"The filly on the lead got loose and I thought we'd never catch her," Berry remarked, "but my filly just kept digging in."
Cascabella, the 7-5 favorite, was the one who went straight to the front as the gates opened on the field of six older fillies and mares. The Bret Calhoun trainee rocketed to a 10-length advantage over the other runners and was all alone through early fractions of 23.76 for the quarter and 47.03 for the half while the eventual winner lurked behind near the back of the pack.
They went three-quarters in 1:12.15 and Another World jumped into the fray to wear down the tiring leader rolling down off the turn - but she also had Steve Asmussen trainee Remit to contend with. Although jockey Corey Nakatani had Remit ready to pounce at the head of the stretch and actually pushed a nose in front of Cascabella after a mile in 1:38.65, Another World was gathering momentum on the outside and just got up in the shadow of the wire. Final time was 1:45.47 over the track labeled fast.
"I thought I held on for the win," jockey Corey Nakatani said. "She ran so hard to get what she did. She was leaning in a little bit at the eighth pole, but when I asked her to go, she did."
"We lost a close one like that Saturday (with Caleb's Posse, second in the Carter), so I was just glad we got to win one of these this time," Von Hemel remarked. "She was one of those deals where we believed the quality was there, but it was going to have to be up to her to show it. We got a big break when the race lost Tiz Miz Sue (entered in Friday's Apple Blossom). Honestly, if she hadn't scratched, we probably wouldn't have gone in here."
The homebred daughter of Maria's Mon was sent off at odds of 5-2 and returned $7.80, $3.60, and $2.20 to win. Remit brought $3.40 and $2.20 to place, and 7-5 favorite Cascabella returned $2.20 to show.
"She was on the muscle today," jockey Luis Quinonez said of Cascabella. "I've won a couple stakes on this mare and know her well. Early in the running today she settled down and went well. She's a 5-year-old mare and still tries hard. Maybe today, though, she felt too good."
One race earlier, Beat the Blues took the 33rd running of the $75,000 Carousel Stakes. The 5-year-old daughter of Great Pyramid rated comfortably on the inside off a pace set by Mysterious Chimes, who led the field through an opening quarter in 21.88. Jockey Miguel Mena kept the Bret Calhoun trainee just off a tier that included Omi's Vindication and stablemate Gleaming as the frontrunner went the half in 45.42, then advanced to second when the rail opened up off the turn. They went five-eighths in 57.57 as Beat the Blues surged to a 1 -length advantage. Final time for six furlongs was 1:09.67.
"Everything went the right way for us today," Mena remarked. "We had a good break and a good run, second position in the turn and the rail opened up perfect for us. I asked her to run and she did. She was the best horse in the race today."
Sent off at odds of 4-1, Beat the Blues returned $10.60, $6.20, and $4. Mysterious Chimes paid $10.20 and $4.60, and Gleaming brought $2.40.
Live racing resumes Friday at Oaklawn for the second-to-last day of the 2012 season. Highlighting the 11-race card are the $100,000 Instant Racing Stakes and the $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1). First post is 1:30 p.m.