Briland Farm secret oath won as a 1-2 favorite when she retired to win the $200,000 Martha Washington Stakes on January 29 in dominant fashion and thus secured 10 points for eligibility at the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 6 at Churchill Falls.
Intern D. Wayne Lukas settled in fourth as optional character set easy fractions of :24.09 and :48.58 in the 1 1/16 mile race. The winner dragged her jockey Luis Contreras in the lead around the bend to head home and from there the race was only for second place as Secret Oath retired to win by 7 1/4 lengths , timed in 1:46.21.
Option chosen for the second, 4 lengths 3/4 in front Como Square . They earned four and two points for Kentucky Oaks eligibility, respectively, while Hypersport earned a point for finishing fourth. Kentucky Oaks is limited to 14 runners and qualifying points are used to determine which horses make the field if oversubscribed.
“I had a great trip,” Contreras said. “I had so many horses all along. Once I put her outside the horses, she gave me everything she had.”
secret oath, a Arrogate filly out of three-time Oaklawn Stakes winner The absinthe spirit , won for the third time in five starts, now with earnings of $285,167. The big favorite paid $3 to win on a winning $2 ticket.
“It was a replay (of his last race) and that’s what we were looking for,” his Hall of Fame coach said. “That consistency is coming now and we’re getting that maturity, as a professional racehorse. She’s been very manageable, but she was a bit immature before. But I think that’s coming together now and we just have to keep her happy. and bold and we’ll go on the road.
“What was I thinking on the stretch? ‘Oh boy, oh boy. Here she is.’ I said, ‘Let it roll.’ When she did that big move, the fractions were so slow at first, I thought the filly Steve (Asmussen) (Optionality) might just hang on because they were slow. I was a little worried, but not when she stopped for their hips, back to sides. I said, ‘When he lets go of her, she’s gonna roll.'”
— Briland Farm (@BrilandFarm) January 29, 2022
Briland Farm and Lukas also campaigned for Secret Oath’s mother, Absinthe Minded. Besides her victories at Oaklawn, Absinthe Minded also finished second in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1), the track’s major race for fillies and older mares.