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She’s a Julie Opens Season with Win in Bayakoa

Elusive Quality filly won going 1 1/16 miles Feb. 18 at Oaklawn Park.

She’s a Julie returned to the winner’s circle Feb. 18, speeding away in the stretch of the $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park.

Part of the Presidents Day card that featured three graded stakes, the Bayakoa drew a field of 10 older fillies and mares. She’s a Julie went off as the favorite at odds of 7-5.

Breaking from post 6 with jockey Ricardo Santana Jr., the 4-year-old Elusive Quality filly broke well to establish the lead in the 1 1/16-mile test. With second-choice Remedy sitting just to her outside, She’s a Julie went through a quarter-mile in :23.78, and as the half hit :48.01 the two were on even terms down the backstretch.

Moonlit Garden inched up three wide as they headed into the turn and completed six furlongs in 1:12.30, and it looked as if She’s a Julie might buckle with the pressure from the two to her outside. However, coming off the turn She’s a Julie managed to inch clear and pulled away to win by 2 3/4 lengths at the wire. 

The final time for the distance was 1:43.55 over a fast track. 

“She ran a good race,” Santana said. “That filly, she’s always loyal, always tries hard, always tries her best. She took a little time off and came back fresh, and won a big race.”

The winner returned $4.80, $3.40, and $2.60 across the board. Promise of Spring got up for second place to pay $12.20 and $7.40, while Moonlit Garden maintained her spot in third to return $3.20.

“A very special filly” for Steve Asmussen, after the race the trainer said she was named after his wife. The win was the fourth of the day for Asmussen and Santana.

Making her first start of 2019, She’s a Julie had placed fourth in the listed Zia Park Oaks to close out her 3-year-old season. But prior to that she had placed first or second in five straight races in 2018, including wins in the Iowa Derby (G3) and the Remington Park Oaks (G3), and a runner-up finish in the grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.

Bred in Kentucky by Godolphin, she is the sixth foal and first graded winner out of the Dubai Millennium mare Kydd Gloves, who has four other winners from six to race.

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