Pimlico Racecourse just played host to Preakness week festivities, and Virginia-bred horses were well represented at Baltimore’s “Old Hilltop” with an array of wins and runner-up finishes.
Queen Caroline, Cat Fiftyfive, Do What I Say and Andrasta all got to Pimlico’s winners circle Preakness weekend while Hooligan and Ring Knocker earned runner-ups. Exaggerated also took third in one of Saturday’s under card stakes.
Queen Caroline, a 3 year old daughter of Blame, earned her first career win in a $50,000 maiden special weight turf event, second race on the Preakness Day program. Bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm, the winner sat fifth through much of the 1 1/16th miles race in a crowded 12 horse field, made a move in mid-stretch and fought to win by a neck in a great three horse photo finish in 1:46.04. Queen Caroline edged Private Client by a neck, and third place finisher Tapit Together was just another neck back. Out of the Forestry mare, Queens Plaza, Queen Caroline is trained by Michael Matz and was ridden by John Velazquez. She now has a win and a pair of seconds in three life starts, good for $46,060 in earnings.
It took just a half hour for another Virginia-bred to hit the wire first at Pimlico. Cat Fiftyfive, bred by the Corner Farm and John Behrendt, went gate to wire in a $52,000 allowance race. The 4 year old Tale of the Cat colt won the 1 1/16ths miles race by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:46.27. The James Lawrence trainee got his second career triumph and his bankroll from just 8 starts stands at $79,850. He is out of the Secret Hello mare, Chemise.
Owner/breeder Larry Johnson’s talented filly Do What I Say captured a two length score in a $52,000 allowance race on Friday’s Black Eyed Susan card. Competing five turf furlongs in a full 14 horse field, the 3 year old daughter of Street Magician rallied four wide in mid-stretch, took command at the 1/16th pole and won by two over Lamontagne in :57.15. Trained by Mike Trombetta and guided by jockey Alex Cintron, Do What I Say has yet to finish out of the money in four life starts. She has bankrolled $63,000 from two wins, a second and third, and is out of the Parfaitement mare, Not What I Do.
On Thursday, Andrasta took advantage of numerous scratches due to a surface change and beat a trio of foes in a $27,000 maiden claimer that was taken off the turf due to rain. Bred by James Sumter Carter, the 3 year old Scat Daddy filly was last at the three-quarter mark of her 1 1/16th miles test but powered home to win easily by 4 3/4 lengths in 1:51.86. Andrasta is out of the Bop mare, Beware of the Bop. Ham Smith is the conditioner and Edgar Prado, who recently returned to Maryland to ride full time, directed the winning effort.
Away from Pimlico last week, October Song won his 13th career race competing in a fillies/mares claimer at Beltarra Park while the consistent Likeness connected at Sunray Park, which followed four solid outs at Sunland. The former was bred by the Lazy Lane Farms and is by Bernstein out of Secret Patriot by Secret Hello. The latter was bred by James Sumter and the Walmac Farm, and is by Ready’s Image out of Gucci Gulch by Gulch. The 9 year old October Song was making her 61st start while 5 year old Likeness was making his 29th.
Capping off a busy weekend, a pair of 4 year old fillies — Hooligan and Ring Knocker — both had runner up finishes on the Preakness under card. Hooligan, bred by the Audley Farm Equine, LLC, was second in a $55,000 allowance optional claiming sprint while Ring Knocker, bred by the Morgan’s Ford Farm, took the place position in a similar $52,000 sprint.
Exaggerated, bred by the Hart Farm, took third in the $100,000 The Very One Stakes at Pimlico and John’s Kitten, bred by Maggie Bryant, was second in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap at Churchill.