BALTIMORE, 05-15-09---William M. Backer’s Blind Date carried jockey Jeremy Rose to a handy score in the 37th running of the $50,000 Hilltop Stakes Friday at Pimlico.
Sent to post as the 3-1 second choice 1 1/16-mile test over the firm turf, Blind Date was first away from the gate but allowed Listentothewindblo grab the lead going into the first turn. The daughter of Not For Love remained close to the leader all the way to the far turn, then swept past her around the bend and pulled away to win by 2 ¾ lengths in 1:42.89. Rena, the 4-5 favorite ridden by Garrett Gomez, launched a furious rally, but her effort stalled in the lane and she had to settle for second. Glamorous Girl finished a length back in third.
Blind Date is trained by Hamilton Smith. She paid $8.40 while winning her fourth race in five starts, including a score in the Hookedonthefeelin Stakes at Pimlico on April 18
Hilltop Stakes Quotes
Hamilton Smith, winning trainer, Blind Date – “She’s an awful nice filly. The jock said she did it real easy/ After it was over, I saw it the same way. It never looks that easy during the race. If it wasn’t for the Maryland Million Day race (a third-place finish in the Maryland Million Lassie at Laurel last October), she’d be undefeated. This will help me get over that disappointed.”
Jeremy Rose, winning jockey, Blind Date – “She went to the front pretty easily. I didn’t think we were going through the fractions as fast as she did. She’s a very big horse. She just does things very easily. Once she had the lead and we were in the stretch, she got back on the bit when the other horse came to us. I didn’t have to look back, because she told me there was someone coming. She took off again.”