BALTIMORE, MD. 5-18-13– Hidden Brook & Dan Zucker’s Pianist took control soon after the start and played “catch me if you can” the rest of the way, as the Chad Brown-trained filly went the distance in the $150,000 Gallorette Handicap (G3) at Pimlico Race Course.
Ridden by Mike Smith, the daughter of More Than Ready pulled away to a 2 ¾- length triumph over Hard Not to Like. Appealing Cat finished third. The Brown-trained Samitar finished fourth as the even-money favorite.
Pianist, who paid $15.40 to win, ran the 1 1/16 miles over firm turf in 1:40.60 while beating seven other fillies and mares.
Pianist had previously won the Given Stakes on the turf at Belmont Park last year.
GALLORETTE HANDICAP QUOTES
Chad Brown (trainer, Pianist, winner)– “We had two horses in the race and the plan was for Mike to go to the lead. I thought the fractions were a little strong but I just left it to the riders. I said, ‘You just judge the pace.’ I didn’t give them any figures. I just left it to them. She looked great, although it looked like Samitar wasn’t holding the track on the backside. Both horses were training fine coming into the race, so they both deserved a shot.”
Mike Smith (jockey, Pianist, winner)– “I planned to put her on the lead unless something happened at the break like yesterday with Emollient (who stumbled out of the gate) in the Black-Eyed Susan. She jumped away from the gate very well. Chad told me before the race that we could win this if we did something a little unusual. I guess a 46-second half was a little unusual. This is the first time I’ve ridden for Chad, and I plan to ride another five years, so I hope to do this again sometime.”
Michael Matz (trainer, Hard Not to Like, 2nd)– “I was quite proud of her. She stumbled pretty bad. We told Johnny to get close to the pace, but the other horse got away from her a little bit.”
John Velazquez (jockey, Hard Not to Like, 2nd)– “Unfortunately, I stumbled out of there, as I wanted to be in there closer to the front. We got up, recouped and she ran a great race.”
About Pimlico Race Course
Historic Pimlico Race Course, home of the Preakness® Stakes, the middle jewel in horse racing's famed Triple Crown, first opened its doors on October 25, 1870, and is the second oldest racetrack in the United States. Pimlico has played host to racing icons and Baltimoreans have seen the likes of legendary horses such as Man o’ War, Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Affirmed and Cigar thunder down the stretch in thrilling and memorable competition. For more information on Pimlico, visit www.pimlico.com.
Pimlico Race Course is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world's largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.