PERFECT WISH RETURNS TO HER WINNING WAYS, TAKING THE SHE’S ALL IN STAKES TO REBOUND FROM POOR REMINGTON PARK OAKS SHOWING
If not for one misstep in the Grade 3, $200,000 Remington Park Oaks in September, Perfect Wish would have won her fourth consecutive race when she won the $75,000 She’s All In Stakes on Friday night at Remington Park.
The Oaks was a bump in the road when she raced seventh, beaten more than 25 lengths at 1-1/16 miles on Sept. 24 here. Prior to that, the 3-year-old daughter of Midshipman (Unbridled’s Song), out of the Tale of the Cat mare Can You Talk, had won three races in a row. This win Friday night was her fourth in her last five tries. She has matriculated to stakes status in a hurry since beginning her career in late February.
The filly broke her maiden by 3-1/2 lengths at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, on May 28 in her fourth career race. She stepped up into optional claiming $50,000 company under non-winners of two conditions and came home a winner again at Lone Star on June 18 by 1-1/4 lengths. Since she is an Iowa-bred, trainer Jayde Gelner shipped her to Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa, for her first stakes effort, a 7-3/4 lengths win in the $70,000 Iowa Stallion Filly Stakes. Then came the Oaks.
“The Oaks was a disappointment,” said Gelner. “So it was back to the drawing board. It looks like we got her figured out, yes.”
Gelner’s choice of jockeys for this race didn’t hurt when he named Luis Saez to ride. Saez is currently the fourth-leading jockey in the country by money earned and by wins. There was a bit of an odd connection between these two, also. Gelner is only in his early 20s and when he was younger, he manufactured whips and sold them to jockeys. Saez was one of his customers.
Saez has won aboard such great stars and champions Maximum Security, Essential Quality and Will Take Charge. It was not the first time this nationally-acclaimed rider has been in the saddle of Perfect Wish. He rode her for owner Norman Stables (Robert Norman) of Thomasville, Ala., at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Ark., in a $90,000 maiden race on April 22 and ran sixth, beaten 7-3/4 lengths.
“At Oaklawn, we had a slow break,” said Saez. “She left running from the gate tonight. She likes being on the front. I knew we had it.”
On Friday, she did just that, breaking on top and seemed to be tiring in the stretch, but she dug in with all her might and carried Saez to the winner’s circle, fighting off runner-up Faith Alone to win by 2-1/2 lengths. The betting public made her the 5-2 second favorite and she paid $7 to win, $4.20 to place and $3.20 to show. Faith Alone (3-1 third favorite) was another two lengths ahead of third-place runner Annie’s Song (15-1). The rest of the finish had 8-5 favorite Blameitonmidnight checking in fourth, Elle of the Ball (12-1) fifth, Palacein (7-1) sixth and Tiffany Twist (10-1) seventh.
Perfect Wish earned $45,000 for her owner and improved her running lines to eight starts, four wins and one third for a bankroll of $139,440. She was bred in Kentucky by Stonehaven Steadings and was bought for $70,000 at the Keeneland Yearlings Sale in 2021. This is the first victory in the She’s All In Stakes for all the connections of Perfect Wish. The race is named in honor of She’s All In, an Oklahoma-bred mare and member of the Oklahoma Horse Racing Hall of Fame, who compiled over $1 million in her racing career, scoring 11 times at Remington Park. Remington Park racing puts a bow on the 2023 Thoroughbred Season with a 12-race program underway on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2:30pm-Central. Remington Park has provided more than $340 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 presents simulcast racing daily and non-stop casino gaming. Parking and admission are always free. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing or enter the casino gaming floor. Visit remingtonpark.com for more information.