July 18, 2024

Point of Honor overcomes wide trip in Black-Eyed Susan

Point of Honor and jockey Javier Castellano win the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) at Pimlico on May 17, 2019 (c) Horsephotos.com/Cecilia Gustavsson

Wide throughout in Friday’s $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico, Point of Honor nonetheless wore down the ground-saving Ulele to win the Preakness eve feature by a half-length, just missing the stakes record set by Hall of Fame champion Silverbulletday 20 years ago.

Three wide down the backside and four wide entering the homestretch, Point of Honor bid outside of long-time leader Cookie Dough while Ulele rallied up inside the pacesetter. After dispensing with Cookie Dough, the pair dueled briefly before Point of Honor edged clear late.

Ridden by Javier Castellano, who was enjoying his fourth stakes victory and fifth overall on the day, Point of Honor covered nine furlongs over a fast track in 1:47.88. Silverbulletday’s time in 1999 was 1:47.83.

Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Stetson Racing, Point of Honor paid $7.80 as the second choice in the field of eight. Cookie Dough finished 2 1/4 lengths behind Ulele in third, with Brill fourth. Narrow favorite Always Shopping finished sixth.

A George Weaver-trained daughter of Curlin, Point of Honor won on debut by six lengths at Gulfstream Park in December, then proved 2 3/4 lengths best in the $100,000 Suncoast at Tampa Bay Downs on February 9. In her most recent start, the chestnut finished two lengths fourth in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2). She’s now earned $246,375.

“We really believed in this filly and things didn’t quite go her way in the Gulfstream Park Oaks, which we though would be enough to qualify her for the Kentucky Oaks (G1),” said Eclipse Thoroughbreds’ Aron Wellman. “We were on the outside looking in and didn’t get in, and here we are today.”

Bred in Kentucky by Siena Farms, Point of Honor is out of Zayanna, a Bernardini half-sister to Grade 3 winners Mr Freeze and Dilemma. Her fourth dam was the multiple Grade 1-winning Sabin.

Unsurprisingly, trainer Chad Brown one-two in the $100,000 Hilltop for three-year-old fillies when Dogtag fended off 2-1 favored stablemate Nova Sol by 1 3/4-lengths in the one-mile grass test.

Jockey Javier Castellano’s fourth winner and third consecutive stakes win on the card, Dogtag paid $8.20 after completing the course in 1:36.71 on good ground.

Owned and bred by LNJ Foxwoods, who also campaign Miss Preakness (G3) winner Covfefe, Dogtag was elevated to third in her debut at Saratoga last August in an off-the-turf maiden. She next prevailed by one length when favored in the $100,000 P.G. Johnson, but concluded her juvenile campaign running fourth behind stablemate Newspaperofrecord in the Miss Grillo (G2).

The War Front filly has now earned $137,200.

With the defections of morning line favorites Bound for Nowhere and Pure Sensation, the public choice’s role in the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint fell to Completed Pass, who obliged with a one-length victory in a time of :57.35 for five furlongs. The five-year-old son of Pass Rush paid $4.40.

Owned by Robert Bone, trained by Claudio Gonzalez, and ridden by Victor Carrasco, Completed Pass earned his first stakes win here after a narrow loss in the $100,000 King Leatherbury at Laurel last month.