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Jockey Javier Castellano and Hudson Steele return after winning the Dixie Stakes on the 2012 Preakness undercard.
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2012 Preakness Undercard Results

Date: 05/19/2012

The record 121,309 fans in attendance at Pimlico for the Preakness Stakes (G1) were treated to a marathon 13-race card with the first race off at 10:45am. Mostly sunny skies were the order of the day with temperatures in the lower 80's making for ideal racing conditions over the fast track and firm turf in Baltimore.

A field of 11 older horses went 1 1/8 miles on the turf in the $300,000 Dixie Stakes (G2). Hudson Steele was sent off as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite off his win in the Henry Clark Stakes. In to challenge him included 7-2 Casino Host, winner of the Mervin Muniz Handicap (G2) at Fair Grounds, and 9-2 Air Support, fifth in an allowance at Keeneland last out.

8-1 Straight Story battled for the lead with 23-1 Boxeur des Rues through fractions of 24.06, 47.77, and 1:12.06, while stalked by Hudson Steele. Entering the lane, the pacesetters tired as Husdon Steele inherited the lead through 1 mile in 1:35.56, and drew off to win by 2 1/2 lengths over 16-1 Humble and Hungry in 1:47.29 over firm turf. It was another 1/2 length back to 9-1 Forte Dei Marmi third.
Full results chart from DRF

Hudson Steele in the winner's circle. His trainer Todd Pletcher said, "When he won over here the other day we were thinking is three weeks going to be enough time?" Pletcher said. "The horse took that race so well, he bounced out of it so well and trained so sharply it turned out to be an easy decision to run back in three weeks. He's done very little wrong his whole life. Nice horse." Jockey Javier Castellano added, "I just waited, didn't want to move; when Mario's horse blew the turn I was able to split horses, and when he split he took off amazingly. Nobody could beat that horse today."



The $100,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (G3) featured a field of 8 older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. 6-1 Canadian Mistress and 7-2 Love and Pride dueled for the lead through fractions of 23.29, 47.58, and 1:12.28. Canadian Mistress tired allowing Love and Pride to open a 1 1/2 length lead at the 1/8 pole, but 7-5 favorite Awesomemundo, 6th early, closed 5 wide to win by a head in 1:44.70 over the fast track. It was a long 4 1/2 lengths back to 12-1 Catch a Thief third.
Full results chart from DRF

Awesomemundo heads to the winner's circle. Her trainer Bob Baffert said, "There was a lot more pressure on Mike with this filly because she's (owned by Baffert's wife). She wasn't in the picture and Jill said to me, "why is she way back there?' I said, 'that's the way she runs.' I told Mike, 'she runs like Zenyatta a little bit, but don't count on her to make up that much ground.'". Jockey Mike Smith added, "(Awesomeundo and Love and Pride) came together a little bit because she was gawking around at the crowd, but it wasn't anything. We had a little trouble leaving, but she proved she's very talented. She has a beautiful long kick."



Kicking off the stakes action on Preakness day, a field of 7 older fillies and mares contested the $100,000 Gallorette Handicap (G3) over 1 1/16 miles on the turf. 12-1 Speak Easy Gal went to the lead first time by and set fractions of 23.80, 48.02, and 1:12.02 over the firm course. She led to mid-stretch but even-money favorite Zagora, last early, passed her on the inside to win going away by 1 3/4 length in 1:41.73. It was another 3/4 length back to 5-2 Laughing third.
Full results chart from DRF


Zagora in the winner's circle. Her trainer Chad Brown said, "Once she gets settled and gathers herself together, she really has a strong kick. Javier's a top rider and when he's on my horses, I'm a lot less nervous. Nine times out of 10 he finds a way. She didn't break that well, but I thought Javier did a great job to stay on the inside. He knew he was on the best horse." Jockey Javier Castellano added, "It worked out really good today. It was a great performance. The pace was pretty fast today. She didn't break that good. I was a little concerned about that, but the bottom line is that it worked out great. They spread out and I saved all the ground, and she finished great."



