Stopchargingmaria Charges to Victory in Black-Eyed Susan Stakes
BALTIMORE, 05-16-14 â€“ Repole Stableâ€™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): â€œIt 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, Iâ€™m not really sure why her first two races this year didnâ€™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 itâ€™s my fourth Black Eyed Susan.â€
Winning Jockey Javier Castellano (Stopchargingmaria): â€œIt set up perfectly for us and I had a beautiful trip. We took a look at the race beforehand. We figured thereâ€™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.â€
Trainer Robert Reid Jr. (Vero Amore, 2nd): â€œI canâ€™t believe she is still not a stakes winner. Sheâ€™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. Iâ€™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.â€
Jockey Frank Pennington (Vero Amore, 2nd): â€œI thought I had it coming off the turn and weâ€™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. Iâ€™m very proud of her.â€
Trainer Graham Motion (Fortune Pearl, 3rd): â€œI was pleased with her race. She was coming off short rest. She won very impressively last time, and she showed today that it wasnâ€™t a fluke.â€
Jockey Trevor McCarthy (Fortune Pearl, 3rd): â€œI 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.â€
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