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Javier Castellano celebrates his 5th win of the day aboard Point of Honor after winning the Black-Eyed Susan
The filly counterpart to the Preakness is the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) held on the Friday before Preakness day. The Black-Eyed Susan Day record attendance of 51,573 on hand at Pimlico enjoyed a mostly sunny afternoon of racing with temperatures in the low 80's, with the main track rated fast and the turf good. Total handle on Friday’s 14-race Black-Eyed Susan program was $22.281 million, surpassing the previous record of just under $20 million set in 2017, the year the previous attendance record of 50,339 was set. Stronach Group CEO Tim Ritvo said, “Thank you to our horsemen, talented riders and fans for an outstanding Black-Eyed Susan Day! With record handle and attendance this is an incredible way to kick off Preakness weekend. Our team has worked tirelessly to deliver an amazing entertainment experience and we look forward to a truly memorable Preakness Day.”
A field of 8 three-year-old fillies went to post for this 1 1/8 mile main track contest, with Always Shopping sent off as the 11-4 favorite off wins in the Busanda and the Gazelle (G2) at Aqueduct. In to challenge her included 3-1 second choice Point of Honor, 4th in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and 4-1 third choice Cookie Dough, 3rd in the Gulfstream Park Oaks.
Point of Honor (outside) catches Ulele in the stretch.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 8 Point of Honor Castellano 7.80 4.60 3.20 3 Ulele Rosario 7.80 5.00 4 Cookie Dough Ortiz Jr. 3.80 Winning Time: 1:47.88 $1 Exacta 8-3 35.60 $1 Trifecta 8-3-4 210.30 $1 Superfecta 8-3-4-7 678.20 $1 Super High Five 8-3-4-7-2 4,948.00
Left: Point of Honor in the winner's circle. Winning trainer George Weaver said, "She’s 3 for 4 now and we’ve always liked her. She graduated first time out and won a stakes next time out. The Gulfstream Park [Oaks] race was a little odd to us. She had some trouble in the first turn and got steadied and ate a little bit of dirt. She just didn’t seem quite as handy or responsive that day. But the track was playing that day like a conveyor belt and it was carrying the front runners and it was a short run to the wire. So she didn’t really get into gear until inside the 16th-pole. We drew a little outside today and you lose ground being wide but I think she likes that kind of trip. Javier rode her as such. And she went back to where we were in the first place of wanting to go to the Kentucky Oaks and participate in some of these big races. She’s just very professional, very classy."
Right: The trophy presentation for the Black-Eyed Susan. Winning co-owner Aron Wellman said, "We really believed in this filly and things didn’t quite go her way in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, which we thought would be enough to qualify her for the Kentucky Oaks. We were on the outside looking in and didn’t get in and here we are today. She’s a filly that likes to be in a high cruising speed, be in a rhythm and we were okay with her being outside today. In the Gulfstream Oaks, she got a little squeezed and was in tight in between horses. But she’s a big filly with a long stride and we didn’t want to disrupt her rhythm. So when I saw 23 [seconds] and change and saw 47 and Javier had a good hold on her on the outside in the clear, I was pretty confident. Down the lane I thought she would put them away with more ease but Brad Cox’s filly [Ulele] put up a heck of a fight. She really made our filly run to the wire."
Left: Point of Honor in the post parade. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "I was kind of rolled around last time at Gulfstream and tried to save ground and didn't have the best result. Today, she placed perfect – eight horses. I lost a little ground but had a free trip. I didn't have to get bounced around with the horses. I didn't have to step aside. It worked out perfect. It was a perfect trip. Outside in the clear, she went by all the horses. That's what I was looking for today and we had the best result."
Right: Point of Honor parades with her flowers. Javier Castellano booted home five winners on the card. “I’m so excited. Very happy. Everybody has been so supportive of me. I’m very blessed,” Castellano said. “With her post, it was difficult to cover up a little bit. I didn’t have the best trip in the first turn. I had to go a little bit wide, and in the second turn, too. But it worked out good because I was in the clear.”
Left: Point of Honor heads back to the barn
Right: Second place finisher Ulele returns after the race. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "She gave me a good trip. I thought she was in a good spot. She did everything I asked her to do and responded when I asked her. Turning for home I thought we were going to get her [Point of Honor] but that horse came with a strong run at the end."
Left: Third place finisher Cookie Dough leads first time by. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "I had a perfect trip. She got the lead but was beaten by two nice fillies. No excuses."
