MARION FRANCIS LOOKING FOR HER FIRST STAKES WIN AS FAVORITE FOR SHE’S ALL IN STAKES AT REMINGTON PARK
Marion Francis has yet to enjoy the sweet taste of stakes success yet, but she hails from the barn of the top trainer in the country. The 3-year-old filly ships in to Remington Park and has been established as the 9-5 morning-line favorite in the $100,000 She’s All In Stakes on the final night of the season, Friday, Dec. 17.
Brad Cox leads all trainers nationally with earnings of $30,932,681 this year. He has yet to win the She’s All In Stakes.
Marion Francis has made $222,578 in 2021 and has lifetime earnings of $232,118 despite never winning in black-type company. Her record is 10 starts, three wins, three seconds and three thirds.
A daughter of Constitution, out of the Two Punch mare Sophie’s Destiny, has been stakes-placed twice. She ran third two races back in the $200,000 Plum Pretty Stakes at Parx in Philadelphia on Sept. 25. Cox’s filly also got third in the $150,000 Cathryn Sophia Stakes at Parx on Aug. 24. She broke her maiden at Oaklawn Park this spring on March 28 as the 6-5 favorite. Her margin of victory was 1-1/4 lengths.
Marion Francis picked up her next win at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. against allowance/optional $75,000 claiming fillies. She won that one by three-quarters of a length on May 28 over a wet fast track. She will be entering the She’s All In off her third win, beating optional $100,000 claiming fillies under allowance conditions, at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., by a mere neck on Oct. 21. She’s been off almost two months since then, but has a series of works to prep for this comeback, three of them at Keeneland and her last on Dec. 5 at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark. where she had a breeze in :48.40 for a half mile.
Jockey Florent Geroux has been in the saddle for all three Marion Francis wins and all 10 of her starts. Cox will once again give him a leg up in the She’s All In. Marion Francis is owned by Madaket Stables, Kent Spellman and Wonder Stables. She was bred in Pennsylvania by Blackstone Farm. This filly was last purchased for $150,000 in the Ocala (Fla.) Breeders’ Spring Sale for 2-year-olds in Training in 2020.
Marion Francis was made the slight favorite over Casual (2-1) from the barn of the nation’s second-leading trainer and the all-time winningest conditioner in history, Steve Asmussen. Casual also is a multiple stakes-placed filly and ran fourth in the 2020 She’s All In. Asmussen, who is second behind Cox in a heated battle for top earning trainer this year at $30,523,870, has won the She’s All in twice and will be going for his third victory in the past four years. He won with Magical in 2019 and Clever Serve in 2018. Ricardo Santana, Jr., booted home the 2019 winner while David Cabrera, the track’s leading rider the past four years, 2018-2021, was aboard Clever Serve. This year, Asmussen will use the riding services of Jose Ortiz, who is fourth in the country among jockeys in money earned ($23,721,025). He trails only Joel Rosario in first, followed by Jose’s brother Irad, and Luis Saez.
Casual is owned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings (J.G. Sikura), Stretch Run Ventures (Ed McGee) and Windsor Boys Racing (Faheem Hasnain). The 4-year-old daughter of two-time Horse of the Year, Curlin, is out of the Mutakddim mare Lady Tak. She was bred in Kentucky by the first two owners. She may not yet be a stakes winner, but she has finished second or third in six of her last seven tries against stakes company.
Casual ran second in Oaklawn’s $200,000 Spring Fever Stakes on Feb. 27 and third in the Carousel Stakes on April 10, followed by a runner-up finish in Pimlico’s $100,000 Skipat Stakes on May 15. She continued her run with a third in the $120,000 Shine Again Stakes at Saratoga in upstate New York. Asmussen decided to jump her up into the Grade 1 Ballerina Handicap there, where she ran seventh, beaten 11 lengths by champion Gamine on Aug. 28. Her next stop came here at Remington Park where she finished second to Cinnabunny in the $50,000 Flashy Lady Stakes on Sept. 26.
Casual was shipped out to Zia Park in New Mexico for her final start before the She’s All In. She was a distant second in the $75,000 Zia Distaff there, beaten 5-3/4 on Nov. 23.
The filly carrying the local flag in the She’s All In will appropriately be She’s All Wolfe, a 4-year-old daughter of the mare whose name is on the this stakes race. She’s All Wolfe, by Magna Graduate, was bred in Oklahoma by owner Dr. Robert Zoellner. All this filly has done for Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Famer trainer Donnie Von Hemel is win five of her eight starts at Remington on the main track. She is the 6-1 fourth favorite in the morning line.
She’s All Wolfe is the lone Oklahoma-bred in the She’s All In and leads in career victories and earnings. The 4-year-old’s record is 20 starts, seven wins, five seconds and a pair of thirds for a bankroll of $390,761. Her wins at Remington Park include the $30,000 Oklahoma Stallion Stakes for fillies on Sept. 11, 2020, and the $145,000 Oklahoma Classics Distaff last year and this year. Richard Eramia gets the return call on She’s All Wolfe. Von Hemel has won the She’s All In once since its inception in 2014. He sent out Ready to Confess for Pin Oak Stable in 2017.
She’s All In reached millionaire status during her racing career, as well as being dominant in the Oklahoma Classics, winning the Distaff in four consecutive years from 2010-2013.
Here’s a look at the She’s All In Stakes field from the rail out with post position, horse, jockey, trainer and odds:
My Bets, Lane Luzzi, Philip Sims, 12-1
Lady Gwen, Carlos Montalvo, Brent Davidson, 20-1
Island Hideaway, Julien Leparoux, Karl Broberg, 12-1
She’s All Wolfe, Richard Eramia, Donnie Von Hemel, 6-1
Paige Anne, Sophie Doyle, John Ennis, 5-1
Casual, Jose Ortiz, Steve Asmussen, 2-1
Marion Francis, Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 9-5
Content, Danny Sorenson, Tina Hurley, 15-1
The She’s All In goes as the 10th race on a 13-race card with an approximate post time of 9:25 p.m.
There are four other stakes races on Dec. 17:
Race 8, $70,000 Jim Thorpe Stakes, 3-year-olds, 1 mile (Oklahoma-breds)
Race 9, $70,000 Useeit Stakes, 3-year-old fillies, 1 mile (Oklahoma-breds)
Race 11, $100,000 Trapeze Stakes, fillies, 2-year-olds, 1 mile
Race 12, $400,000 Springboard Mile, 2-year-olds, 1 mile
The total closing day card will begin at 5pm. on Friday, Dec. 17. Prior to the final night, racing will take place Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 15-16 starting at 7:07pm. All times are Central.
Tracked by more than 167,000 fans on Facebook and 10,500 Twitter followers, Remington Park has provided more than $281 Million to the State of Oklahoma general education fund since the opening of the casino in 2005. Located at the junction of Interstates 35 & 44, in the heart of the Oklahoma City Adventure District, Remington Park is home for the $400,000 Springboard Mile on Friday, Dec. 17. Simulcast horse racing featured daily, the casino is always open! Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.