Race 1: Jockey Joel Rosario rode Aussi Austin to victory in the first of 13 races on Saturday at Pimlico Race Course. Bake Shop took second and Pretension finished third in the 1 1/16-mile dirt race. The winner finished in 1:45.23.
Bake Shop and Pretension held with Aussi Austin, but Pretension weakened late. Aussi Austin paid $5.40 to win while Bake Shop paid $6.60 to place.
Race 2, Deputed Testamony Starter Handicap: Hello Lover, the race's heavy 3-5 post-time favorite, surged past the leaders to win. No Brakes finished second while Who Dat Boy, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, took third.
Hello Lover, ridden by John Bisono, made his first start of 2013 and impressed his owner, posting a 1:46.74 on the 1 1/16-mile race on the dirt.
"One thrill after another for him," said owner Bob Krangel. "We gave him three or four months off and he came back well. You're always nervous when they come back after four months but he's an unbelievable horse."
Race 3: Relentless Move, ridden by Julian Pimentel, closed strongly for the victory in the day's third race, posting a time of 56.70 in the five furlong turf race.
Brooklyn Cowboy, who was the second favorite, stumbled at the start and finished last. Gottalovethedrake finished second and Thames Trader took third.
Relentless Move paid $7.40 to win while Gottalovethedrake, ridden by Forest Boyce, paid $32.20 to place.
Race 4, The Rollicking Stakes: Debt Ceiling took the lead with 1/16 of a mile to catch Silvertonguedtommy and win the $100,000 stakes.
Silvertonguedtommy took second and New Zone placed third. The 2-5 favorite, Sweet Emma, faded to fourth after pushing the pace out of the gate.
This was only Debt Ceiling's second start after winning his debut at Laurel, and both trainer John Robb and jockey Eric Camacho believed Debt Ceiling to have another good race in him.
"His first race, he was not really ready and we didn't expect him to run as well as he did," Robb said. "But he was ready for this one."
Race 5, The Sinai Good Neighbors Race: Jockey Edgar Prado urged on his filly, Joy, to surge past Hold Our Destiny and Marataya's Tune to win the fifth race of the day.
Marataya's Tune was the 5-2 favorite and led most of the 1 1/16-mile race on the turf until fading and finishing third. Hold Our Destiny finished strong to take second. Joy finished the race in 1:41.74 and paid $10.80 to win.
Race 6, The Chick Lang Stakes: Jockey Martin Garcia rode Zee Bros to gutsy victory to win the $100,000 stakes.
The 5-2 favorite took an early lead and never looked back, finishing the six furlong dirt race in 1:10.72. Bobcat Jim took second while Brave Dave, ridden by John Velazquez, finished third.
"He took me all the way throughout the race," Garcia said of Zee Bros. "I was really confident and when I asked, he took off."
Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker's horse, fittingly named Undrafted, was ridden by Joel Rosario and finished fifth in the race.
Race 7, The James W. Murphy Stakes: Rosario took another horse to victory, this time riding Redwood Kitten, in the $100,000 stakes.
The 2-1 favorite took an early lead from an outside post and held off Shining Copper down the stretch to clinch the win. The 2-1 post time favorite Notacatbutallama, ridden by Velazquez, took third. Redwood Kitten posted a 1:35.17 in the mile race on the turf, marking his first stakes victory.
"I liked how the race unfolded," said Redwood Kitten trainer Wesley Ward. "He got away with an easy first quarter and then it was just a sprint home. This horse is a lot better with a little bit more spacing between his races. That's why we didn't run two weeks ago at Churchill in the American Turf. He has really blossomed in the last couple weeks."
Trainer Dickie Small's horse, English Minister, had his heels clipped by Yougotthatgoinforu entering the first turn and couldn't rally. Because of the run-in, Yougotthatgoinforu lost his rider and didn't finish.
Race 8, The Allaire Dupont Distaff Stakes: Velazquez got his first win of the day, riding Summer Applause in the $150,000 stakes.
The 8-5 favorite, Summer Applause trailed Daydreamin Gracie outside early in the 1 1/16-mile dirt race. Velazquez kept his filly in good position heading into the last turn and edged out Sea Island for the win. Sea Island took second and Brushed by a Star, Rosario's fifth mount of the day, finished third.
"There wasn't much speed in the race," Velazquez said. "I wanted to stay reasonably close to the lead. I asked her for run in the last quarter of a mile and she responded well. We knew it was going to be a slow pace coming into the race. When I needed to move with her she gave me the run I asked for."
Race 9, The Gallorette Stakes: Pianist took an early lead and drove in the final stretch to clinch victory in the $150,000 race.
Hard Not to Like stumbled out of the gate but rallied back to take second under the guidance of Velazquez, and Appealing Cat took third. Samitar, the even-money favorite, took fourth. Pianist, with 6-1 odds, paid $15.40 to win the 1 1/16-mile race on the turf.
Race 10, The Maryland Sprint Handicap: Velazquez won another close race. Sage Valley started well out of the gate but sat in the middle of the pack for most of the race until he pulled ahead down the stretch to win $150,000 stakes.
It was the horse's fourth straight victory and second straight stakes win. Sage Valley finished the six furlong race on the dirt in 1:10.51. Hardened Wildcat finished second and Laurie's Rocket took third.
"We had a perfect post position and we had a perfect trip," Velazquez said. "I thought there was plenty of speed in the race and if I could sit just off the lead and make a run down the lane that would be perfect. He responded just the way a horse should."
Race 11, The Dixie Stakes: In a foreshadow to the Preakness, trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens got their first victories of the day, as Skyring upset the field and won the $300,000 race.
With 12-1 odds, Skyring took an early lead, widened the gap in midstretch, and held on at the end. Willcox Inn rallied to finish second, and Optimizer, who ran in the 2012 Kentucky Derby, took third. Skyring finished the 1 1/8-mile turf race in 1:47.87. He paid $50.40 to win.
Race 13: Jockey Rosie Napravnik finally got a win in the day's final race, riding heavy favorite Code West to victory.
The pack was crowded heading out of the final turn, and Code West pulled ahead to easily win the 1 1/6-mile dirt race. Crown Polis took second and Forest Jingles took third. Dinos Romance, who was leading heading into the final turn, faded to ninth.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun