I really left all of that to Trevor."

Ohio shipper Honey's Ryan set an early pace of 23.95 and 47.85 seconds while stalked by Aibhilin, with Image of Anna and Vero Amore, who was forced to race wide, in close attendance. Aibhilin took the lead after six furlongs in 1:12.10 but was outfinished.

Fortune Pearl completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.69 and paid $7.80 to win.

Motion and owner Zanim Meahjohn would not commit to a next race for Fortune Pearl, who scored her first stakes win in the Oaks, but Motion said they "might take a look at Saratoga."

The Grade 1, $600,000 Alabama will be run Aug. 16 at 1 1/4 miles. Four Delaware Oaks winners have won the Alabama since 2003: Blind Luck, Careless Jewel, Proud Spell, and Island Fashion.