Marina’s Legacy wires field in $100,000 Florence Henderson Stakes

Marina’s Legacy and Jockey DeShawn Parker won their second straight stakes race at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Sept. 6, securing the title in the 14th running of the $100,000 Florence Henderson Stakes. Tagged as the race favorites, the duo covered the one and one-sixteenth mile turf course in a time of 1:43.03.

Marina’s Legacy and DeShawn Parker went gate to wire in the $100,000 Florence Henderson Stakes Wed. Sept. 6 at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Starting from post four in the 12-horse lineup, Marina’s Legacy broke alertly from the gate and utilized an inside path to get to the lead heading into the first turn. Stablemate Special Talent and Leandro Goncalves were tracking closely on the outside as Tequila And Salt and Marcelino Pedroza Jr. held positioning on the inside. Heading into the final turn, the field began to bunch up with forward movement from Rascofrade and Fernando De La Cruz on the far outside moving the quickest.

In the stretch, Marina’s Legacy was very strong, proving to be too big of a task for the remainder of the field to catch up to her. She easily slipped under the wire as the winner by one and one-quarter lengths over Special Talent for second. Rascofrade moved up for third.

“Aaron (West) told me to kick out to the lead,” said Parker, who has more than 5,200 career wins to his credit. “She was on the lead and was doing it really easy, so I was confident I had enough horse to fend off anyone that came at us later on. She has a quick turn of foot, too. When I ask her, she can take off.”

Trainer Aaron West gets a hug from owner Melanie Gilson after their win with Marina’s Legacy in the $100,000 Florence Henderson Stakes Wed. Sept. 6. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

The victory for Marina’s Legacy marked her second straight win in six starts for 2017 for Trainer Aaron West. She moved her career bankroll to more than $200,000 for Bone Doctors Stable, which is made up of five doctors. Dr. Jim Gabel and Dr. Phil Gilson were on hand to see their prize filly win the Florence Henderson Stakes.

“I figured this filly would run a big race today,” said West. “There was not a lot of speed in there and when Lady Fog Horn scratched, it really opened it up.”

Marina’s Legacy paid $5.60, $4.00 and $3.40 across the board as the race favorite. She adds the Florence Henderson Stakes to her win in her last outing in the $150,000 First Lady Stakes at Indiana Grand in early August.

“Anytime you win two stakes in a row, it’s very special,” said Dr. Gilson. “You can’t beat it. She is Indiana bred and we get to see our horses born and then race. It’s a great feeling.”

Marina’s Legacy didn’t have a perfect path as a weanling. Gilson’s wife, Melanie, explained why this filly holds added meaning to the stable.

Representatives of the Bone Doctors Stable accept the trophy for Marina’s Legacy after her win in the $100,000 Florence Henderson Stakes. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

“This filly’s mother (Marina) died when she was 10 months old,” said Melanie. “So we had to send her to Kentucky to be raised as a racehorse. This win is very special to us, just like this filly is special.”

West has had a very strong year at Indiana Grand. He is based out of Russell Cave, Ky. at Joe Cain’s former training center and keeps a string of horses at Indiana Grand under the direction of his brother, Ethan. Marina’s Legacy stays on the farm in Kentucky and ships up to Indiana Grand for her races. She will most likely return for the next round of Indiana bred stakes races coming up in October at Indiana Grand.

West is currently ranked sixth on the list of leading trainers for 2017 at Indiana Grand. His win with Marina’s Legacy was his 23rd of the season and horses from his stable are hitting the board at a 48 percent rate this year.