Tenfold, who contested the 2018 Grade 1 Preakness at Pimlico a year ago, returned to winning form Friday with a closing victory in the G3 Pimlico Special. Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. and the Curlin colt had the best in group of closing efforts at the end of the 1 1/4 miles, sitting toward the back of the field behind early pacesetters Flying the Flag, Wait for It, and Flameaway, who traded leads the first time past the stands and down the backstretch. Santana and Tenfold waited well back and were part of a mass of closing horses in early stretch, taking a rail trip into the early turn and winding through traffic to find running room at the top of the stretch. The pair held off other challengers by a neck.
You're to Blame, who was the favorite, finished second, followed by Cordmaker. Tenfold went off at odds of 5-1 and paid $12.20 to win.
Steve Asmussen trains the Winchell Thoroughbreds homebred, who has not hit the board since winning the G2 Jim Dandy last July. He finished third in his Preakness run here last year.
Tenfold is out of Tapit mare Temptress and was bred in Kentucky.
The final time for the 1 1/4 miles was 2:02.36. See the full chart here.
$300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) Quotes, courtesy Maryland Jockey Club press office
Steve Asmussen (Winning trainer, Tenfold): “Absolutely, it's a very special win with a homebred for Winchell that came through [my] mom and dad's program in Laredo. He just, he's got it in him. He's got it in him and you see him today. Ricardo was talking about he's got a lot of horse under him, but when he makes the lead, the addition of blinkers has kind of gotten him a little more serious in his training and hopefully this horse is going to have a huge rest of the year.”
“The sky is the limit for him. I don't think he's really laid his body down yet. He's a sound horse and everything in the pedigree gets better with age.”
“This was a definite target because of how he ran in the Preakness last year. This was exactly the outcome we were hoping for.”
Ricardo Santana Jr. (Winning jockey, Tenfold): “That's the horse we expected. We always believed in him. He always tries hard. He didn't really like the track the other day [in the Oaklawn Handicap when seventh]. We always had confidence in him and today. I knew he was going to show what he had. He ran a really great race.
“At the three-eighths, I knew I had plenty of horse and I had to be patient and wait for the hole. When the hole opened and I asked him, he gave me a nice kick. I could feel the other horse coming on his side. The second he felt it, he kicked on. “
Todd Pletcher (Trainer, You're to Blame, 2nd): “I thought he ran well, he had a pretty wide trip from that post. He didn't break great. [Jockey] Jose [Ortiz] was able to get him a decent spot down the lane. The winner ran a good race.”
Jose Ortiz (Jockey, You're to Blame, 2nd): “He broke a bit slow. I think it cost me the race. I wanted to be in the position Unbridled Juan was. If I was able to be where he was at I think I would have won the race. The slow break cost me a little bit, but that's horse racing and I'm thankful he still ran a good race.”
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