04/11/2012 6:20PM

Oaklawn: Mamma Kimbo wires Fantasy Stakes

Coady Photography/Sunny Taylor
Mamma Kimbo, with Mike Smith riding, wins the Fantasy, leading the field all the way.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Mamma Kimbo will now be pointed for the Kentucky Oaks after she won her two-turn debut Wednesday in the Grade 2, $300,000 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park. She led the field from the outset, scoring by 1 1/4 lengths over Amie's Dini. It was another three-quarters of a length back in third to Jemima's Pearl.

The Fantasy, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, was the first stakes in Oaklawn's annual Racing Festival of the South. The series features at least one major stakes a day through the close of the meet on Saturday. In all, nine stakes worth $2.8 million will be run this week at Oaklawn.

Bob Baffert, who trains Mamma Kimbo, said the filly is now a candidate for the Kentucky Oaks. In the Fantasy, she was making her first start following an impressive debut win at Santa Anita, when she won a maiden special weight at six furlongs in 1:07.80, with a Beyer Speed Figure of 101. Mamma Kimbo ($4.60) broke on top Wednesday, with Amie's Dini tracking her in second through fractions of 23.43 seconds for the opening quarter, 46.77 for the half-mile, and 1:11.15 for six furlongs. Amie's Dini bid on the final turn, but Mamma Kimbo had more and went on to cover the distance on a track rated fast in 1:43.64.

"She pretty much geared down the last sixteenth," said winning rider Mike Smith. "She pretty much won in hand."

Baffert was pleased with the effort from Mamma Kimbo.

"You never know what they're going to do going two turns for the first time," he said. "But she's got a lot of quality and she kept on going."

Baffert also trains Jemima's Pearl, who finished third in the Fantasy.

"She ran pretty well, she improved," he said.

Baffert said he will discuss a start in the Kentucky Oaks with the owners of Jemima's Pearl.

Mamma Kimbo races for Peachtree Stable, which won last year's Kentucky Oaks with the Baffert-trained Plum Pretty. Plum Pretty is to make her 4-year-old debut Friday at Oaklawn in the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap.

Baffert said the win in the Fantasy was a health-booster. Late last month, he suffered a heart attack.

"It was very good therapy to win that race," he said shortly after the Fantasy.