Todd Pletcher may not have a horse in today’s Preakness line-up, but he certainly has plenty to celebrate about with two stakes wins at Pimlico yesterday, including Stopchargingmaria’s victory in the Grade II Black-Eyed Susan. The Mike Repole ownered filly ran the 1-1/8 mile race in 1:51.79, after rallying from behind to edge out 15-1 shot Vero Amore by a neck. Stopchargingmaria, who was named for Repole’s wife and her credit card use, has now amassed $874,900 in total career earnings.
"It set up perfectly for us and I had a beautiful trip," stated Jockey Javier Castellano, who also rode Stopchargingmaria for her two prior stakes wins, as well as her second place finish in the Spinaway Stakes on a sloppy, sealed track at Saratoga last summer. "We took a look at the race beforehand. We figured there'd be a lot of speed and I just wanted to put her in a good position. We saved ground going into the first turn and after that it was a matter of keeping her in the clear. I had ridden her before at Saratoga on an off track, and she had no problems with it today at all. At the top of the stretch, I was pretty confident."
This was Pletcher’s fourth Black-Eyed Susan win. His second victory of the day came in the Grade III Pimlico Special, when Mike Smith drove Revolutionary from last to first, also beating Prayer for Relief by a neck. Revolutionary finished the 1-3/16 mile stakes over a fast track in 1:55.99, a big redemption over his 7th place finish in the Donn Handicap in February. Revolutionary, won the 2013 Louisiana Derby and Withers Stakes, but ended up finishing third in the Kentucky Derby and 5th in the 2013 Belmont Stakes. He did win his 2014 debut in an allowance/optional claiming test in January however.
In the meantime, coverage for the 139th Preakness will begin today at 4:30pm on Channel 4, with post time scheduled for 6:19pm.