Serengeti Empress, a second-crop daughter of Pin Oak Stud stallion Alternation (by Distorted Humor), made all to win the Grade 1 Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. The Thomas Amoss-trained bay, who was partnered by Jose Ortiz, passed the post one and three-quarter lengths clear of Liora, with a further five-and-a-half-length gap back to third-placed Lady Apple.
The favourite Bellafina could finish only fifth, one place and four and a quarter lengths ahead of juvenile filly champion Jaywalk who has now disappointed three times since her impressive Breeders' Cup victory.
Serengeti Empress won the Grade 2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes over eight and a half furlongs at Fair Grounds in mid-February – with Liora again the runner-up that day – and her two runs preceding her disappointing Breeders' Cup effort were wins achieved by an aggregate margin of 33 lengths.
The first of those was the Ellis Park Debutante Stakes over seven furlongs in August and the second was a 19-and-a-half-length score in the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes over eight and a half furlongs at Churchill Downs a month later.
She is the best of several stakes winners for Alternation, a Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap and Grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes winner from the family of Grade 1 sire Broken Vow (by Unbridled), now a veteran member of the team at Pin Oak Stud in Kentucky.
The filly was bred by Tri Eques Bloodstock Llc, she cost owner Joel Politi $70,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale and has already earned over $1 million in prize money. She is the first foal of Havisham (by Bernardini), who is an unraced daughter of Argentine Grade 3 scorer Love Dancing (by Salt lake), and her third dam is the Grade 1-placed dual Grade 2 winner Le Midi (by Fitzcarraldo).
Sires & Winners