The addition of blinkers made all the difference after Firstmate rolled to a four-length victory in the Minnesota Oaks at Canterbury Park 11 Aug.
Racing forwardly under jockey Ry Eikleberry, the three-year-old daughter of Midshipman sat just behind the leaders in third through the early stages of the race. As the field entered the far turn Firstmate set sail, closing rapidly on the frontrunners while racing wide.
As the fillies entered the homestretch, Firstmate took command, pulling away to score by four widening lengths. The Minnesota Oaks marked the second Stakes win for Firstmate, and improved her record to three wins in six starts.
Bred in Minnesota by Richard Bremer and Cheryl Sprick, Firstmate is out of Lion Cub, a winning daughter of Lion Heart. Lion Cub is out of Listed Stakes winner High Margin, who is closely related to Graded Stakes winner Concept Win.
Midshipman has been on a hot streak of late, siring three Stakes winners over the past two weekends. In addition to Firstmate, Midshipman is the sire of In The Navy, winner of the Louisiana Cup Turf Classic, and Big Changes, who has captured two Stakes thus far in 2018. Midshipman is also represented by the talented three-year-old filly Sassy Sienna, winner of the G3 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park.