BALTIMORE, 05-19-12 – Natalie J. Baffert’s Awesomemundo fell far back early before rallying to win the $100,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (G3) Saturday at Pimlico Race Course.
The Bob Baffert-trained filly completed the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:44.70, winning by just a head over Love and Pride after a contentious battle to the finish line. Catch a Thief took third.
Mike Smith was aboard Awesomemundo for his second win on the card. He teamed up with Baffert to win the fourth race with Paynter. Awesomemundo paid $4.80 for her first victory in a stakes.
Allaire DuPont Distaff Quotes
Bob Baffert (winning trainer, Awesomemundo)– “There was a lot more pressure on Mike with this filly because she’s a house horse (owned by Baffert’s wife). She wasn’t in the picture and Jill said to me, “why is she way back there?’ I said, ‘that’s the way she runs.’ I told Mike, ‘she runs like Zenyatta a little bit, but don’t count on her to make up that much ground.’”
Mike Smith (winning jockey, Awesomemundo) – “They (Awesomeundo and Love and Pride) came together a little bit because she was gawking around at the crowd, but it wasn’t anything. We had a little trouble leaving, but she proved she’s very talented. She has a beautiful long kick.”
Todd Pletcher (trainer, Love and Pride, 2nd)– “She fought hard. I thought she might have taken a little bump from the winner and knocked off stride. You hate to lose by a nose, but she ran well.”
John Velazquez (jockey, Love and Pride, 2nd)– “It worked out perfect. She’s supposed to be on the lead, and I was there on the outside. She put in a good fight. I got bumped a little bit late in the lane and got off-stride a little bit, but she fought hard.”
Tim Hills (trainer, Catch a Thief, 3rd)– “This is the first time around two turns and stretching out. She’s done one-turn miles and seven-eighths very well. We were extremely pleased with her effort today. Grade 3-placed will really help her in the broodmare barn next year.”
Julien Leparoux (jockey, Catch a Thief, 3rd)– “The horse ran very well today. We didn’t have any trouble at all. The horse ran great, just didn’t win.”