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Florent Geroux returns aboard Interstatedaydream after winning the Black-Eyed Susan
The filly counterpart to the Preakness is the $250,000 George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) held on the Friday before Preakness day. Conditions were typical for mid May with cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 80's, the main track fast and the turf firm.
A field of 13 three-year-old fillies went to post for this 1 1/8 mile main track contest, with Las Virgenes (G3) winner Adare Manor sent off as the 2-1 favorite off her close second in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2). In to challenge her included 3-1 second choice Distinctlypossible off an allowance win at Keeneland after finishing second in the Alcibiades (G1), and 6-1 third choice Interstatedaydream, third in the Ashland (G1) last out.
Down the stretch in the Black-Eyed Susan.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 9 Interstatedaydream Geroux 14.20 6.40 5.00 10 Adare Manor Velazquez 4.40 3.20 11 Radio Days Rosario 7.60 Winning Time: 1:48.73 $1 Exacta 9-10 30.70 $1 Trifecta 9-10-11 275.30 $1 Superfecta 9-10-11-1 3,831.90
Left: Interstatedaydream in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Brad Cox said, "I'm just very proud of her. She stepped up and ran a huge race. I was very shocked to see she was the price she was going into the gate. She wasn't getting a lot of respect, and I really thought she fit well with this group. Congratulations to [owner] Staton Flurry. It was a big effort and I thought Florent did a good job of getting a good early position. Her last two works have been phenomenal, and she showed up and ran a big race."
Right: Owner Staton Flurry celebrates with the trophy.
Left: Interstatedaydream heads heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey Florent Geroux said, "There was no game plan. I thought there would be a couple of fillies, especially on the inside, who would have gone. I was really expecting Adare Manor to be a little bit forwardly placed. But when Johnny [Velazquez] was content to sit right off me, I just took advantage of it. I was not going to pull too hard on my filly just to let him pass. I thought my filly was great where she was."
Right: Interstatedaydream heads back to the barn after the race.
Left: Interstatedaydream walks over before the race. Geroux added, "That's good when they break like that and put you in a good spot, that helps a lot. She was very comfortable during the race and she had something left down the lane. I'd say top of the lane, I could tell I put away Adare Manor. My filly took a nice breather twice during the race. So, I thought there was plenty of oxygen in her lungs."
Right: Interstatedaydream heads out for the post parade
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Adare Manor first time by. Trainer Sean McCarthy said, "She broke well and got in super position going into the first turn. We were really pleased with it. Down the backside she just kind of dropped the bridle a little bit. [Jockey] Johnny [Velazquez] asked her. She responded. Coming around the turn there was a little bit of the same. He asked her again and she responded. By that time, I think the leader had a pretty good jump on us, so it was harder for our filly to run her down. Our filly didn't stop, but the winner ran a great race, and we just couldn't catch up to her."
Third place finisher Radio Days returns after the race. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "I saved ground on the first turn, and they went fast. On the backside, I was making up ground, but had to check a bit at the three-eighths pole. Turning for home, she was coming and moving really well to the end."
The field for the Black-Eyed Susan shortly after the start. Dan Peitz, trainer of pacesetter and eventual 12th place finisher Beguine (5) said, "I'm not sure what happened. It looked like she might have been bothered around the three-eighths pole but I'm not sure until I watch the replay. It was disappointing."
The co-feature on Friday is the $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3). A field of 10 older horses contested this historic 1 3/16 mile trip, with Discovery Stakes third place finisher Vindictive sent off as the even money choice off an allowance win at Aqueduct. In to challenge him included 4-1 second choice Untreated, second in the Excelsior, and 5-1 third choice First Captain, 7th in the Carter Handicap (G1).
Jockey Joel Rosario sent Untreated to the lead first time by through fractions of 24.99, 49.80, and 1:14.27 while pressed by 17-1 Workin on a Dream and stalked by 42-1 Excellorator and Vindictive. Entering the lane Vindictive moved up to lead through 1 mile in 1:38.46, but First Captain, 6th early under Luis Saez, came out 5 wide for room and rallied to get up by a head in 1:56.24. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Untreated third.
Full results chart from DRF
Left: First Captain in the winner's circle. Winning owner Terry Finley (West Point Thoroughbreds) said, That's a good field that he beat. He is that kind of horse where he takes a little bit of time. The favorite went by him and kind of pinched him a little bit, and I said, 'Now we got to get running to see if we're good enough.' And he was. I think he got very comfortable in the race and when they do that, they give you the confidence that they are going to go on with it. I'm happy."
Right: First Captain heads back to the barn after the race. Winning jockey Luis Saez said, "I was in like fourth, behind and a little outside, trying to be out, because that's the best way for him to make his move. Probably, he wanted to go a little bit early [before being equipped with blinkers]. I broke and I just left him alone. I didn't try to rush him or do anything with him, and he did great. When he gave me that turn of foot, he was coming. He got me there on time. Today he proved he's a pretty nice horse. Shug really likes him. He called me and told me, 'Luis, I like that horse, so ride him with confidence.' And he did great."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Vindictive in the post parade. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "He stumbled a little bit at the start, but he was fine. He was moving great. I was letting him do his thing. He responded very well. He had perfect position, made the lead. The other horse just got me. He fought back but it was too late." Trainer Todd Pletcher added, "He ran good. He looked like he bobbled at the start, otherwise I think he would have been right there with the other horse. There was just no pace in the race. There was no pace at all. I wish they had run a little bit quicker, actually."
