G2 Winner Pixelate among 14 in $100,000 Henry S. Clark

April 22, 2021

Xanthique Chasing First Stakes Victory in $100,000 Dahlia

Carotari, Completed Pass Top $100,000 King T. Leatherbury

BALTIMORE – Initially split between running Grade 2 winner Pixelate and fellow 4-year-old stakes winner Doc Boy, trainer Michael Stidham opted to enter both as part of a solid field of 14 for Saturday’s $100,000 Henry S. Clark at Pimlico Race Course.

The 21st running of the Clark for 3-year-olds and up going 1 1/16 miles is one of three turf stakes on an 11-race Spring Stakes Spectacular program featuring six stakes worth $650,000 in purses headlined by the $125,000 Federico Tesio, a ‘Win and In’ qualifier for Triple Crown-nominated 3-year-olds to the 146th Preakness Stakes (G1) May 15, and the $125,000 Weber City Miss, a ‘Win and In’ event for 3-year-old fillies to the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 14.

Joining the Clark on the grass Saturday are Maryland’s first turf race of the 2021 season, the $100,000 Dahlia for fillies and mares 3 and up, also at 1 1/16 miles, and the $100,000 King T. Leatherbury for 3-year-olds and up sprinting five furlongs.

First race post time is 12:40 p.m.

Goldophin’s homebred Pixelate has run in 13 consecutive stakes, five of them graded, winning three including the 1 1/8-mile Del Mar Derby (G2) last September. He capped 2020 by capturing the one-mile Woodchopper Dec. 26 at Fair Grounds, and began 2021 running fifth by three lengths at odds of 52-1 in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park.

“Pixelate has been running against some pretty tough company, Grade 1s and Grade 2s his last few, and we’re looking for a spot that hopefully we have a shot at winning. This looks like a spot that we should have a decent chance,” Stidham said. “He’s a very honest type and he tries hard every time.”

In his most recent outing, Pixelate ran fourth to Pegasus Turf winner Colonel Liam following a wide trip in the 1 1/8-mile Muniz Memorial Classic (G2) March 20 at Fair Grounds. Making his Pimlico debut, he has a record of 4-5-3 from 16 lifetime starts at 10 different tracks with purse earnings of $413,350.

“He’s been very competitive from a mile up to a mile and a quarter, so I think this distance should suit him fine,” Stidham said. “He’s just one of those horses that’s been very sound. He’s been one that every time we enter him up he goes out there and tries really hard no matter where we are. He’s just one of those kinds of horses that you’d like to have in your barn.”

Stallionaire Enterprises’ Doc Boy has yet to race this year, finishing fifth by 2 ½ lengths to his stablemate in the Woodchopper last time out. He, too, has had a steady diet of stakes since breaking his maiden in July 2019 at Laurel, winning the Kitten’s Joy at Colonial Downs and running third in the Laurel Futurity that summer.

Doc Boy successfully opened his 2020 campaign off a five-month layoff in one-mile Columbia at Tampa Bay Downs. He finished off the board in two subsequent starts six months apart prior to the Woodchopper.

“Doc Boy has been kind of up and down. He’s run some really good races and then in other spots he hasn’t run as well,” Stidham said. “He’s been a little bit of a more difficult horse to place, and we’re hoping that we’ve got him back on top of his game. He hasn’t been quite as successful as Pixelate in his races, although he is a stakes winner, but we’re looking to get him back running well again.”

Ninety One Assault, co-owned by trainer Tom Morley and Paul Braverman, was part of a four-horse photo behind Colonel Liam and runner-up Two Emmys in the Muniz, finishing fifth, just a neck behind Pixelate. The connections are seeking the first open stakes victory for the 8-year-old Artie Schiller gelding, a three-time winner against fellow Louisiana-breds including the 2019 and 2020 Louisiana Champions Day Turf.

“He ran probably the best race of his entire career in the Muniz, getting beat [5 ½] lengths to the best turf horse in North America,” Morley said. “He seems to be doing really, really well. This will be his final run the first part of this year before he has his summer holiday to get ready for the Louisiana turf season. The horse is in super shape and I’m really looking forward to running him.”

Ninety One Assault ran second to multiple graded-stakes winner Doctor Mounty in last year’s Clark, when it was held at Laurel Park. This year’s Spring Stakes Spectacular was moved to Pimlico due to ongoing evaluation and renovation of Laurel’s main track.

“I was really looking forward to running him at Laurel because he’s run very well over that turf course, but we’ll have to see how he’ll handle Pimlico now,” Morley said. “Before I ran him in the Clark I thought that his work was better than I’d ever seen him work and it’s very rare that they maintain their form at the level he has for as long as he has, but it seems like he might be even a little bit better this year. He’s a very big horse and he’s done us proud over the years.”

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey will attempt to defend his Clark victory with Phipps Stable homebred Dreams of Tomorrow. The 4-year-old son of champion dirt sprinter Speightstown removes blinkers for his fourth straight start on the grass, where he broke his maiden Dec. 3 at Aqueduct, was beaten a neck in a Gulfstream Park optional claiming allowance Feb. 20 and most recently was third after setting the pace in a 1 1/16-mile allowance April 3 at the Big A, a neck out of second.

Other horses bringing graded credentials to the Clark include 2019 Kent (G3) winner Eons; Corelli, third in the 2020 United Nations (G1); Dinar, fourth by less than two lengths in the 2020 Ack Ack (G3); and Ballagh Rocks, second in the 2018 Maker’s 46 Mile (G1).

