Strike A Deal Finds Gold In Dixie Stakes

BALTIMORE,MD 05-15-10--Richard Santulli’s Strike A Deal made a beeline to the front and jockey Ramon Dominguez kept him there the rest of the way to win Saturday’s $200,000 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

The victory in the Grade 2 stakes was the third triumph on turf for Dominguez on the Preakness Day program.

Trained by Alan Goldberg, the 6-year-old son of Smart Strike completed 1-1/8 miles in 1:47.81 while prevailing over Just as Well by three-quarters of a length. Rahystrada rallied for third.

Strike A Deal, who finished sixth in last year’s edition of the Dixie, paid $30.20.

Dixie Stakes Quotes

Darren Silvers (assistant to winning trainer, Strike a Deal) – “The horse doesn’t usually show speed, but today, with the speed on the outside, we had to get position. The horse showed a turn of foot to go to the lead and he was comfortable there. He stole the race.”

Ramon Dominguez (winning jockey, Strike a Deal) – “He was certainly ready to run today. Alan Goldberg did a great job with him. He didn’t give me any instructions. I saw fit to make the lead and my horse was eager to do it. Besides the 13, there wasn’t a lot of speed in the race, so I said, ‘Let’s go for it.’ I was happy to get on him for a winning race.”

Jonathan Sheppard (trainer, Just as Well, 2nd) – “I thought he ran great. Julien gave him a good ride and we just got beat by a better horse on the day. Probably a little more distance wouldn’t hurt him, but he ran well. He’s back where he was, that’s the main thing. We’re happy.”

Julien Leparoux (jockey, Just as Well, 2nd) – “I got a perfect trip, really. I started behind and followed the (Rahystrada). He came out in the stretch and kept on coming for me. He just might need a little more distance like he did before. He tried very hard today.”

Byron Hughes (trainer, Rahystrada, 3rd) – “The horse on the lead just got out, had it easy and had his own way. It certainly didn’t help us at the end. He ran good. We’re happy. Usually he stays right behind the leaders and comes on. He just didn’t have it in him today.”

Inez Karlsson (jockey, Rahystrada, 3rd) – “I was very happy with this horse. I was hoping they were going to press a little bit more on the front end, because Ramon just got to sit there without any pressure from the outside horse. I’d have rather have seen him pressed a little bit, because my horse was really game. Turning for home, he kicked off great.”