Right: Sixth place finisher and beaten favorite Always Shopping in the post parade. The Todd Pletcher trainee has a record of 2 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 6 starts, earning $254,500 for owner-breeder Mike Repole (Repole Stable.
The co-feature on Friday is the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3). A field of 13 older horses contested this historic 1 1/4 mile trip, with Greenwood Cup (G3) winner You're to Blame sent off as the 3-1 favorite over 7-2 Rally Cry, 4th in the Charles Town Classic (G2), and 15-4 Cordmaker, winner of the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial.
Jockey Jorge Vargas Jr. sent 32-1 Flying the Flag to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.82, 47.44, and 1:11.44 while pressed by 13-1 Flameaway and stalked by 21-1 Wait for It and 24-1 Heavy Roller. Turning for home Flying the Flag tired allowing Flameaway to briefly inherit the lead through 1 mile in 1:36.22 before also tiring badly. Wait for It gained the lead midstretch but 5-1 fourth choice Tenfold, 12th early under Ricardo Santana Jr., came through on the inside between horses to outfinish favorite You're to Blame by a neck in 2:02.36. It was another neck back to Cordmaker third.
Full results chart from DRF
Left: Tenfold in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Steve Asmussen said, "Absolutely, it’s a very special win with a homebred for Winchell that came through [my] mom and dad’s program in Laredo. He just, he’s got it in him. He’s got it in him and you see him today. Ricardo was talking about he’s got a lot of horse under him, but when he makes the lead, the addition of blinkers has kind of gotten him a little more serious in his training and hopefully this horse is going to have a huge rest of the year. The sky is the limit for him. I don’t think he’s really laid his body down yet. He’s a sound horse and everything in the pedigree gets better with age. This was a definite target because of how he ran in the Preakness last year. This was exactly the outcome we were hoping for."
Right: Tenfold heads back to the barn. Winning jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. said, "That’s the horse we expected. We always believed in him. He always tries hard. He didn’t really like the track the other day [in the Oaklawn Handicap when seventh]. We always had confidence in him and today. I knew he was going to show what he had. He ran a really great race. At the three-eighths, I knew I had plenty of horse and I had to be patient and wait for the hole. When the hole opened and I asked him, he gave me a nice kick. I could feel the other horse coming on his side. The second he felt it, he kicked on. "
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite You're to Blame trails the field first time by. Jockey Jose Ortiz said, "He broke a bit slow. I think it cost me the race. I wanted to be in the position Unbridled Juan was. If I was able to be where he was at I think I would have won the race. The slow break cost me a little bit, but that’s horse racing and I’m thankful he still ran a good race."
Right: Third place finisher Cordmaker returns after the race. The Rodney Jenkins trainee improved his record to 5 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 13 starts, earning $265,290 for owner Hillwood Stable.
Jockey Luis Saez sent Mylady Curlin to the lead first time by through fractions of 24.23, 47.89 and 1:11.50 while pressed by Golden Award and stalked by 9-2 Gio Game. Turning for home Golden Award moved up to challenge through 1 mile in 1:35.29 setting up a duel to the line. However, Mylady Curlin got her nose in front first for the win in 1:47.64, just 0.68 seconds off the track record set by Private Terms in 1989. It was a long 5 lengths back to Gio Game third.
Full results chart from DRF
Left: Mylady Curlin in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Brad Cox said, "We’ve liked her from the get-go. She’s a nice filly. She ran a big race at Keeneland the other day [Winning an optional claimer on April 25]. Even though it was a four-horse field, she had a wide trip. Luis [Saez] rode her that day; the only thing I asked him to do [today] was to ask her to run away from there. I think having the lead and the rail was a nice place. I thought she fit well with these horses on paper. She got some good figures. The one thing I was concerned about was running her back a little quickly off the allowance race, but she was training well and looked good."
Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Golden Award in the post parade. The Bill Mott trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 3 seconds, and 0 thirds in 8 starts, earning $184,000 for owner Summer Wind Equine.
A field of 9 three-year-old fillies sprinted 6 furlongs in the $150,000 Adena Springs Miss Preakness Stakes (G3). Frizette (G1) fourth place finisher Covfefe was the 9-5 favorite over 3-1 Fighting Mad, undefeated in 2 starts in allowance company, and 5-1 Please Flatter Me, 4th in the Busher. Jockey Javier Castellano sent Covfefe to the lead exiting the chute through fractions of 22.24 and 44.43 while pressed by 7-1 Congrats Gal and stalked by Please Flatter Me and Fighting Mad. Entering the stretch Congrats Gal was eased by jockey Trevor McCarthy, as Covfefe opened up by 6 lengths through 5f in 56.01. Kept to task by Castellano, Covfefe cruised to an 8 1/2 length win over Please Flatter Me in a new track record of 1:07.70, 1.30 seconds faster than Northern Wolf's previous record set in 1990. It was another 3 1/2 lengths back to 10-1 Tomlin third.
