Lady Scarlet Blows By Rivals In Miss Preakness Stakes - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Lady Scarlet Blows By Rivals In Miss Preakness Stakes

Lady Scarlet is led into the winner’s circle after her victory in the G3 Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

A horse claimed by the Mike Maker barn completed a career turnaround, and earned herself a breakthrough graded stakes victory.

Stop us if you've heard this one before.

This time around, it was Lady Scarlet, picked up through the claim box last November for $150,000, who earned her first graded score on Friday at Pimlico Race Course, unleashing a devastating turn of foot to take the Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes.

The daughter of Union Rags broke alertly in the six-furlong sprint for 3-year-old fillies, and settled on the inside path under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., as post time favorite Happy Soul rushed out to the early lead, chased in second by Gimmick. The lead duo were well clear across the backstretch, going through an opening quarter in :23.01, allowing Ortiz to take Lady Scarlet off the rail and position her on the outside as they went through the turn.

Happy Soul and Gimmick continued to battle in the bend, and they drew even at the top of the stretch after a half-mile in :45.58 while Lady Scarlet loomed on the outside and entered the fold at the three-sixteenths pole. Under left-handed urging by Ortiz, Lady Scarlet carried that momentum past the early leaders, and drew off to cross the wire 3 3/4 lengths ahead of Happy Soul. Gimmick was another length behind in third.

Lady Scarlet stopped the clock in 1:10.07 over a fast main track. She paid $7.40 to win as the field's second choice.

Friday's victory improved Lady Scarlet's record to four wins in nine career starts for earnings of $303,530. It was her third win on the season, after taking a February optional claiming race at Oaklawn Park, and earning her first black type with a victory in the Cicada Stakes at Aqueduct in March. She entered the Miss Preakness off a fourth-place effort in the G3 Beaumont Stakes last month at Keeneland.

Maker saddled the winner for owners Paradise Farms and David Staudacher. The Preakness weekend cards have been good for the trainer, who won four graded stakes during last year's Friday and Saturday cards: the G3 Pimlico Special Match Series Stakes with Last Judgment; the G2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes with Army Wife; the G3 Maryland Sprint Match Series Stakes with Special Reserve; and the G2 Dinner Party Stakes with Somelikeithotbrown.

Lady Scarlet was bred in Kentucky by Popatop LLC, who initially campaigned the filly. She is out of the winning Include mare Exclude.

Quotes courtesy of Maryland Jockey Club notes team:

Winning trainer Mike Maker, Lady Scarlet: “We left it up to [jockey] Irad [Ortiz Jr.] to be creative. If they hooked up on the lead, so be it. If they gave it [the lead] to us, so be it. I think she can go either way. She's won on the lead before, and she's won from coming off it. So, it worked out perfectly. I think she's a good horse and there's plenty of races out there.”

(On claiming Lady Scarlet for $150,000) “It sounds like a lot, which it is, but with the purse structure that there is, the prices of horses has gone up.”

Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., Lady Scarlet: “I got a perfect trip. She broke good from a great position. I waited for the time to roll, and she did very well. She did everything right, everything perfect. They went out a little fast and I was right there behind them and waited for the time to go. I had plenty left.”

Jockey John Velazquez (Happy Soul): “She broke good and got a good position. I don't think she ran her 'A' race today. Last time out, she was flat. Today, she was mad but she wasn't herself.”

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