Owner John Oxley and trainer Mark Casse have decided to run Flameaway in Friday's $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) instead of Saturday's $250,000 Maker's Mark Dixie (G2). The 4-year-old Flameaway was entered in both races at Pimlico in Baltimore, Md.,, with the Pimlico Special 1 1/4 miles on dirt and the Dixie 1 1/16 miles on turf.
Flameaway is a stakes winner on both grass and dirt but has raced far more on the dirt, including a pair of 2-year-old stakes taken off the turf.
“We thought the Pimlico Special might be a better spot for him,” Casse said. “He's only run a couple of times on the turf, and he won a stakes at Gulfstream and got beat three lengths by Mendelssohn in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. We just thought there would be better races down the road to try him back on the grass.”
Flameaway drew Post 11 of 14 in the Pimlico Special, and will be ridden by Julien Leparoux. They are 6-1 on the morning line. Rally Cry is the 9-2 program favorite in a wide open race.
“There's some question for us whether he'll go a mile and a quarter. But if you look at two of the best races he ever ran, they were going a mile and an eighth — one being the Blue Grass and one being the Jim Dandy,” Casse said. “We just went back and forth on it, talked about 10-15 minutes and that's what we came up with. It wasn't a clear-cut way to go either way.”
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