Arapahoe Park Closing Day Results
17 August 2014, Aurora, Colorado ~ Ms Dixie (Burning Sand x Dixie Darlene by Wiking) accomplished something that no horse ever has at Arapahoe Park by winning two stakes races in two days at the Aurora, Colorado, track. On Saturday, the filly cruised to a 10-length victory in the COBRA Distaff Sponsored by Soaring Eagle Ranch, and on Sunday, she won the COBRA Classic Sponsored by Crow Valley by a hard-fought half-length. The 6-year-old gray Arabian mare ridden by Kelsi Purcell and owned by the Quarter Moon Ranch of Lori Long and her husband trainer Scott Powell logged a total of 2 3/8 miles in the two victories.
“It’s crazy, but I really believed she could to it,” Powell said. “You have to go into it and put everything on the line. There’s no one who cares about Ms Dixie more than Lori and I. Everything [Ms Dixie] told me is that she could do it.”
Going into the weekend, Powell had said his focus was on Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile, $25,000 Grade 3 COBRA Distaff, but he left open the possibility of competing in both races. After Ms Dixie emerged from the 10-length win against Lil Rich Girl—“She couldn’t look better,” Powell said after the race—the decision to attempt both stakes races was made on Sunday morning. The 1 1/4-mile, $25,000 Grade 3 COBRA Classic that began 23 hours later was a harder race for Ms Dixie, and she battled with Powell-trained stablemate Djets Son through the homestretch.
“She was still a handful today,” Purcell said after Sunday’s win. “She’s an iron horse. She wanted to blast to the lead. I give her a lot more credit than I ever did before. Ms Dixie digs in. She doesn’t want them to pass her. She’s smart about that.”
Ms Dixie, a two-time Darley Award winner, has now won 11 stakes races and earned $190,464 since she was claimed for $15,000 in October 2011. What she did in two races in two days took her reputation to another level.
“We’re pretty much on cloud nine right now,” Long said. “Scott has known all along that his horses can do this. He knew that if these horses are conditioned right and have the right nutrition they can do it.”
How was Ms Dixie after the two wins less than 24 hours apart? “She’s actually great,” Long said. “She’s eating. She’s sticking her head out of her barn. It didn’t faze her that much.”
Text by Jonathan Horowitz
Photos by Coady Photograph