Repole Stable's Lost Raven came flying from way back down the center of the track to catch front-running Quick Release and hold off fellow closer One True Kiss to win the $150,000 Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3) Friday at Pimlico Race Course by three-quarters of a length.
The 31st running of the six-furlong Miss Preakness for 3-year-old fillies was the last of seven stakes, four of them graded, on Friday's spectacular 14-race Black-Eyed Susan Day program that served as a fitting prelude to Saturday's 141st Preakness Stakes (G1).
It was the third stakes win from eight starts and first in graded company for Lost Raven ($9.80), a bay daughter of hot young sire Uncle Mo who ran six furlongs in 1:11.43 over a fast main track.
Sent hard to the lead by jockey Javier Castellano, Quick Release was in front after a 22.69-second quarter-mile and a 45.94 half, and turned for home with the lead. Farther away from the lead because of the hot pace, Lost Raven was able to split horses at the quarter pole and opened up once she found room.
One True Kiss was second, 1 ¼ lengths ahead of Quick Release. She's All Ready was another half-length behind in fourth.
It was the second Miss Preakness victory for jockey John Velazquez and third for trainer Todd Pletcher, who teamed up to take the 2011 edition with R Holiday Mood. Pletcher also won in 2000 with Lucky Livi.
Adena Springs Miss Preakness Quotes
Winning Trainer Todd Pletcher (Lost Raven): “I was a little concerned because she's never been that far back in her career. I knew that 22 (seconds)-and-change at Pimlico is flying, so I was hoping the fractions were fast enough to allow her to come from behind.”
(Why started out in $50,000 maiden-claiming race?) “We took a little shot there and we were fortunate to get away with it. We felt there was a nice program of races for her in New York and Mike (Repole) prefers to keep most of his horses in New York. As long as we felt there were ample opportunities for her, we felt New York was a good place for her to spend the winter. She actually wintered very well. The team did a great job with her in New York. As you could tell today, she looks like she spent the winter in Florida or California. She has a great coat, her weight is good and she's trained well and excelled in the program.”
(On Uncle Mo's start as a stallion): “Like I've said all along, it's really exciting for us to be associated with Uncle Mo, not only when he was racing but to see his stud career get off to this historic beginning. He just keeps doing great things. Today's another example. This time it's a graded-stakes filly sprinting. He's proven he can do it all, from graded-stakes sprinting to the Kentucky Derby. It's fun to see.”
Winning Jockey John Velazquez (Lost Raven): “She's shown speed with a slow pace in New York. I knew there was a lot of speed in this race, some nice horses who had shown speed in the beginning of the race. I didn't think she had the speed to go there. I didn't want to be so far back but I asked her (coming) out of the gate, and she didn't show the speed. So now I had to change what I wanted to do, just kind of bide my time and encourage her little by little and try to get a spot at the three-eighths pole. Once she got running, I was running out of goggles (because of dirt on them). I was getting a little desperate because I couldn't see where I was going. I pulled the last goggle right before going to the quarter pole, and I saw a little seam and I got through there and then she came running. After that, it was all her.
“I've never been on her. She's been in New York the whole time, so I never rode her and didn't know much about her. The only thing Todd (Pletcher) told me is she tries really hard, and she showed up today.”
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