July 15, 2024

First Captain rallies for Pimlico Special; Super Quick, Lady Scarlet much the best in undercard stakes

First Captain wins the Pimlico Special (Photo by Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)

A trio of stakes, including the $350,000 Pimlico Special (G3) at Saturday’s 1 3/16-mile Preakness distance, were offered on Pimlico’s main track prior to Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan (G2).

Pimlico Special (G3)

First Captain rallied wide into contention off the far turn and edged Vindictive by a head in the final strides of the Pimlico Special. Trained by Shug McGaughey, the four-year-old colt prevailed as the 5-1 third choice among 10 runners, and Luis Saez picked up the mount for owners West Point Thoroughbreds, Sienna Farm, Bobby Flay, and Woodford Racing.

Adding blinkers after the lone poor showing in a seven-race career, a last of seven in the April 9 Carter H. (G1) at Aqueduct, First Captain stalked a moderate pace in midpack before launching his rally. He notched his second graded stakes triumph, taking the Dwyer (G3) over a one-turn mile at Belmont Park last June, and the latter capped a three-race winning to start his racing career. However, First Captain made only one more start at three, finishing third as the favorite in 1 1/8-mile Curlin S. at Saratoga.

The 1 3/16-mile Pimlico Special marked his first two-turn win, and the chestnut was timed in 1:56.24.

Vindictive, the even-money favorite, struck the front in midstretch and determinedly battled to the wire before just missing, winding up 1 1/4 lengths clear of pacesetter Untreated in third. Workin On a Dream, Mohaafeth, Treasure Trove, Mischief Afoot, Excellorator, Capocostello, and Forewarned completed the order.

Bred in Kentucky by Flay, First Captain was purchased for $1.5 million at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga August yearling sale. He’s the first winner out of the Grade 3-winning A.P. Indy mare America, and First Captain boosted his bankroll to $470,100.

First Captain could point to the Stephen Foster (G2) at Churchill Downs on July 2.

Allaire duPont Distaff (G3)

Marylou Whitney Stables’ homebred Super Quick dominated the $150,000 Allaire duPont Distaff (G3) on the lead, drawing off to a 14 1/4-length win in the 1 1/8-mile test for fillies and mares. Florent Geroux was up for Norm Casse on the four-year-old daughter of Super Saver.

A dead-heat third when making her stakes debut against Malathaat in the April 22 Doubledogdare (G3) at Keeneland, Super Quick benefited from the scratch of the speedy Lil Kings Princess in her second stakes attempt, sprinting to a clear lead after the break. She dictated early splits in :23.53 and :46.39 before beginning to widen her advantage on the far turn, and Super Quick powered away spectacularly in the stretch, stopping the teletimer in 1:47.28.

Leaving the starting gate as the 2-1 third choice, Super Quick was followed by 3-2 favorite Exotic West, Frost Point, Click to Confirm, and Into Vanishing under the wire.

Out of the Cape Town mare Quick Town, Kentucky-bred Super Quick counts stakes winner and multiple graded-placed Viva Majorca as a half-brother, and stakes-placed Quick Quick Quick as a half-sister. She’s now earned more than $400,000 from a 11-4-1-2 career line.

The Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs on July 2 is likely next for Super Quick.

Miss Preakness (G3)

Lady Scarlet stalked a pair of dueling frontrunners to the conclusion of the far turn and seized command after entering the stretch, powering away to a 3 3/4-length decision in the $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3) for three-year-old fillies. Irad Ortiz Jr. had the riding assignment for Mike Maker and owners Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher.

Haltered for $150,000 from a maiden claiming win in her fourth career outing last fall, Lady Scarlet made her stakes debut a winning one three starts later, rolling to an easy score in the Cicada S. at Aqueduct in mid-March. The dark bay was exiting a fourth in the April 10 Beaumont (G3) at Keeneland, and she has now bankrolled more than $300,000 from a 9-4-2-0 career line.

Lady Scarlet was off as the 5-2 second choice and completed six furlongs in 1:10.07.

Happy Soul, the 4-5 favorite, held second after being pressured throughout by Gimmick, who wound up a length back in third. Next came Verylittlecents, Saucy Lady T, and La Casa d’Oro.

By Union Rags, Lady Scarlet was bred in Kentucky by Popatop and is the first stakes winner from the Include mare Exclude, a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Exhi and French stakes victor Diluvien.