Coconut Cake saved all the ground she could and unleashed a strong late rally to win the $75,000 Jameela Stakes, for registered Maryland-bred or sired fillies and mares, on Saturday, July 1 at Laurel Park.
Last year, this gray or roan 6-year-old daughter of the late Northview stallion Bandbox won the Maryland Million Ladies, her first win in nearly two years and her first stakes victory. She made her 2023 debut on May 28, finishing fifth in an allowance turf sprint at Pimlico, less than four lengths behind winner Can the Queen. For her second start of the year, she stretched out slightly to six furlongs while staying around one turn. She went off as the 5-1 third choice in the 10-horse field.
Not surprisingly, Coconut Cake dropped to the back of the pack early, racing nine lengths off the front runners as the field sailed through the first quarter in a modest :23.71. At the top of the stretch, early leader Can the Queen, the race’s second choice, maintained a comfortable advantage through an opening half of :47.67, as Coconut Cake remained towards the tail end of the field.
In the last eighth, the closers began to get in gear, Coconut Cake among them. Sheldon Russell never took Coconut Cake off the rail and the mare responded to his urging with a determined ground-saving rally. She never encountered trouble as she moved towards the leaders and struck the front in the last sixteenth while outkicking favored Spun Glass. Coconut Cake hit the wire three-quarters of a length in front, with Spun Glass holding second. The final time for six furlongs was 1:12.28 over a turf course rated good.
The victory improved Coconut Cake’s career record to 6-2-7 from 24 starts, with career earnings of $342,723. She was bred by Charles and Cynthia McGinnes and sold for $30,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale in 2018 to owners N R S Stable, James Chambers, and trainer Tim Keefe.
Coconut Cake is out of the McGinnes’s unraced mare English Muffin (English Channel) a daughter of stakes-winning Cranberry Muffin (Shelter Half), also a McGinnes homebred. From four foals, English Muffin has four starters and three winners, including Coconut Cake’s 5-year-old full sister Fudge Cake.