Koala Princess came through an opening along the rail at the top of the long Kentucky Downs stretch to win Sunday's $500,000 Ainsworth S. by a widening 2 1/4-lengths (WATCH RACE)
The 2-year-old More Than Ready filly was making her stakes debut following a very impressive maiden special weight debut win on Aug. 21 at Monmouth, a race she won by 8 1/4-lengths under a hand ride.
Facing stakes company for the first time Sunday, Koala Princess was eighth in a fairly compact field that went the first half-mile in :45.54. The dark bay filly had to check off heels just before entering the stretch, then when most of the field drifted off the rail, she came through the opening and surged to the front in midstretch. She opened up from there to finish the 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:15.25 on the firm turf.
“I was very happy with Koala Princess,” said winning trainer Arnaud Delacour. “We were a little worried about the timing. She ran three weeks ago. We had to ship, but obviously she handled everything fine. We had a great ride by Joel [Rosario]; he didn't panic. He just sat there and she came with her run, so it was exciting.”
Koala Princess is owned by her breeders Runnymede Farm, Peter Callahan and Chris Zinkhan. Sunday's big payday upped her earnings to $324,400. Her dam is the multiple winner Koala Queen.
Koala Princess is the 209th lifetime stakes winner for More Than Ready. This year, he has accounted for 14 stakes horses and the earners of over $5.3 million to date.