Four $100,000 Stakes, Two Each on Dirt & Turf, Saturday Sept. 24
BALTIMORE, Md.— A total of 143 nominations were made to a quartet of $100,000 stakes, two each on dirt and turf, on a Saturday, Sept. 24 program that helps comprise closing weekend of historic Pimlico Race Course’s fall meet.
Pimlico launched its nine-day fall meet Sept. 9 and served up four stakes worth $475,000 in purses Sept. 10 led by Set Piece ’s second straight graded triumph at Pimlico in the $200,000 Baltimore-Washington International Turf Cup (G3). Set Piece’s prior win came in the May 21 Dinner Party (G2) on the undercard of the 147th Preakness Stakes (G1).
Featured on the final Saturday of Pimlico’s fall stand are the 1 1/16-mile Polynesian for 3-year-olds and up and six-furlong Weather Vane for 3-year-old fillies on dirt and the Laurel Dash for 3-year-olds and up and Sensible Lady Turf Dash for fillies and mares 3 and older, both sprinting five furlongs on the grass.
Most popular among horsemen was the Sensible Lady, which attracted 41 nominations led by 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) winner Twilight Gleaming and Robin Sparkles, 21-1 upset winner of the Caress (G3) July 23 at Saratoga; and fellow multiple stakes winners Bulletproof One, defending champion Can the Queen, Creative Credit, Dontletsweetfoolya, Miss J McKay and Spun Glass.
Also prominent among Sensible Lady nominees are stakes winners Can’t Buy Love, Ellanation and Lady Edith; Honey Pants and Whispurring Kitten, respectively 2-3 behind Can the Queen in the May 20 The Very One at Pimlico; and Golden Bell, the Wesley Ward-trained stablemate of Twilight Gleaming that is unbeaten in two starts this year including a win over her elders last out Aug. 1 in a Monmouth Park allowance.
Twilight Gleaming and Golden Bell are also among 38 nominees to the Laurel Dash along with Carotari, whose multiple grass stakes wins include the 2021 Troy (G3) at Saratoga; and Dale Capuano-trained stablemates Alwaysinahurry, winner of the 2021 Concern at Laurel Park, and Justwaveandsmile, who strung together six consecutive wins sprinting on the turf including the July 30 Ben’s Cat at Laurel before a troubled fourth in the Da Hoss Sept. 6 at Colonial Downs.
Also nominated are 3-year-old colt Blue Collar Boom, undefeated in two career dirt starts this year for trainer Damon Dilodovico; and stakes winners Chess Master, Classicstateofmind, Cowan, Determined Kingdom, Grateful Bred, Greeley and Ben, Nothing Better, Smooth B and Spycraft.
Ridin With Biden, fourth in the Aug. 20 Iselin (G3) at Monmouth following his dominant victory in the 1 1/8-mile Deputed Testamony July 30 at Laurel, and 2020 Maryland Million Classic winner Monday Morning Qb top 29 nominees to the Polynesian. Both were trained by Robert E. ‘Butch’ Reid Jr. at the time of their wins, but Monday Morning Qb was claimed out of his last start Aug. 24 at Delaware Park for $62,500 by trainer Norman ‘Lynn’ Cash.
Other nominees include 2021 Peter Pan (G3) winner Promise Keeper, trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher; multiple stakes winners Bal Harbour, claimed from Pletcher by trainer Robertino Diodoro out of an 8 ¾-length victory Sept. 5 at Saratoga, Double Crown, Sea Foam and Tappin Cat; Dontmesawithme, winner of the April 23 Harrison E. Johnson Memorial at Laurel; Laurel’s Feb. 19 John B. Campbell winner Galerio; Joe Sharp-trained stablemates Twilight Blue and Intrepid Heart, respectively 1-2 in the Aug. 13 Fort Larned; and Plot the Dots, second to Riden With Biden in the Deputed Testamony.
Lady Scarlet, who captured the six-furlong Miss Preakness (G3) May 20 at Pimlico; Elm Drive, winner of the 2021 Sorrento (G2) at Del Mar; Feb. 5 Forward Gal (G3) winner Girl With a Dream, unraced since March 5; stakes winners Buy the Best, Disco Ebo, Stand Up Comic and Swayin to and Fro, the latter in Pimlico’s Sept. 10 Shine Again; graded-stakes placed Half Is Enough and Smash Ticket; and Intrepid Daydream, riding a three-race win streak; are among 35 nominees to the Weather Vane.
Pimlico will wrap up the fall meet Sunday, Sept. 25 before racing moves to Laurel Park for its calendar year-ending fall stand starting Friday, Sept. 30.
David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
Photo: Set Piece charging forward under Sheldon Russell to victory in the BWI Turf Cup G3 with the historic old Pimlico grandstand in the background. (Jim McCue/MJC)