Filly Become Stakes Winner in 14th Career Start
BALTIMORE, Md. – Experience paid off for Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher’s Evil Lyn, racing fourth time off the claim and becoming a stakes winner for the first time in her 14th career start in Saturday’s $100,000 Hilltop at Pimlico Race Course.
The 48th running of the one-mile Hilltop for 3-year-old fillies on turf was fourth on a 12-race, all-stakes Preakness Day program featuring the $1 million Preakness (G1) and $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2).
A 3-year-old daughter of Wicked Strong trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Maryland-based Horacio Karamanos, Evil Lyn ($9.40) had made more starts than anyone in the 12-horse field and had been stakes-placed, running third in the Indiana Grand Stakes Aug. 12, her second race since being claimed for $40,000.
It was 80-1 long shot Hollywood Hoopla, breaking from the far outside post, that sprinted to the lead and held it after a quarter-mile in 23.94 seconds and a half in 48.50 with Caravel, undefeated in three career starts including the Lady Erie Stakes last out, and Ontario Colleen (G3) winner Chart right behind.
Evil Lyn sat off the leaders, swept to the outside on the far turn and straightened for home in command, holding off a late rush from Vigilantes Way to win by a half-length in 1:42.25 over the yielding course.
“The first couple of races we ran her she was pretty keen. She got a nice stalking trip on the outside today and an excellent ride,” winning trainer Mike Maker explained.
(On claiming Evil Lyn) “We liked her stretching out on the turf. I thought her numbers were very good. A young filly and we took a shot.”
Both Maker and Karamanos earned their first Hilltop victory. Following Vigilantes Way were Caravel in third and 16-1 long shot Lucky Jingle in fourth.
“After the three-eighths pole the horses stopped a little bit and the (Michael) Trombetta horse (American Giant) was moving nicely and I followed her. At the top of the stretch she took the lead. I asked her to go and give me a nice kick and she was still going to the wire, thankfully. She was stopping a little bit, but not enough to finish second. She won nice,” Karamanos explained.
“I saw that my filly has a lot of speed, but there was a lot of speed in the race, too. The track is soft today and if you go fast, the horse doesn’t finish any good. My filly broke really well out of the gate. I stayed to the outside. When the speed moved inside of me, I tried to sit behind and relax,” he continued.
The Hilltop is a shortened version of Pimlico’s long-standing nickname, Old Hilltop, in recognition of a large infield hill prominent for viewing races. The hill was leveled in 1938.
Photo: Evil Lyn. Credit: Maryland Jockey Club