"I liked how the race unfolded," said Redwood Kitten trainer Wesley Ward. "He got away with an easy first quarter and then it was just a sprint home. This horse is a lot better with a little bit more spacing between his races. That's why we didn't run two weeks ago at Churchill in the American Turf. He has really blossomed in the last couple weeks."
Trainer Dickie Small's horse, English Minister, had his heels clipped by Yougotthatgoinforu entering the first turn and couldn't rally. Because of the run-in, Yougotthatgoinforu lost his rider and didn't finish.
Race 8, The Allaire Dupont Distaff Stakes: Velazquez got his first win of the day, riding Summer Applause in the $150,000 stakes.
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The 8-5 favorite, Summer Applause trailed Daydreamin Gracie outside early in the 1 1/16-mile dirt race. Velazquez kept his filly in good position heading into the last turn and edged out Sea Island for the win. Sea Island took second and Brushed by a Star, Rosario's fifth mount of the day, finished third.
"There wasn't much speed in the race," Velazquez said. "I wanted to stay reasonably close to the lead. I asked her for run in the last quarter of a mile and she responded well. We knew it was going to be a slow pace coming into the race. When I needed to move with her she gave me the run I asked for."
Race 9, The Gallorette Stakes: Pianist took an early lead and drove in the final stretch to clinch victory in the $150,000 race.
Hard Not to Like stumbled out of the gate but rallied back to take second under the guidance of Velazquez, and Appealing Cat took third. Samitar, the even-money favorite, took fourth. Pianist, with 6-1 odds, paid $15.40 to win the 1 1/16-mile race on the turf.
Race 10, The Maryland Sprint Handicap: Velazquez won another close race. Sage Valley started well out of the gate but sat in the middle of the pack for most of the race until he pulled ahead down the stretch to win $150,000 stakes.
It was the horse's fourth straight victory and second straight stakes win. Sage Valley finished the six furlong race on the dirt in 1:10.51. Hardened Wildcat finished second and Laurie's Rocket took third.
"We had a perfect post position and we had a perfect trip," Velazquez said. "I thought there was plenty of speed in the race and if I could sit just off the lead and make a run down the lane that would be perfect. He responded just the way a horse should."
Race 11, The Dixie Stakes: In a foreshadow to the Preakness, trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens got their first victories of the day, as Skyring upset the field and won the $300,000 race.
With 12-1 odds, Skyring took an early lead, widened the gap in midstretch, and held on at the end. Willcox Inn rallied to finish second, and Optimizer, who ran in the 2012 Kentucky Derby, took third. Skyring finished the 1 1/8-mile turf race in 1:47.87. He paid $50.40 to win.
Race 13: Jockey Rosie Napravnik finally got a win in the day's final race, riding heavy favorite Code West to victory.
The pack was crowded heading out of the final turn, and Code West pulled ahead to easily win the 1 1/6-mile dirt race. Crown Polis took second and Forest Jingles took third. Dinos Romance, who was leading heading into the final turn, faded to ninth.
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