Silmaril, a mud-splattered, 3-year-old filly, defeated older horses for the second time this year when she captured the $100,000 Geisha Handicap yesterday at Pimlico.
After racing fifth down the backstretch, Silmaril barged between horses around the far turn and commandeered a comfortable lead down the homestretch. She won the 1 1/8 -mile stakes for Maryland-bred fillies and mares by 1 1/4 lengths on a soaked track rated "sloppy."
"I've liked this filly ever since she walked into the barn," said Chris Grove, her trainer at Bowie. "She walked in the barn, and she had a glow. 'Classy' is the one word I always use to describe her."
A daughter of Diamond, who stands at Northview Stallion Station, Silmaril has won six of nine races, including three stakes. This was her second win in a $100,000 stakes. The other was the Maryland Million Oaks two months ago at Pimlico. As a prep for the Maryland Million, she defeated older fillies and mares in an optional-claiming race at Philadelphia Park.
As the 7-5 favorite in the Geisha, Silmaril paid $4.80 to win. Her time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1 minute, 53.89 seconds. A pair of 2-to-1 choices - Pour It On and Chrusciki - finished second and third, respectively. The exacta paid $11.20, the trifecta $26.20.
Silmaril's granddam, Kattegat's Pride, won the Geisha in 1983. Kattegat's Pride was a three-time Maryland-bred champion, a daughter of the Alfred G. Vanderbilt stallion North Sea. She raced 54 times in the early 1980s and won 19 races, including 10 stakes. One was against males in the Jennings Handicap, which will be run for the 64th time Saturday at Pimlico.
Now white, Kattegat's Pride, 25, lives at her owners' St. Omer's Farm in Forest Hill. Susan and Stephen Quick bred and campaigned Kattegat's Pride and then brought her home for breeding. She produced only four foals. One, Kattebuck, produced Silmaril after mating with Spend a Buck.
Silmaril is the Quicks' best horse since Kattegat's Pride. But Kattegat's Pride remains their pride and joy.
"Nobody asks anything of her," Susan Quick said. "She lives a life of leisure."
NOTES: Ramon Dominguez, the nation's second-winningest rider, took off his mounts yesterday at Pimlico after his wife, Sharon, gave birth Friday night to the couple's first child, Alexander Ramon. Steve Rushing, Dominguez's agent, said the jockey was expected to return to riding today. Rushing said Dominguez, who had considered relocating to California or New York, decided to remain in Maryland. ...
Maryland Horse Radio, a one-hour daily program, will debut at 10 a.m. tomorrow on WBIS (1190 AM). Hosted by Stan Salter, the program will showcase Maryland racing and breeding. ... Voting has begun on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Web site, www.ntra.com, for the sixth annual "NTRA Moment of the Year."