08/12/2017 7:02PM

Shimmering Aspen shows new dimension in Twixt Stakes

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Shimmering Aspen ran her record to 5 for 7 with an authoritative victory in the Twixt Stakes on Saturday at Laurel Park.

Shimmering Aspen improved her record to 5 for 7 with another authoritative, going-away victory in the $75,000 Twixt Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday.

Shimmering Aspen, a 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon trained by Rodney Jenkins, has now beaten older rivals three times this season. Overall, she is 4 for 5 this year, with her only loss coming in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan.

Shimmering Aspen is fast, but she showed something of a new dimension in the seven-furlong Twixt, rating for jockey Steve Hamilton before finishing strongly.

"Steve has done a great job teaching her things," Jenkins said. "She wasn't really pulling that hard early."

Longshot Mo'ne Davis set the early pace in the Twixt on a short lead inside Mayla, with Shimmering Aspen tucked in behind them while saving ground. Hamilton began taking Shimering Aspen to the outside at the five-sixteenths pole and she seized the lead while out in the five path entering the stretch. She pulled away to win by six lengths with Hamilton keeping her mind on business.

"She rated real nice," Hamilton said. "She settled down for me. She's done everything we've asked. She runs on the front end and today she waited until I asked her."

Shimmering Aspen, a $200,000 yearling purchase by the Hillwood Stable of Ellen Charles, paid $3.20 to win in the seven-horse field. She was timed over a track upgraded from muddy to good just prior to the race in 1:22.72. Mayla finished second, 2 3/4 lengths in front of Sweet On Smokey, who saved ground throughout while rallying from off the pace.

After Shimmering Aspen won the Alma North Stakes at Laurel in mid-June, Jenkins considered running her in the Grade 3 Victory Ride at Belmont Park but ultimately decided to freshen her and point to the Twixt. On Saturday, he would not commit to a next race for Shimmering Aspen but it likely won't be long before she tests deeper waters.