Shimmering Aspen easily best in Twixt Stakes
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Hillwood Stable’s Shimmering Aspen, showing a maturity in her first time facing older horses, settled off the lead and came running late on the outside to earn her second straight stakes victory in the $75,000 Twixt.
It was the second win in a row for the 3-year-old Malibu Moon filly following her runaway 5 ¾-length triumph in the Alma North June 17, her most recent start. Sent off as the 3-5 top choice against six rivals, Shimmering Aspen ($3.20) ran seven furlongs in 1:22.72 over a main track rated good.
“She rated real nice today. She settled in and we were just waiting for a spot to open up to just have somewhere to put her,” winning jockey Steve ‘Cowboy’ Hamilton said. “The filly, you can’t take anything away from her. She’s done everything we’ve asked. She runs on the front end and she showed us today that she’ll rate. She was very patient until I asked her.”
Hamilton, aboard for each of Shimmering Aspen’s last five starts, was content to sit in third saving ground along the rail as 30-1 long shot Mo’ne Davis ran a quarter-mile in 23.17 seconds and a half in 46.40, chased by Mayla to her outside.
Shimmering Aspen appeared to be in a tough spot leaving the backstretch when Enterprising Lady ranged up to challenge on her outside, but Hamilton was able to swing to the outside rounding the far turn and was in command thereafter, hitting the six-furlong mark in 1:10.57 and drawing away to win by 5 ½ lengths.
“I think Steve’s done a great job with teaching her everything. She likes the front end but today when she broke and dropped back she really wasn’t pulling him that hard,” winning trainer Rodney Jenkins said. “He knew he had to wait for his spot. She does everything pretty perfect. She’s a smart filly and he gave her a great ride. We’re very lucky to have something like this.”
Mayla held for second, 2 ½ lengths in front of Sweet On Smokey. It was another 3 ¼ lengths back to Mo’ne Davis with Sweetgrass, My Magician and Enterprising Lady completing the order of finish. Discreet Senorita, Line of Best Fit, Rachel’s Temper, Sky Flower and Ultimate Holiday were scratched.