By Gene Kershner
BALTIMORE, Md. – On a beautiful day at Pimlico Race Course before 32,473 sun soaked racing fans, Todd Pletcher was the big winner with an ice cold exacta in the $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, as his 3-year-old fillies In Lingerie ($9.80) and Disposablepleasure completed a $62 exacta for the five-time Eclipse winning trainer.
“That was a big effort to run 1-2 like that. I’m pleasantly happy. We wee pretty concerned at the start because one of the things Johnny (Velazquez) and I talked about in the paddock was that she might have to make a wide sweep. I think she made a big step forward to be one of the leaders in the division today,” Pletcher said of In Lingerie.
Velazquez did a tremendous riding job after his winning filly stumbled at the start, righted her and was all the best through the stretch after hitting the sixteenth pole. The Empire Maker filly won the$300,000 Grade 2 event coming off a win in the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park in March. She completed the nine furlongs in 1:52.07 and held off the hard charging Disposablepleasure by 1 ¼-lengths.
Second place finisher Disposablepleasure will be a horse to be reckoned with for the rest of the season after running a big race. Had she had running room at he quarter pole she may have threatened the winner. Pletcher was equally complimentary of his place horse. “I thought she ran a huge race. She kind of got squeezed a little bit at the top of the stretch, but she kept running and gave a real good account of herself,” said Pletcher. Jockey Javier Castellano was even more positive with his recap of the race. “I had to go around and lost momentum. I should have won the race. I had the best in there,” said the jockey.
In the 42nd renewal of the Grade 3 Pimlico Special, Alternation ($10.20) held off Nehro at the wire by a nose to claim the $180,000 first place money in Friday’s feature race at Pimlico Race Course. Alternation won his fourth straight race, after winning his first three efforts of 2012 at Oaklawn Park.
In Preakness news, jockey Ramon Dominguez will ride Tiger Walk in the 137th Preakness Stakes Saturday, replacing Kent Desormeaux, trainer Ignacio Correas IV said Friday. Desormeaux failed a Breathalyzer test at Belmont Park Friday and was removed from his three mounts on the program. He has not been suspended, but the New York State Racing and Wagering Board is conducting an investigation. “It was a team decision,” Correas said. “Ramon is a great rider. We’re happy to have him.”
Tiger Walk will be Dominguez’ 10th Preakness mount. His best finishes were seconds aboard Scrappy T (runner-up to Afleet Alex) in 2005 and First Dude (runner-up to Lookin at Lucky) in 2010.
Check back tomorrow as we'll be live blogging the Preakness day card from Pimlico, right here at the Sports, Ink blog.