BALTIMORE 05-20-11 –Michael B. Tabor’s Excited worked her way out of traffic and galloped to victory in the $75,000 Hilltop Stakes, the nightcap on Pimlico’s Preakness Eve 13-race program.
Sent to post as the 9-5 favorite under John Velazquez, Excited was in close striking position before moving outside of horses for the drive to the finish. She prevailed by 3 ¾ lengths over Pink Pallet and third-place finisher Blushandbashful. Excited was timed in 1:49.48 for 1 1/16 miles over the yielding turf.
The homebred daughter of Giant’s Causeway paid $5.60 for her second victory in eight lifetime starts. Her victory was the second of the day for Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher, who teamed to win the Ms. Preakness Pink Warrior Stakes earlier with R Holiday Mood.
Hilltop Stakes Quotes
Todd Pletcher (winning trainer, Excited) – “She’s a nice filly. I trained her mother, as well, and it’s rewarding when you get that second generation. She’s a homebred of Mr. Tabor’s. I know he always enjoys winning with the homebreds. We had a good trip. The main concern today if you were running on the turf was how they were going to handle the soft ground. Fortunately, she handled it real well.”
John Velazquez (winning rider, Excited) – “That was not an easy race. She would hit spots and lose momentum. She stumbled plenty throughout the race. I just wanted to be close enough to make one big move. She ran great down the lane.”