Stopchargingmaria, sent to the gate at odds of 7/2, engaged in a stretch long duel with Vero Amore and pulled a head by a neck in the shadow of the wire to win the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness Friday. Fortune Pearl and Joint Return finished a well-beaten third and fourth.
Image of Anna set the early pace through tepid opening splits of 23.74 and 48.90 for the opening half mile. Vero Amore stalked the early speed while Stopchargingmaria sat in fifth as the field made their way down the backstretch. Another pedestrian quarter mile split saw the field hit the six furlong mark in 1:14.34. Stopchargingmaria, sitting about four spots off the rail in fourth as the field neared the far turn, rolled up to the lead mid-way on the far turn, pulling even with Vero Amore at the top of the lane. From that point, Stopchargingmaria gradually wore down the pesky runner-up, besting her rival by a neck at the wire.
Stopchargingmaria is a three-year-old filly by Tale of the Cat out of a Montbrook mare (Exotic Bloom), trained by Todd Pletcher (his fourth win in the Black-Eyed Susan), and ridden by Javier Castellano. The Black-Eyed Susan is Stopchargingmaria's third win against graded stakes company; the filly won the G2-Demoiselle and the G3-Tempted at Aqueduct as a juvenile.
Below are the results of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes:
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