02/02/2013 5:39PM

Laurel: Walkwithapurpose extends winning streak to four in Wide Country

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
The 3-year-old filly Walkwithapurpose, ridden by Jeremy Rose, wins her second straight stakes and fourth race in a row overall in the Wide Country.

Walkwithapurpose confirmed her status as the top 3-year-old filly on the grounds at Laurel Park by overcoming a bad start to post her fourth straight victory in Saturday’s $75,000 Wide Country Stakes.

Ridden by Jeremy Rose, Walkwithapurpose ($5.40) stumbled and brushed the horse just to her inside coming out of the gate, putting herself next to last at the start. She rushed up to be fourth after a quarter-mile, then made a four-wide move with about a quarter-mile remaining in the seven-furlong race to challenge dueling leaders Ek Haseena and Power Lady. Walkwithapurpose took a narrow lead turning for home, opened up a clear lead in midstretch, but began to lug in passing the eighth pole. She regained her composure and drew off to win by 4 3/4 lengths, completing the distance in 1:27.04 to improve her record to 4 for 5.

As a Maryland-bred, she qualified for a $50,000 bonus that made her share of the $125,000 purse worth $75,000.

Power Lady, equipped with blinkers for the first time after finishing a distant third last time out in the Grade 3 Old Hat at Gulfstream Park, held on for second by a neck. Dear to All, a recent maiden winner in New York, finished third.

Rose, who is 4 for 4 aboard the homebred daughter of Candy Rule for Sagamore Farm, said he liked the way Walkwithapurpose managed to take control of the race despite getting less than an ideal trip.

“Today she showed how good she is,” said Rose. “Nothing went her way today. The 7 [Power Lady] was the one that got away the best, the easiest. I felt if we moved at the right time we could beat her. She never even got her correct lead until after the finish line when she took off. Nearly going on her head at the break, running on the wrong lead, and not being where we wanted to be and she still dominated the field. She’s a good filly.”

Trainer Ignacio Correas IV said he was impressed with Walkwithapurpose’s versatile running style. Unlike her front-running win in the Maryland Juvenile Fillies Championship, Walkwithapurpose stalked and pounced in the Wide Country.

“She was fourth, a couple of lengths off the lead. She doesn’t have to go to the lead,” Correas said. “She can be a little bit off the lead and still win. I think that’s going to help her. She’s getting more professional with every start.”

Correas indicated Walkwithapurpose will run next in the $150,000 Caesar’s Wish Stakes, a one-mile race at Laurel, on March 2. His ultimate goal is the Grde 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico on May 17.

“She loves this racetrack,” Correas said. “She is a Maryland-bred, we are a Maryland operation, and I see no reason why to take her out of town until there isn’t a race for her here. There is no reason to look for trouble somewhere else.”