08/17/2007 11:00PM

Marietta flies home in Arlington Oaks


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Midway around the far turn of the Arlington Oaks, you could see why trainer Eoin Harty sent Marietta to Arlington from Saratoga for Saturday's Arlington Oaks.

With a big run from the back of the pack - a signature Mark Guidry kind of ride - Marietta won her second straight Grade 3 stakes, capturing the $100,000 Oaks by 1 3/4 lengths over Humble Janet. If the exacta rings a bell, it should: These two also were one-two in the June 29 Iowa Oaks.

Marquee Delivery finished third, and was followed by Aspiring, and Kiss With a Twist. Mini Sermon, the even-money favorite, finished sixth, beating only pacesetting Marquise.

The Oaks pace, in fact, was moderate, with Aspiring going her opening quarter-mile in 25.34 seconds, and her half in 49.54. Marietta still raced some six lengths off the pace at that point, and Harty wondered if the slow pace would be his filly's undoing.

"I saw the 50 [second half], and I wondered if we were too far back," Harty said.

But the Oaks changed complexion at about the half-mile pole. An overeager Kiss With a Twist dragged jockey E.T. Baird up to engage Marquise. That cost Mini Sermon her perfect stalking position, and put Aspiring in a tight pocket down on the fence. It also quickened the pace around the far turn, which left the Oaks field at the mercy of Marietta, who came home her final furlong in less than 12 seconds, finished up nine furlongs in a meet-best 1:49.39, and looked good doing it.

"She's still developing"” said Harty, who trains Marietta for Darley Stable. "Please god, if she stays sound, she has a bright future."