Land Over Sea found her best stride in the long Fair Grounds stretch en route to a 4 1/2-length victory in the $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), the first graded stakes win for the 3-year-old Bellamy Road filly.
Sitting in sixth through the first half-mile Land Over Sea began to pass horses around the far turn. Coming four-wide into the stretch, she had only Adore to catch. The front-runner proved tough to catch, but John Velazquez kept Land Over Sea to the task, catching Adore with a sixteenth to run and pulling away handily for the win (VIDEO
The final time for the 1 1/16-miles was 1:44.74 on a fast track.
"It did look like Adore wasn't going to give up the lead, so I got a little worried for a second that we were going to run second again to a nice filly," trainer Doug O'Neill said. "Johnny kept after her and Land Over Sea loved the long stretch, and really took advantage of it. There was no quit in her."
Land Over Sea earned 100 qualifying points for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and sits atop the Oaks leaderboard with 128 points. With the win, she has earned $472,000 for owner Reddam Racing LLC.
"The Oaks is the plan," said Doug O'Neill's assistant Jack Sisterson. "I'll let Doug and the Reddams decide, but it's good to go on to Kentucky with a confident win like that."
O'Neill's brother Dennis bought Land Over Sea for $130,000 at the 2015 OBS April 2-year-olds in training sale. Bellamy Road is the sire of four stakes horses in 2016, including multiple stakes winner Constellation and stakes winner Sophia's Song.