Full results chart from DRF
Left: Covfefe in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Brad Cox said, "Javier did a great job. She did break the track record? It doesn’t matter, but she’s fast. We weren’t hell-bent on getting to the lead today. We were going to let the speed go if there was a lot of it. Javier did a great job of letting her fall into the race. I’m super pleased with her. This filly, we’ve thought she was a superstar from the start. To ship her to a Grade 1 [Frizette last fall] off breaking her maiden should tell you we like her. She put it together today. She’s worthy of trying a Grade 1 (Test Stakes at Saratoga)."
Right: Congrats Gal, shown here in the post parade, pressed the pace but was eased in the stretch by Trevor McCarthy and collapsed after the finish. She likely suffered a fatal heart attack. The Stronach Group released a statement which read, "Congrats Gal suffered sudden death after the eighth race today. The incident occurred after the wire. Commission veterinarians attended to the horse immediately. Our thoughts go out to all of the owners, trainers and connections of Congrats Gal. The Stronach Group is committed to the welfare and safety of horses above all, and we are saddened by what happened today. A full necropsy will be performed to try to determine the cause of death."
The $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint featured a short field of just 6 older horses going 5 furlongs on the turf. Completed Pass was the 6-5 favorite over 7-5 Tricks to Doo and 11-2 Oldies but Goodies. 15-2 American Sailor and favorite Completed Pass dueled down the back and around the turn through fractions of 21.39 and 45.13. In the stretch Completed Pass under jockey Victor Carrasco poked his head in front and then pulled away to win by 1 length over 30-1 longest shot Tempt Me Twice in 57.35. It was another 3/4 length back to Tricks to Doo third.
Full results chart from DRF
Left: Completed Pass in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Claudio Gonzalez said, "All the time he showed to me a lot of speed, that's why we put him in the sprint when we took him to Charles Town [an allowance win at 4 1/2 furlongs]. He proved he could run. Then we tried him on grass, and he ran big the last time. Today, he had tough competition, but with the scratches we had, we thought he had a big chance. He's a little funny. He doesn't switch leads at the right time. But I know he can run."
Right: Completed Pass heads out to the track. Winning jockey Victor Carrasco said, "The post position helped, being on the outside on a fast horse. The instructions were to go on. He broke sharp, good enough, and I just made sure I was right there, the first one or two. Turning for home I was right there. When I said ‘go’ he gave me a nice kick and he got it done."
The $100,000 Maker's Mark Hilltop Stakes featured a field of 10 three-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the turf. 35-1 Souper Escape set the pace of 23.32 and 47.53 while pressed by 6-1 Fashion Faux Pas and stalked by 13-1 Introduced. On the far turn Fashion Faux Pas gained the lead through 3/4 in 1:11.64. 3-1 second choice Dogtag, 8th early under Javier Castellano, came out 4 wide and rallied to win by 1 3/4 length over 2-1 favorite Nova Sol in 1:36.71. It was another 2 3/4 lengths back to Fashion Faux Pas third.
Full results chart from DRF
Winning owner Jamie Roth said, "I’m really happy to have Dogtag back in the winners’ circle. She had some time off and we skipped the Breeders’ Cup. It wasn’t a matter of talent or class; I don’t think she liked the yielding ground [in her last start]. I was watching the race from a weird spot so I wasn’t sure when she had it won. I was just rooting for the finish line. We haven’t discussed anything as to her next start."
Kicking off the Preakness weekend stakes, the $100,000 Skipat Stakes featured a field of 9 older fillies and mares sprinting 6 furlongs. 65-1 Everlasting Secret set the pace of 22.67 and 45.50 while pressed by 3-5 favorite Chalon and stalked by 14-1 Majestic Won. In the stretch jockey Javier Castellano sent Chalon to lead through 5f in 57.18, and she drew off to win by 2 lengths over Everlasting Secret in 1:09.46. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 33-1 Hailey's Flip third.
Full results chart from DRF
Winning trainer Arnaud Delacour said, "Everything went well. She broke a touch slow. She's usually a little more aggressive to break and get a position. It looked like Javier really had to hustle a little bit to get her into position. Once she got to a spot she was relaxed, and she looked like herself. She finished very well and looked like she had something left."
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