Right: Third place finisher Untreated returns after the race. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "It was too bad the two horses beat us at the end. Our trip was perfect. He broke to the lead. There was no other speed, and he did everything right. He was just third best today." Trainer Todd Pletcher added, "I was surprised no one tried to go with him. There really was no pace at all. To go 1:14-and-1 for six furlongs, I mean that's pretty slow in a Grade 3. Anyone that's on the lead in 1:14, there's really not any excuses if you don't get home."
Jockey Florent Geroux sent Super Quick to a clear lead first time by through fractions of 23.53, 46.39, and 1:09.92 while chased by Frost Point and 24-1 longest shot Click to Confirm. On the far turn Super Quick left the field behind, opening up by 12 lengths midstretch through 1 mile in 1:34.87, and cruising to a 14 1/4 length win over Exotic West in 1:47.78, just 0.58 second off the track record. It was another length back to Frost Point third.
Full results chart from DRF
Left: Super Quick in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Norm Casse said, I am not so sure she is a need-the-lead-type horse but she is certainly better when she can get comfortable early. And that is what she did today. I have been lobbying for a couple months to get her in a nine-furlong race. Conventional wisdom would say a stretch-out would make it a little more difficult, but I think it's easier for her. Truthfully, I could not see the fractions but it seemed like she was just rolling along. I was just letting it sink in. I thought she would run like that today and I am glad she did. I am very proud of her."
Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Exotic West returns after the race. Jockey Javier Castellano said, "These fillies went at a really fast pace today – 23 (seconds), 46, 1:09-and-4. The winner was much the best today. I really liked the way my filly did it today. She made a great effort – just second best."
The $100,000 Hilltop Stakes featured a field of 8 three-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the turf. Jockey Jevian Toledo sent 10-1 Murph to a clear lead through fractions of 23.31, 47.56, and 1:11.38 while stalked by 7-1 third choice Diamond Hands and 9-2 second choice Vergara. Turning for home, Murph continued to lead but tired in the final furlong, as 2-5 favorite Pizza Bianca, 6th early under Jose Ortiz, came out 4 wide and rallied by to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Diamond Hands in 1:36.54. It was another head back to Vergara third.
Full results chart from DRF
Left: Pizza Bianca in the winner's circle. Winning owner Bobby Flay said, "Jose [Ortiz] did exactly what we were hoping for. She broke; he kind of put her to sleep around the track; asked her a little bit; and she performed very nice. Really, a sigh of relief, but also just a beautiful performance. When you are 2-5 you just want to fire. I'm always nervous, but she performed very nicely. It was nice to see. I ran in (the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot) in 2011 with More Than Real. She didn't run that well, but it doesn't matter. It was an amazing experience. To me, this is what this is all about. These horses can take you on experiences of a lifetime."
Right: Pizza Bianca in the post parade. Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, "She ran a very good race last time off the bench. It was a pretty tough deal. She was ready, just got beat. But I think it was circumstances of the race that got her beat. She was a little keen off the layoff. Today, she was more relaxed. I sat on her out of the gate, just to let her know that we weren't going anywhere close to the pace."
A field of 6 three-year-old fillies sprinted 6 furlongs in the $150,000 Miss Preakness Stakes (G3). Dixie Belle winner and Ashland (G1) 6th place finisher Happy Soul was sent off as the 4-5 favorite over 5-2 second choice Lady Scarlet, 4th in the Beaumont (G3), and 7-1 third choice La Casa d'Oro off her maiden win at 3rd asking. Jockey John Velazquez sent Happy Soul to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 23.01 and 45.58 while pressed by 10-1 Gimmick and stalked by Lady Scarlet. In the stretch Lady Scarlet took over through 5f in 57.41, and pulled away late to win by 3 3/4 lengths over Happy Soul in 1:10.07. It was another length back to Gimmick third.
Full results chart from DRF
Left: Lady Scarlet in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Mike Maker said, "We left it up to Irad to be creative. If they hooked up on the lead, so be it. If they gave it [the lead] to us, so be it. I think she can go either way. She's won on the lead before, and she's won from coming off it. So, it worked out perfectly. I think she's a good horse and there's plenty of races out there." Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. added, "I got a perfect trip. She broke good from a great position. I waited for the time to roll, and she did very well. She did everything right, everything perfect. They went out a little fast and I was right there behind them and waited for the time to go. I had plenty left."
Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Happy Soul in the post parade. Jockey John Velazquez said, "She broke good and got a good position. I don't think she ran her 'A' race today. Last time out, she was flat. Today, she was mad but she wasn't herself."
Left: Can the Queen heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey Victor Carrasco said, "She was running awesome. I didn't even have to send her much to get into that position. I knew as soon as I said, 'Go,' that she was going to be there for me. And she was. She was pretty relaxed the first part. I knew she was doing too good and that she was going to have something left. When I said, 'Go,' she was gone."
Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Honey Pants heads out for the post parade. Christophe Lorieul, assistant to trainer Christophe Clement said, "She was a little bit farther back than we expected. She broke good, then it looked like she was a bit taken for speed early on. Around the turn she came back, but she had to circle around and go inside and outside. At the sixteenth pole, I thought we could get there, but the other one was already gone. But she ran a decent race."
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