Making her first start of the 2019 season, Lael Stables' Chalon made it look easy in Friday's $100,000 Skipat Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. The 5-year-old daughter of Dialed In was ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Arnaud Delacour, marking the pair's second win in a row after taking the sixth race with Eons. Chalon won the six-furlong sprint by two lengths as the 3-5 favorite over Everlasting Secret, stopping the clock in 1:09.46 over the fast main track.
“I thought it was best to be on the lead, but she didn't break that well,” Castellano said. “She's versatile that way – she can either be on the lead or come from behind. Last year in the [Breeders' Cup] she just got beat at the wire against the best horses in the country.”
Chalon broke with the field, and Castellano urged her forward down the Pimlico backstretch. Everlasting Secret took the lead on her inside, placing Chalon about fifth but no more than two lengths behind the pace through a first quarter in :22.67. She was flanked by Maybe Wicked, Majestic Won and Last True Love on the outside.
Rounding the far turn, Chalon started to cut into Everlasting Secret's lead from the two-path. The pair drew even after a half in :45.50, and under a hand ride from Castellano Chalon drew clear in the lane. He flagged her forward in the final sixteenth of a mile, and the mare crossed the wire a full two lengths ahead of pacesetter Everlasting Secret.
“Everything went well,” said Delacour. “She broke a touch slow. She's usually a little more aggressive to break and get a position. It looked like Javier really had to hustle a little bit to get her into position. Once she got to a spot she was relaxed, and she looked like herself. She finished very well and looked like she had something left.”
The full order of finish was: Chalon, Everlasting Secret, Hailey's Flip, Anna's Bandit, Estilo Femenino, Majestic Won, Phantom Shot, Maybe Wicked, and Last True Love.
Bred in Kentucky by J. K. and Linda Griggs, Chalon was a $550,000 purchase at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Mixed sale. By that time, the filly had placed in two graded stakes contests and won a listed stakes under the care of trainer Peter Miller. Transferred to Delacour, she had a big season in 2018 with two listed stakes wins and three seconds in graded company, including the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. The Skipat victory improves her record to 6-5-1 from 14 starts, with earnings of over $700,000.
The victory earned Chalon a breeding right to Dortmund, donated to the Skipat Stakes winner by Kaleem Shah.
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