2012 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico

Dave Bond, OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV -- The Grade 2 Dixie Stakes is on tap for Pimlico this Saturday, May 19th - site of the Preakness Stakes that is to be run later that day. Horses three years old and upward will be after their share of the $300,000 purse when they go 1 1/8 miles on Pimlico's turf track.

The 2012 Dixie Stakes is just one of six stakes races on Pimlico's stacked Saturday card and it may be the best of the opening acts for the Preakness. A quality field of 11 will go in race 11 on Pimlico's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:18 - right before the big one. Let's take a look at the 11 entries and how they looked prior to this Grade 2 event.

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2012 Dixie Stakes Race Favorites

Casino Host - Chad Brown colt Casino Host has put aside a disappointing pair of sixth place finishes to close out 2011 with two straight wins in 2012 - the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap at Fair Grounds on April 1st and Allowance score at Gulfstream on February 4th. He is starting from the far outside which certainly isn't ideal however.

Smart Bid - followed up an impressive win at the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Handicap on February 25th with an unimpressive seventh last time out in the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap. Smart Bid has been up and down and will be hoping for an up on Saturday.

2012 Dixie Stakes Remaining Field Entries

Air Support - was very impressive in 2011 - a win in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby last July was the highlight of a year that included a second at the Grade 3 Hill Prince Stakes in June, a third in the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes in May and a win in the Grade 3 Transylvania Stake last April. But in her only start this year, Air Support was fifth in an Allowance at Keeneland on April 7th. It has been awhile since Air Support was a contender but she has shown that she definitely has the stuff.

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Hudson Steele - Todd Pletcher gelding Hudson Steele has had success placing in eight of nine career starts including wins in four of her last six and two seconds over that stretch. It was nearly a year between her second place finish in the Grade 3 Fort Macy Stakes in May of last year and most recently a win at the Henry S. Clark Stakes on April 28th on this track. This will be Hudson Steele's second graded stakes action after her previous second place finish.

Trend - has two straight second place finishes in graded stakes races coming into the Dixie - the Appleton Stakes and the Canadian Turf Stakes both at Gulfstream this year. Trend won an Allowance race in her only other start this year and is definitely on the radar for the Dixie.

Humble and Hungry - Posted an impressive win in November in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes at Churchill Downs and followed it up with a fourth on this track on April 28th in the Henry S. Clark Stakes. In 11 career starts she has two wins, three seconds and four third place finishes.

Straight Story - makes her 2012 debut this weekend after an impressive win to close out 2011 in the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes at Woodbine. Prior to that however was a pair of seventh place finishes and a sixth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap.

Vanquisher - will be making her first graded stakes appearance in over a year having recorded a second and two third place finishes in 2012 - the last result being a second in the Turf Classic Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on April 7th.

Boxeur des Rues - started 2012 with a win at Santa Anita in an Allowance race but since has struggled to a sixth in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap on March 3rd and a 10th at the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 5th.

Forte Dei Marmi - won an Allowance race last time out at Keeneland and has just one graded stakes race under her belt - a 10th in the Grade 1 Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes in September.

Avenida Paseo - will be making her graded stakes debut after two straight wins in Allowance races in the month of April.

Dixie Stakes Entries

Race 11 on Pimlico's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:18 PM.

Post Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Vanquisher S. Russell G. Griffith
2 Humble and Hungry J. Lezcano I. Correas, IV
3 Hudson Steele J. Castellano T. Pletcher
4 Straight Story R. Dominguez A. Goldberg
5 Trend A. Solis M. Frostad
6 Boxeur des Rues M. Gutierrez D. O'Neill
7 Smart Bid E. Prado H. Motion
8 Avenida Paseo A. Castellano, Jr. J. Corrales
9 Air Support J. Leparoux C. McGaughey III
10 Forte Dei Marmi M. Smith R. Attfield
11 Casino Host J. Velazquez C. Brown

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