The $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (G3) featured a field of 7 older horses sprinting 6 furlongs on the main track. 7-2 Diski Dance and 7-2 Immortal Eyes battled for the lead through fractions of 23.02 and 46.32 while stalked by 5-2 favorite Hamazing Destiny. Into the lane, Hamazing Destiny passed the pacesetters, opening up a 3 length lead through 5/8 in 58.26, and easily held off late-running 3-1 Bandbox by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:10.48. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to 9-1 Action Andy third.
Full results chart from DRF


Hamazing Destiny heads to the winner's circle. His trainer D. Wayne Lukas said, "He was the favorite and he ran like it. I thought Corey did a nice job. I was a bit worried when they threw up that 23. I thought, 'Well, they're not going very fast, and we're still in it. The horse liked the track. It's a good way to start the day." Jockey Corey Nakatani added, "The trip was great. He broke alertly and they weren't going as fast as they were at Churchill last time. So it helped to get in a real stalking position. (Lukas) wanted me to be just off them like we were. It enabled him to run his best race. He ran a tremendous race."



The $100,000 Chick Lang Stakes featured a field of 7 three-year-olds sprinting 6 furlongs on the main track. 11-10 favorite Innocent Man was quickest away and set fractions of 23.24 and 46.27, but in the stretch, 7-2 third choice Il Villano easily ran by him to win going away by 4 3/4 lengths over late-running 3-1 second choice Laurie's Rocket in 1:10.40. It was a head back to Innocent Man third.
Full results chart from DRF

Il Villano in the winner's circle. His trainer Susan Crowell said, "I saw that they were going pretty fast and he sat exactly where I wanted him to. He made his one run on the turn for home, and we were very impressed the way he ran today. I was worried coming in, because he had his little vacation, but he had a couple of good works. We were hopeful. We'll keep him short and probably head for the Jersey Shore at Monmouth Park." Jockey Jose Flores added, "I had to go early. (Innocent Man) was going, so I knew I had to go to have a good shot. My horse is very quick. He keeps getting better and better."



A field of 10 three-year-olds went 1 mile on the turf in the $100,000 James W. Murphy Stakes. 9-1 Skyring went to the lead under jockey Joel Rosario and set fractions of 23.57, 47.72, and 1:11.70 while stalked by 7-2 Hammers Terror. 2-1 favorite Easy Crossing, who stalked the pace in 3rd early, closed late but Skyring held him off by a neck to win in 1:35.64. It was just a nose back to 23-1 Mr. Handsome third.
Full results chart from DRF

Skyring heads to the winner's circle. His trainer D. Wayne Lukas said, "He's by English Channel, maybe we should try the grass. It really worked out well. I knew at the top of the stretch when they swarmed him, I said to myself, 'He isn't done yet.' This horse really tries. Turf horses usually have a lot of trouble going wire to wire. It's usually a closer, somebody on the outside blowing by them. You're not always happy to see your horse cruising on the lead, no matter how easy it is." Jockey Joel Rosario added, "It was a perfect racing for me and my horse. He went to the lead and started playing around, but I could tell he was trying hard at the end. The boss told me, he tries hard and never gives up. He was certainly right."



The $75,000 President of the United Arab Emirates Cup (G1) featured a field of 10 Purebred Arabians going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. 8-1 Grilla led most of the way, through fractions of 52.26 and 1:20.02, before 6-5 favorite TM Fred Texas, four wide into the lane, took over at the 1/8 pole and drew off to win by 2 3/4 length in 1:56.94. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 5-1 Rich Frynchmen third.
Full results chart from DRF

TM Fred Texas in the winner's circle. His trainer Ronald Martino said, "He's always been a handful in the paddock, and that is why we didn't put the rider up until he came out on the track. I preferred to be on the outside. That way he could stay out of trouble. I'm telling you this is an iron horse. He always shows up. I'm not sure where he'll run next." Jockey Abel Castellano Jr. added, "I was about 10-wide in the first turn and I was a little worried about that. I was able to drop him over and gradually saved some ground in the second turn. When I really asked him to run, he responded pretty well."

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