Completing the field are Papal Law, a winner of two straight but unraced since last August; Galerio, third in three consecutive dirt stakes at Laurel yet to run on turf; Chilly in Charge, stakes-placed on dirt and turf; and stakes-placed Dixie Drawl, winless in three career grass attempts. Tybalt and Deal Driven are entered for main track only.

Xanthique Chasing First Stakes Victory in $100,000 Dahlia

VinLaur Racing Stables’ Xanthique, competitive when stretched out for back-to-back stakes over the winter, returns from a two-month break between races looking for her first stakes victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Dahlia at Pimlico Race Course.

The 1 1/16-mile Dahlia for fillies and mares 3 and up on the grass returns to the Maryland stakes schedule after being a casualty of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Xanthique, trained by Tom Morley, began this year running fifth to 2019 Dahlia winner Secret Message in the Marie G. Krantz Memorial. The 5-year-old mare then ran into a yielding course and the starting gate when sixth behind Dalika in the Albert M. Stall Memorial Feb. 13. Both Fair Grounds races were contested at the Dahlia distance.

“She’s been keeping very good company running against Dalika and Secret Message all winter down at the Fair Grounds, and they would be a very short priced favorite in this field. So, I think she’ll have a live chance in here,” Morley said. “We’ve given her a brief freshening after the Fair Grounds where she had a couple of very unlucky trips. She is a very honest filly, and she looks like she’ll have a chance of getting a piece of [it]. I’m looking forward to seeing her run.”

Xanthique has four wins on the turf at distances from 5 ½ furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. She will break from Post 3 in a field of 11 under jockey Feargal Lynch.

“She was certainly probably good for a placing or two in both of her last two starts going two turns at the Fair Grounds, but she’s a filly who’s really matured mentally as she’s gotten older,” Morley said. “She used to be very headstrong in her races and now she’s learned to relax which has meant she’s a much easier filly to run in two-turn races.”

Graham Motion, who trained Secret Message to her Dahlia win, will send out Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb and Wonder Stables’ Crystal Cliffs. Bred in France, where she raced twice in 2019, the 4-year-old filly came to the U.S. last year and ran twice in Kentucky, winning an open allowance in May and being beaten a head as the favorite when second in the Regret (G3) in June, her most recent start.

Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey entered Phipps Stable homebred Vigilante’s Way, winner of the 1 1/16-mile Tropical Park Oaks Dec. 26 at Gulfstream Park. Most recently fifth in the Marshua’s River (G3) at Gulfstream Jan. 23, the 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro has experience at Pimlico, where she ran second by a half-length as the favorite in the one-mile Hilltop Oct. 3 on the Preakness undercard.

Completing the field are Fed Up Fired Up, Lagom, Fionnbharr, Elegant de Domino, Ylikedis and Don’t Blame Judy. Double Fireball and Landing Zone are entered for main track only.

Carotari, Completed Pass Top $100,000 King T. Leatherbury

Multiple stakes winners Carotari and Completed Pass, the latter with a victory at the course and distance, top a field of 13 entered in Saturday’s $100,000 King T. Leatherbury at Pimlico Race Course.

The second running of the Leatherbury for 3-year-olds and up sprinting five furlongs on the turf is the finale on an 11-race Spring Stakes Spectacular program featuring six stakes worth $650,000 in purses.

Robert D. Bone’s Completed Pass returns to the turf for his seasonal debut after an off-the-board finish in the six-furlong Frank Y. Whiteley last November at Laurel Park. The 7-year-old gelding beat Leatherbury rivals So Street and Love You Much in the 5 ½-furlong Laurel Dash last September and won the five-furlong Jim McKay Turf Sprint in 2019 at Pimlico for leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez. Completed Pass was beaten a neck over a yielding course in defense of his McKay title last fall.

William Branch’s Carotari enters the Leatherbury off a second consecutive victory in the five-furlong Silks Run March 13 at Gulfstream Park. Five of his six career wins have come at five-eighths, where he has finished third or better in 11 of 14 tries, and he also captured the 5 ½-furlong Preview Turf Sprint at Ellis Park last summer.

Runnymoore Racing’s So Street hasn’t raced since finishing second, beaten 2 ¼ lengths by multiple stakes winner Fiya, in the Maryland Million Turf Sprint. The 4-year-old gelding has run in 10 consecutive stakes, winning the 5 ½-furlong Howard County for juveniles in 2019 at Laurel Park.

Maribeth Sandford and Lynch Racing’s Francatelli won the five-furlong King Corrie over the Woodbine turf last September to cap a three-race win streak that included a 9 ½-length allowance win at Laurel Park. The 4-year-old City Zip gelding is also set to make his season debut after finishing second by a neck in the seven-furlong Concern last November over Laurel’s main track.

Newstome, trained by Mike Trombetta and owned by his wife, Marie, will race for the first time as a gelding in his first start since finishing off the board in the six-furlong Jersey Shore on the dirt at Monmouth Park last October. Though winless in his only try on turf, the son of Goldencents is two-for-four on synthetics including a 5 ½-length triumph in the six-furlong Woodstock last summer at Woodbine.

Fair Catch, Blessed Arion, Love You Much, Robey’s Boy, Williston Way, Grab the Gold and Dendrobia complete the field. Whiskey and You is entered for main track only.

Pimlico Press Release

Photo: Pixelate, (Chelsea Durand)

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