Stronach Stable's Spun Sugar scored a convincing victory in the $200,000 Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes as she beat five 3-year-old rivals this afternoon at Old Hilltop. The Todd Pletcher trainee was sent to post at odds of 1.20-1 and won as jockey John Velazquez pleased. She was wide and in the clear down the backside and took control around the far turn when the rider asked her to move to the lead. She won off by 3-3/4 lengths in 1:53.27 for the 1 1/8 mile distance over a sloppy track. 4.60-1 shot R Lady Joy took second, beaten 3 3/4 lengths, while 7.50-1 shot Pleasant Chimes was another 3 lengths back in third. The winner paid $4.40. She is now three for four lifetime. The win marked her first added-money score, after winning a maiden and an allowance prior to this start.
Todd Pletcher, trainer of winner, Spun Sugar, said, "I was concerned with what was taking place on the first turn. I didn't know what was happening to Edgar's (Prado) horse (Merrill Gold), but my filly looked like she got through it okay, and it was fortunate the way it all worked out."
Stephen E. Quick & Christopher J. Feifarek's Silmaril won one for the hometown crowd as she ran down huge 3-10 favorite Ashado in deep stretch to win the $150,000 Grade 3 Pimlico Distaff Breeders' Cup for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Trained by Bowie-based Chris Grove and ridden by jockey Ryan Fogelsonger, 7.60-1 longshot Silmaril spent most of the trip tracking the favorite while racing down on the rail. Fogelsonger kept Ashado within striking distance all the way to the top of the lane, then angled out to mid-track and caught her with just six jumps to go to the wire to win by three-quarters of a length. Fogelsonger confidently waved his whip with a victory salute before they crossed under the finish line in 1:44.87 over the sloppy going. With the victory, Silmaril was scoring her third stakes win of the year. She won the Nellie Morse at Laurel Park and the Northview Stallion Stakes here last month. She paid $17.20. The presence of Ashado and the wet conditions resulted in five late scratches from the race this morning.
Chris Grove, trainer of winner Silmaril said, "It was an outstanding performance. I knew she loved the slop. It was her first graded win. When I worked her last week Ryan said 'We're ready for Ashado.' I said, 'Ashado who?'"
Todd Pletcher, trainer of beaten favorite Ashado, said, "Obviously I was concerned with the condition of the track. It was similar to the way it was the day she ran in the Alabama. It rained all morning and it was drying out as the day went along. You can tell by the times of the races it's not a fast track today. It's kind of a sticky, gooey surface, probably not her favorite. I thought despite that she ran a good race. I thought it was a much better race than she ran at Oaklawn."
Arthur Hancock III's Burnish relished the off-going at Pimlico today. She rallied from off the pace, wrested command in the early stretch and pulled away to win the $100,000 Grade 3 Adena Stallions' Miss Preakness Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, contested over the sloppy main track at 6 furlongs. Sent to post at 1.80-1 under jockey Rafael Bejarano, the bay daughter of Menifee tracked the speed down the backstetch and through the turn, then came barreling home to take the lead away from Partners Due and win by two lengths. Hot Storm was third. Burnish, trained by Nick Zito, was winning her first stakes and upping her lifetime record to four wins in seven starts. She paid $5.60 as the second choice in the wagering and topped a $50.20 exacta and a $222 triple. Maddalena, the post time favorite, appeared to dislike the sloppy track and never really got into the hunt. She finished last.
Winning trainer Nick Zito said, "The filly's bred by one of the great breeders of all time, Arthur Hancock. That's all you have to say. I was glad to see the muddy track because she ran so well on a wet track at Keeneland last out. She ran huge today." Winning rider Rafael Bejarano said, "I had a lot of horse throughout the race. She wasn't even blowing hard. I wanted to stay close and make one big move, and that move was everything I was hoping for and more."
Todd Pletcher, trainer of beaten favorite Maddalena said, "She didn't get away well from the gate, and she didn't like the slop in her face. She wouldn't level out."