Dylan Smith, who graduated to trainer this spring after Maryland legend Dickie Small passed away, won her first stakes today when Brooke Bowman's Vielsalm galloped home to win the $125,000 All Brandy Stakes, the first of four stakes races on the opening weekend at Laurel Park.
“Very exciting and also a little emotional,” Smith said. “Dickie was excited about this filly.”
This was the first stakes victory for Vielsalm as well, in a race restricted to Maryland-bred fillies and mares. Julian Pimentel guided the daughter of Fairbanks from last to first, saving ground and then moving between horses to win by a neck. Frontrunner Nashly's Vow finished second with post time favorite Joy third.
“The mile and an eighth was much better for her today,” Pimentel said. “I saved ground on both turns and had the perfect trip. On the rail, everything opened up and I got through. When I asked her for run, she got through and took off. It worked out great.”
Vielsalm covered the 1-1/8th mile distance in 1:49.88 over the firm turf and paid $21.20.
“Last time we ran her at 7-1/2 at Delaware as a prep because we couldn't get her in a longer race,” added Smith. “This horse is the type the older she gets the better she gets. Julian gets along with her so well. She gets real fussy and he knows how to deal with her.”
Formerly assistant trainer to Small, Smith won her first race at Pimlico Race Course in late May and has two victories with Vielsalm.
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