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Ask Me Out survives bite, inquiry to win at Pimlico


The aptly named Unlawful Behavior tried to take a bite out of the competition yesterday at Pimlico.

The tactic -- fairly common at dog tracks where the competitors are muzzled, but unusual in horse racing -- didn't work, and Ask Me Out lasted to win the $22,000 allowance co-feature by a nose.

With Mark Johnston aboard for trainer King Leatherbury, Unlawful Behavior came charging at pace-setting Steve Hamilton and Ask Me Out during the stretch run.

Ask Me Out drifted out from the rail toward the closer, who drifted inward slightly. As the two fillies neared the wire, Unlawful Behavior took offense, turned her head and apparently nipped Ask Me Out's cheek.

It might have cost her the race.

The stewards immediately posted the inquiry sign, and Johnston claimed foul against the winner. But after reviewing the films, which showed no apparent contact, the stewards ruled that Unlawful Behavior "tried to savage" her rival and let the result stand.

It was the second straight and third victory in five starts for Ask Me Out, a daughter of Clever Champ out of Game Lady. She is 4-for-10 lifetime.

* Graded-stakes winners Sunny Sunrise and Ameri Valay head a field of seven in today's feature, the sixth running of the $50,000 Broad Brush Stakes.

The 12-race card will also showcase the simulcast of the $200,000 Budweiser Derby from Birmingham Race Course, where Dick Small-trained Looming, a Preakness runner, is among nine entires.

Sunny Sunrise, trained by Buddy Delp, has won more than $1 million and 15 races in 50 starts. The Leatherbury-trained Ameri Valay's most notable recent victory was in the Grade III John B. Campbell Handicap in April at Pimlico.

The defending champion of the Broad Brush, Frottage, is also in the field. A son of Broad Brush, he is also from the powerful Small stable.

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