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Stopchargingmaria Charges to Victory in Black-Eyed Susan Stakes
BALTIMORE, 05-16-14 – Repole Stable’s Stopchargingmaria took the overland route and narrowly won the $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) in dramatic fashion Friday at Pimlico Race Course. The Black-Eyed Susan is restricted to 3-year fillies and is contested at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.
Sent from the gate by Javier Castellano, the Todd Pletcher-trained Stopchargingmaria saved ground around the first turn before being taken to the outside. Asked for run around the far turn, the daughter of Tale of the Cat hooked Vero Amore at the top of the stretch but only gained the lead a few jumps from the finish line, winning by a neck in 1:51.79 over a track rated good. Fortune Pearl finished third.
The Black-Eyed Susan win was the fourth for Pletcher, having saddled Spun Sugar (2005), Panty Raid (2007) and In Lingerie (2012) for victories in the race.
Stopchargingmaria, who paid $9.60, has won three stakes in eight lifetime starts, including the Temped (G3) and the Demoiselle (G2).
BLACK-EYED SUSAN QUOTES
Winning Trainer Todd Pletcher (Stopchargingmaria): “It was a terrific performance. We actually got shuffled back a little bit going to the first turn. We were hoping to be a little closer. Javier was able to move her to the outside and get a good position, and she really picked it up. Once she got to the outside on the far turn, she started to make her move and she was rolling. This was certainly her best race. To be honest, I’m not really sure why her first two races this year didn’t go as well as last year. It took her a little while after the Fantasy (April 5 at Oaklawn) to get back. After the Fantasy we took her up to Saratoga and the cool weather seemed to invigorate her. Today she acted like she was back to her old self. I like this race; I think it’s my fourth Black Eyed Susan.”
Winning Jockey Javier Castellano (Stopchargingmaria): “It set up perfectly for us and I had a beautiful trip. We took a look at the race beforehand. We figured there’d be a lot of speed and I just wanted to put her in a good position. We saved ground going into the first turn and after that it was a matter of keeping her in the clear. I had ridden her before at Saratoga on an off track, and she had no problems with it today at all. At the top of the stretch, I was pretty confident.”
Trainer Robert Reid Jr. (Vero Amore, 2nd): “I can’t believe she is still not a stakes winner. She’s so game, this filly. What she lacks in size and maybe pedigree, she makes up in trying. I saw her give them the slip a little at the top of the stretch. I’ve got to give the winner a lot of credit. She ran really game. They were both really trying all the way to the wire.”
Jockey Frank Pennington (Vero Amore, 2nd): “I thought I had it coming off the turn and we’d kick on. I thought we were going to keep on going, then the horse came alongside of me and we just got beat. She gave me everything she could. I’m very proud of her.”
Trainer Graham Motion (Fortune Pearl, 3rd): “I was pleased with her race. She was coming off short rest. She won very impressively last time, and she showed today that it wasn’t a fluke.”
Jockey Trevor McCarthy (Fortune Pearl, 3rd): “I had a great trip. She was forwardly placed today and she really kicked in around the turn. We got pushed out a little bit early, but once she got clear, she really responded.”
About Pimlico Race Course
Historic Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness® Stakes, the middle jewel in horse racing's famed Triple Crown, first opened its doors on October 25, 1870, and is the second oldest racetrack in the United States. Pimlico has played host to racing icons and Baltimoreans have seen the likes of legendary horses such as Man o’ War, Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Affirmed and Cigar thunder down the stretch in thrilling and memorable competition. For more information on Pimlico, visit www.pimlico.com.
Pimlico Race Course is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.