Breeders Brent and Crystal Fernung have another live one on their hands with Florida-bred Wildwood Bye by four-time Florida Stallion of the Year Khozan in Saturday’s $200,000 Dig A Diamond Stakes for older fillies and mares at one mile at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.

The 5-year-old mare has earned $230,262 for her multiple graded stakes winning owner William Stiritz and is primed for her first stakes after a career high 91 Equibase speed figure last time out on April 12 in an allowance going a mile and a sixteenth at Oaklawn. He bought the mare as a yearling in 2020 out of the OBS winter mixed sale from Journeyman Bloodstock Services for $33,000.  With no works since her last win, she shortens up to one mile breaking from the one hole to face six 4-year-old fillies and two older mares on Saturday including 10-1 I’m the Boss of Me trained by meet leader Greg Compton.

A North Little Rock, Ark., native, Compton has 11 victories this season at Oaklawn, bettering his previous best (10), set at the 2022-2023 meeting. Compton now bids for his first career Oaklawn stakes victory with the 6-year-old daughter of Midshipman that he owns with Danny Brown and his fiancée, Charis Brenneman. Compton, who worked under three-time Oaklawn training champion Bobby Barnett before going out on his own, has 193 career victories, the first coming March 25, 2007, at Turfway Park. Compton has 60 career victories at Oaklawn, the first coming Feb. 28, 2009. 

In the money 19 of 28 lifetime starts, I’m the Boss of Me is seeking her first stakes victory. She has three third-place finishes in stakes company and was second in the $150,000 American Beauty Stakes for older female sprinters in January 2023 at Oaklawn. Compton claimed I’m the Boss of Me for $50,000 out of a Dec. 31, 2021, victory at Oaklawn. A two-time Oaklawn allowance winner, I’m the Boss of Me hasn’t raced around two turns since February 2022. 

“I hope she can get over the hump,” Compton. “I mean, it’s at a mile. She hasn’t done that in quite a while. But when I claimed her, her best race to date, from a numbers perspective, was at a mile. She’s just developed into such a good sprinter. That (Dig A Diamond) is the only thing left (here), so we decided to go there.” 

I’m the Boss of Me exits a closing second in a starter-allowance sprint April 4 at Oaklawn.

The nine-horse Dig A Diamond field from the rail out are Wildwood Bye, Luis Fuentes to ride, 122 pounds, 20-1 on the morning line; I’m the Boss of Me, Francisco Arrieta, 115, 10-1; Hoosier Philly, Rafael Bejarano, 115, 2-1; Bow Draw, Gabriel Saez, 122, 30-1; Absinthe, Keith Asmussen, 115, 15-1; Olivia Twist, Cristian Torres, 115, 5-1; Stellar Lily, Ricardo Santana Jr., 122, 12-1; Crypto Mo, Axel Concepcion, 115, 5-2; and Bluelightspecial, Emmanuel Esquivel, 122, 7-2.

Wildwood Bye is trained by Scott Becker and follows the naming pattern of her owner with Wildwood in her name. His previous horses with Wildwood aka Wildwood’s Beauty and Wildwood Royal earned $657,425 and $369,958, respectively. From 2008 to 2020, Stiritz’s horses won more than $1 million annually, and three of those years, 2013, 2015 and 2017 topped more than $2 million in earnings.

Return to the April 25 issue of Wire to Wire