Ulele all heart in $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3)

Ulele gave her all in Saturday’s $200,000 Iowa Oaks (G3) at Prairie Meadows, coming up just a neck short after a stirring stretch duel with Lady Apple.

Ulele seems destined to win a stakes after finishing second in both her graded race outings. The 3-year-old has still never finished worse than third in seven career starts, and Saturday’s gallant effort upped her earnings to $214,200.

Ulele used her early speed to get to the rail and the lead going into the first turn, with Lady Apple chasing her through fractions of :23.36 and :47.39 for the half mile. After six furlongs the top pair were starting to edge away from the field. The stretch run turned into a match race, and it wasn’t until the final strides that Lady Apple, who had finished third in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), pulled just clear. It was some eight lengths back to third-place finisher Taylor’s Spirit.

Trained by Brad Cox for Cheyenne Stables, Ulele is by Candy Ride (ARG) out of the Sunland Park Oaks winner Princess Arabella.