01/15/2016 7:32PM

Oaklawn: Marquee Miss takes opening stakes

Coady Photography
Marquee Miss wins the Dixie Belle on opening day at Oaklawn Park.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- Marquee Miss has now registered both of her career wins in stakes races after taking the $100,000 Dixie Belle on Friday’s opening day card at Oaklawn Park. Marquee Miss won her debut in the Arlington-Washington Lassie in August.

Oaklawn ushered in its 112th season of racing under sunny skies and temperatures in the high 50s. The attendance ontrack was 17,500, according to officials. The card had its share of double-digit winners, including Dakota Fred, who captured the second race and paid $69.60, and E.M. Maximus, who took the fifth and returned $79.20.

Marquee Miss ($36.40) broke well under jockey Channing Hill and dueled early in the Dixie Miss, sparring with Alien Giant through fractions of 21.98 seconds for the opening quarter and 46.32 for the half-mile. In the stretch, Marquee Miss kept odds-on favorite Durango at bay for a two and a half length win over that one. It was another length and three-quarters back in third to Katalust.

“I was surprised to see her so up close,” winning trainer Ingrid Mason said of Marquee Miss.

However, the trainer said she was at ease with the development.

“[Hill] had a lot of horse left,” said Mason. 

Marquee Miss came into the Dixie Miss off a sixth-place finish to Durango in a first-level allowance at Churchill and Mason said the filly did not care for the wet track. She said Marquee Miss could run next in the $100,000 Martha Washington on Feb. 6 at Oaklawn.

Marquee Miss races for Joe Ragsdale. She is a daughter of Cowboy Cal and she was bred in Kentucky by David Jacobs. Marquee Miss earned $60,000 for her win in the Dixie Belle, her second victory from five career starts. Her earnings now stand at $104,925.

Oaklawn figures to have another large crowd ontrack Saturday when it features fifty-cent corned beef sandwiches in a traditional promotion. The first week of racing continues through Monday with the running of the $150,000 Smarty Jones.