First of 6 Stakes, 4 Graded, Worth $1 Million on Black-Eyed Susan Card
BALTIMORE, Md. – Robert and Lawana Low’s Spice Is Nice, racing for just the second time in nine months, put away Dreamalildreamofu in mid-stretch and edged clear by 1 ½ lengths to earn her first career stakes win in Friday’s $150,000 Allaire du Pont (G3) at Pimlico Race Course.
The 28th running of the 1 1/8-mile Allaire du Pont for fillies and mares 3 and up was the first of six stakes, four graded, worth $1 million in purses on a sensational 14-race Black-Eyed Susan Day program headlined by the 97th edition of the 1 1/8-mile fixture for 3-year-old fillies.
Spice Is Nice ($6.60) completed the distance in 1:48.71 over a fast main track to give both Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez and Hall of Fame-elect trainer Todd Pletcher their fourth du Pont victories. They previously teamed up to win the 2015 edition with Stopchargingmaria.
Dreamalildreamofu and Spice Is Nice broke from the gate and raced side by side through fractions of 23.54 and 47.62 seconds, chased closest by 80-1 long shot Landing Zone and 8-5 favorite Horologist along the rail in fourth. Spice Is Nice, on the outside, forged a short lead after going six furlongs in 1:11.15 and straightened for home with a slight advantage as Dreamalildreamofu refused to yield, but Spice Is Nice dug in for more inside the eighth pole for her fourth win from seven career starts.
Full of Fun Racing and Madaket Stables’ Dreamalildreamofu was clear in second, two lengths ahead of Brad Cox-trained stablemate Getridofwhatailesu. It was another length back to Horologist in fourth, with Landing Zone fifth.
Spice Is Nice was purchased for $1.05 million as a yearling in September 2018 and is the son of two-time Horse of the Year and 2014 Hall of Famer Curlin and grandson of champion Bernardini – both Preakness winners. She was second in the Davona Dale (G2) last February in just her second start and wound up sixth in the Alabama (G1) over the summer before getting time off. She returned to capture a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance April 9 at Keeneland by 2 ¼ lengths.
The du Pont honors the late avid sportswoman and horsewoman best known as the owner of Hall of Famer Kelso, the unprecedented and unsurpassed winner of five consecutive Horse of the Year championships from 1960-64.
$150,000 Allaire du Pont (G3) Quotes
Winning Trainer Todd Pletcher (Spice is Nice): “She’s a filly. We’ve always thought a lot of. I trained her mother. She’s a big strong filly that took a little time to get it all together. After the Alabama last year, she just lost some weight and we needed to regroup and gave her some time off. It seems like it has paid dividends. She’s come back, put on some weight. We had a perfect prep race back and felt like this was good timing and knew she would handle the mile and an eighth.
“When she came by the wire the first time I was very happy. We weren’t exactly sure who all was going to show some speed. Our main focus was just getting her away in good order and getting her into a good rhythm. When she does that she’s very effective.”
Winning Jockey John Velazquez (Spice Is Nice): “We talked about it with Todd. There didn’t seem like a lot of speed. [Trainer Shug] McGaughey’s filly (#6 Mrs. Danvers) showed a little speed but not on a fast pace. So does the [Trainer Bill] Mott filly (#5 Horologist). The only horse that showed a little speed was the horse inside who had the lead going into the first turn. So we thought we might as well come out of there running and get a position. And if those two horses go, we can sit third or fourth and I ended up having the lead by the time we got to the backstretch. She was doing it comfortably, so I was pleased the way she was doing it. She’s not used to being that close and then on the lead. She was waiting for the competition to come to her. So she kind of fooled with the horse inside of her, but she was waiting.”
“We always liked this filly since she was very young. She’s a big filly. She’s kind of come back better this year. She’s stronger mentally and kind of put it all together.”
Trainer Brad Cox (Dreamalildreamofu, 2nd); Getridofwhatailesu, 3rd): “I super-pleased with the effort [of Dreamalildreamofu]. She kind of got pressed a little ways around but she stayed on well. I’m really proud of her.
“[Getridofwhatailesu] ran well, too. She rallied for third. She was last, stayed down on the inside, then came running to finish well.”
Jockey Florent Geroux (Dreamalildreamofu, 2nd): “She ran a big race. It set up with nice honest fractions. The winner was right next to us. It looked like she was trying to come back on her at the eighth pole. The winner was just the best filly down the lane.
“She won very easy in New Orleans. Usually when you win by that many lengths (9 ¼) you’re hoping for big things. She won the last time on the synthetic. Stakes-winner, graded stakes-placed. I’m sure the connections are happy. She ran hard down the lane, but the winner was just a little bit better today.”
Jockey Junior Alvarado (Horologist, beaten favorite; 4th): “I had a great trip, right where I wanted to be. One thing I just found out today is she doesn’t want to be covered up. The couple times I have won on her she’s been outside in the clear. When she was covered up like that she dropped the bridle and after that and didn’t really take me through. It was a great trip but she doesn’t want to be inside covered up.”
Pimlico Press Release
Photo: Spice Is Nice, center. (Maryland Jockey Club)