04/04/2015 6:46PM

Include Betty survives inquiry to win Fantasy

Coady Photography
Include Betty wins the Fantasy Stakes by a neck Saturday at Oaklawn Park.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Include Betty launched a powerful closing bid in the Grade 3, $400,000 Fantasy, then withstood a claim of foul for a neck win in the Kentucky Oaks prep that opened the Racing Festival of the South on Saturday at Oaklawn Park. Include Betty earned 100 eligibility points for the Kentucky Oaks with the win, which came before an estimated on-track crowd of 18,000.

Oaklawn’s festival features at least one stakes a day over the final week of the meet that ends next Saturday with the running of the Grade 1, $1 million Arkansas Derby. The series will resume Wednesday as Oaklawn will be dark Sunday in observance of Easter.

Include Betty ($39.60) broke with the field from post 11 and was hung wide into the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile Fantasy. The field raced as a team before Super Saks moved to the fore heading into the backstretch, taking the lead through the opening quarter-mile in 23.71 seconds.

Include Betty could see them all as Super Saks continued to lead through a half-mile in 47.91. On the final turn, Include Betty began picking off horses and came into the stretch six wide. She continued to close with authority to catch Oceanwave, who finished a neck in front of the third-place finisher Achiever’s Legacy.

“I just had so much horse,” said winning rider Rosemary Homeister Jr. “She just really dug in hard to win the race.”

Following the finish, Joe Rocco Jr., the rider of Achiever’s Legacy, claimed foul against Include Betty for interference in the stretch. After stewards deliberated for nearly 10 minutes, there was no change to the order of finish.

“There was contact initiated by [Include Betty], but we believed it did not warrant disqualification because neither rider had to steady, check, or stop riding,” said state steward Stan Bowker.

Tom Proctor trains Include Betty for the partnership of Brereton C. Jones and Timothy C. Horton. The Fantasy win was the second in a stakes for Include Betty, who in January captured the Suncoast at Tampa Bay Downs.

Include Betty earned $240,000 for her win in the Fantasy to improve her career bankroll to $303,030. Overall, the daughter of Include has won 3 of 7 starts, winning her maiden in a Jan. 3 maiden special weight at Tampa Bay Downs. Include Betty was bred in Kentucky by Lavin Bloodstock and Jones.

The Fantasy also offered Kentucky Oaks eligibility points to its second- through fourth-place finishers, with Oceanwave picking up 40; Achiever’s Legacy, 20; and the fourth-place finisher Pangburn, 10.