Brownie Points fresh, fit
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- Brownie Points is a dual-surface stakes winner, but she will be charting some new territory at Oaklawn Park on Wednesday when she makes her 4-year-old debut in the $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares will be her first start against older rivals, and among those making up the seven-horse field are stakes winners Eyes on Eddy and Gasia, as well as Aubee's Amali, who is shooting for her fourth straight win.
The Bayakoa is part of the annual Racing Festival of the South, during which nine stakes worth a cumulative $2.8 million are run over the final week of the meet. The season here ends Saturday.
Brownie Points has been freshened since her last start, Nov. 18, when she finished fifth by 1 3/4 lengths in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere on turf at Churchill Downs. For her return, she shows a series of strong works at Oaklawn, where in three starts last year she won the $50,000 Martha Washington, ran second to eventual Grade 1 winner Ermine in the Honeybee, then ran third in the Grade 2 Fantasy.
"I think we're sure ready to run a good race," said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Brownie Points for Pin Oak Stable. "We've had a number of works here, and she's finished well in all of them, so we're ready to run."
Brownie Points won two stakes on turf last year, the $200,000 DeBartolo Oaks at Louisiana Downs and the $100,000 Remington Park Breeders' Cup Oaks, and two on dirt, the Martha Washington and the $100,000 Stonerside at Lone Star Park.
For her return, she could get a nice pace setup. Fiery Pursuit, Beat the Band, and Aubee's Amali all bring speed to the Bayakoa. Brownie Points will break from post 7 under leading rider Luis Quinonez.
"She's not going to be the pace, but she'll lay according to the pace," said Von Hemel. "If they're quick, she's going to be a little further back, and if they end up with no pace in the race, we ought to be right there close to them."
Eyes on Eddy is another who can capitalize if the pace is solid. She closed from sixth last time to win the $144,000 Harry Henson BC Handicap at Sunland Park by a widening 6 1/2 lengths on March 18. Eyes on Eddy drew post 3, and Eddie Razo Jr. has the mount for leading trainer Steve Asmussen.
* There is a $5,011 pick six carryover for Wednesday.
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