Revolutionary Rallies from Last to Win $300,000 Pimlico Special
BALTIMORE, 05-16-14 – WinStar Farm’s Revolutionary launched an extended and thrilling rally to register a narrow victory in Friday’s $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3).
The Todd Pletcher-trained 4-year-old was slow to get into stride over the racing surface that was turned ‘sloppy’ by 2-1/4 inches of rain that fell during the morning hours but was upgraded to ‘fast’ shortly before the 44th running of the Special.
After trailing the nine-horse field by open lengths heading into the backstretch, the son of War Pass leveled off under jockey Mike Smith and steadily made progress heading into the far turn, where he began to circle the field.
Revolutionary loomed as a wide threat at the top of the stretch and kicked in with a determined bid to catch Prayer for Relief at the wire by a neck. Cat Burglar finished another 1 ¼ lengths back in third.
Revolutionary ran 1 3/16 miles in 1:55.99 as the 2-1 betting choice in the historic race on a card that included the $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2), a race Pletcher also captured with Stopchargingmaria.
The on-track attendance was 34,736 with the 13-race program generating a handle of $11,346,688
“I am very happy with the day considering where we were this morning,” Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas said. “At 5:30 it was raining sideways and you couldn’t see. The card got pulled apart with six races coming off the turf creating a lot of scratches which made it difficult. But overall I am pleased. My team did a great job and worked hard under adverse conditions. The track was fast by the end of the day and we will be good to go on the turf tomorrow.”
The Ultimate Girls Day Out festivities also included an infield concert with the Counting Crows, The Fray and Annie Bosko and a keynote address by Academy Award-nominated actress and author Mariel Hemingway at the inaugural Morgan Stanley Women in Business networking event & luncheon in the Preakness Village. Proceeds benefitted the Maryland Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and Baltimore-based Suited To Succeed.
Revolutionary, who paid $6.40 to win, earned $180,000 for his fifth victory in 12 lifetime starts. Last year, the Kentucky-bred colt won the Withers (G3) and the Louisiana Derby (G2) before finishing third in the 2013 Kentucky Derby. He had not won a race since capturing an allowance test at Gulfstream Park to start 2014 and most recently finished second in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2).
PIMLICO SPECIAL QUOTES
Winning Trainer Todd Pletcher (Revolutionary): “That was a good win. He came from way, way off it (the pace). We didn’t anticipate being that far back, but I felt a little better when the fractions were as fast as they were. Once they threw up 46 (seconds)-and-change, I felt better. Turning for home he was right in the mix. I think he showed last year and as a 2-year-old that he was a really good horse. He won the Louisiana Derby and he was third in the Kentucky Derby. The time off we gave him after the Belmont Stakes (June to January) did him well. This was a big effort for him.”
Winning Jockey Mike Smith (Revolutionary): “I didn’t realize I was going to be so far back. I even asked him a little bit coming out of the gate. I was a little concerned and I thought, ‘They’ve got to be flying out there.’ I started picking up horses about the 4 ½-pole. Going past the five-eighths, he really started to level off and I felt very confident that he was going to run well. I didn’t know if he would get by all of them, but at the quarter-pole I was pretty confident.”
Assistant trainer Tammy Fox (Prayer for Relief, 2nd): “Coming into this race he trained super over this surface. I knew he was going to run a big race, which he did. Johnny (Velazquez) said that he really didn’t want to pass the horse in front and then when he did, he was just as surprised when Revolutionary came up to him. He ran a great race. You can’t take anything away from him.”
Jockey John Velazquez (Prayer for Relief, 2nd): “I had a perfect trip. I was where I wanted to be. I was close. I got to the eighth pole and my horse did not want to pass the horse on the lead. He just hung in there and hung in there and finally put his head in front of the horse. He went to running, and then he went to pull up, and sure enough, the other horse nailed him because he wanted to wait for the other horse. He never saw him until the other horse passed him on the outside.”
Trainer Bob Baffert (Cat Burglar, 3rd): “We got a great trip. I love the way Rosie had him in a great spot. It looks like he’ll be able to run with these top handicap horses. I was trying to find out more about him today. They were going pretty fast and for him to keep on running at the end, I feel that he’ll be better as we go along.”
Jockey Rosie Napravnik (Cat Burglar, 3rd): “I had a pretty good trip on the inside. I just tried to find a way through at the quarter pole and had a ton of horse all the way. We ran really tight down the lane. My horse showed a lot of class and a lot of grit and I really love him. I’m excited to see where he goes next.”