Project Whiskey
Project Whiskey lit up the toteboard in a Delaware Oaks upset. Photo by

In her first attempt versus graded competition and going two turns Cash is King and LC Racing’s Project Whiskey posted an upset victory in the $300,000, Grade 3 Delaware Oaks at Delaware Park today.

With Frankie Pennington aboard, the daughter of Tapizar returned $79.80 as the longest shot in the field of eight.  The Maryland-bred trained by Robert “Butch” Reid won by a half-length and covered the mile and a sixteenth in 1:44.04 over a fast main track.  Dream Marie, with Joe Bravo, finished second 1 ¼-lengths in front of Princess Cadey, with Angel Cruz, in third.  The 9-to-5 favorite, Piece of My Heart with Joe Talamo, cut early fractions of :47.28 for the half-mile and 1:11.99 for the three-quarter miles before finishing fourth.

In her only other outing this year, Project Whiskey finished unplaced in a six furlong Churchill Downs allowance on May 25.  Last year, she posted two victories out of five starts, including the seven furlong Parx Juvenile Filly Stakes.

“I am glad we went down to Churchill to get that race in her which set her up perfectly for this,” said winning trainer Robert “Butch Reid.  “I think this is what she has been waiting to do – to go a route of ground.  We are not sure where we are going to go next with her, but I am sure it will probably have the word ‘Oaks’ behind it.  What exactly that race is, we are going to have to sit down with the owners to figure out.  I am just happy to have this ownership group.  They put up with a lot of my shenanigans and they went ahead and took the opportunity to run in this race with this nice filly, so I got to give them a lot of the credit.”

Winning jockey Frankie Pennington was impressed with her tenacity.

“Going into the race Butch (Robert Reid) had her unbelievable,” said winning jockey Frankie Pennington.  “It was a real gutsy effort for my filly especially because it was her first time going two turns.  She broke sharp and put us in a good position.  When the seven (Dream Marie) came towards us just before the quarter pole, I asked her and she fought back on.  The more we were staying together with seven, the more she just kept fighting and she gutted it out.”

The exacta, with 9-1 Dream Marie in second, returned $340.90 for a buck, while the 50-cent triple returned $1,202.50. Fourth wagering choice Queen Bridget got left at the gate after breaking in a tangle, was never involved, and finished seventh. The stewards reviewed the start of the race but took no action.