Following a deluge of rain that caused a delay, WinStar Farm’s Dark Nile splashed to victory in the $300,000 Delaware Oaks (G3) at Delaware Park on Saturday, giving the 3-year-old daughter of Pioneerof the Nile her first graded stakes win.
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Pioneerof the Nile now has five graded stakes winners this year, and 15 lifetime, led of course by the 2015 Horse of the Year American Pharoah.
On a racetrack that was extremely sloppy following the downpour, Dark Nile tracked on the outside in the clear early on before moving for the lead after about six furlongs. Once in front, she never looked back, going on to win by 1 1/4-lengths.
Dark Nile ran the mile and a sixteenth over a sloppy track in 1:46.54. The Pennsylvania-bred trained by Arnaud Delacour raised her record to four wins from five starts with earnings of $243,000.
“Before the weather, we were planning on breaking, settling, follow the speed and making one run, but after the weather, I did not want to be far back,” said winning rider Daniel Centeno. “Down the backside she was dragging me. She was getting a little tired in the end, but that may have been because we started a little early. But she was dragging me.”
Bred by Blackstone Farm, Dark Nile is the first foal out of the Bernardini mare Royal Society. WinStar purchased the filly for $135,000 out of the 2014 Keeneland September Yearling sale.