Tightly Twisted Pulls the Upset in $100,000 Big Dreyfus

Tightly Twisted Pulls the Upset in $100,000 Big Dreyfus

No Stopping Can The Queen in $100,000 Sensible Lady

BALTIMORE – Trainer Juanita Bennett admitted when she saw the entries for the $100,000 Big Dreyfus, including Klaravich Stables Inc.’s 4-5 favorite and stakes-placed filly Counterparty Risk, “I was like ‘Oh my gosh.’ “

But Bennett’s 5-year-old mare Tightly Twisted, owned by Fiasco Farms, Ltd and ridden by Jhonatan Mendoza, proved every bit up to the task by defeating Counterparty Risk by a half-length Saturday at Pimlico Race Course while covering 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.05. It was another 5 ¾ lengths to pacesetter Sailingintothewind in third.

A daughter of Hard Spun, Tightly Twisted came into the Big Dreyfus off a two-length win at Delaware Park Jun 28. A winner of five of 21 starts, Tightly Twisted had finished second in the Robert Dick Memorial last year and won the George Rosenberger in 2019.

“It’s a family and group effort,” said Bennett. “We bought her out of the Keeneland sale, one of the few we could afford, and she’s just performed for us, and we hope we keep going on this ride. It’s been a great ride this month.”

Mendoza rated Tightly Twisted a length in front of Counterparty Risk in fourth along the inside while Sailingintothewind set fractions of :24.52, :47.96 and 1:11.44. Around the far turn, Mendoza continued to save ground while moving into second while Counterparty Risk followed. But inside the final eighth Tightly Twisted took a clear lead from Sailingintothewind and had plenty left to hold off Counterparty Risk.

“She broke a little bit slow, and I put her in the race,” Mendoza said. “She was traveling good right into the stretch, and she kicked on. I was worried a little bit when [Counterparty Risk] was coming but she just kept going. I knew I had a nice filly, too.”

Tightly Twisted, bred by Normandy Farm, returned $21.20.

No Stopping Can The Queen in Sensible Lady

Joanne Shankle’s Can the Queen, beaten less than three lengths in the Jameela Stakes last out after setting the pace, came from just off the pace Saturday to win the $100,000 Sensible Lady at Pimlico Race Course by 1 ¾ lengths over Flyingontheground. What a Trick finished third while 7-5 favorite Golden Can was fourth.

Can the Queen, a 5-year-old daughter of Can the Man, covered a firm five-furlong turf course in :56.41 under jockey Victor Carrasco for trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon.

Can the Queen broke alertly and raced three-wide outside pacesetter What a Trick and Golden Can past an opening quarter in :21.63. After Golden Can dropped back a bit on the turn, Can the Queen chased What a Trick and jockey Feargal Lynch into the stretch before driving to the lead and finish line.

The mare set the pace in the Jameela July 4 with an opening quarter in :22.60 before finishing fourth.

“I’m so excited for this filly,” said Sanchez-Salomon. “I never expected her to run this good. She just needs a good ride, patient, and she can run a little bit. At the end when she started moving up, I was just hoping she wouldn’t stop because she usually stops a little bit when she gets in front. She got perfect ride. She wasn’t rushed in the beginning; she was just sitting there waiting for the moment to move on.”

“The instructions were to be forwardly placed,” Carrasco said. “I got out there the first few jumps to make sure I’m on the lead or second and then when we got near the quarter pole I was just sitting on her and I see Feargal already asking and I’m just sitting there. When I said go, she exploded and got the job done.”

Can The Queen has now won four of 12 starts. She was bred in Maryland by Carol Ann Kaye.