Treasure Trove Making Return Trip to Friday’s Pimlico Special (G3)
Beguine Getting Chance on Big Stage for 95-Year-Old Owner-Breeder
Advance Wagering Friday for Entire Preakness Stakes Day Program
BALTIMORE – His connections may be different, but James Wolf’s Treasure Trove will find himself in familiar surroundings when he makes his return to graded-stakes competition in Friday’s historic $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) at Pimlico Race Course.
The 6-year-old gelding is the only one of 11 horses entered that ran in last year’s Pimlico Special for 3-year-olds and up at 1 3/16 miles, the same distance as Saturday’s $1.65 million Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
Treasure Trove, then trained by Mike Maker, pressed the early pace before tiring to be seventh behind stablemate Last Judgment. Laurel Park-based trainer Anthony Farrior got the son of Tapizar for $32,000 three starts later out of a 1 1/16-mile claiming event at Keeneland.
“Hopefully, this year it falls apart,” Farrior said Thursday morning. “We know we don’t have the best horse, but if the race falls apart we can pick up some pieces.”
Treasure Trove drew Post 9 and is rated at 12-1 on the morning line. Jevian Toledo will be aboard for the seventh straight race, the most recent a three-quarter-length optional claimer going 1 1/8 miles April 21 at Laurel.
“He just needs to get him covered up. Toledo’s been riding him and he knows him. If he lets him get out early, he’ll run off with him. He ran off with him two races ago and ran third, and he probably should have won,” Farrior said. “He always breaks slow. He’s not a real good gate horse so he breaks slow, and he can tuck in. He likes to be in trouble. It seems like he runs better if you get a hold of him and if he runs against the bit he runs a lot better.”
Treasure Trove has raced seven times since the claim with two wins, one second and one third. He also finished fourth behind stakes winners Galerio and Forewarned in the Feb. 19 John B. Campbell at Laurel. Forewarned will break from Post 5 in the Pimlico Special, also at 12-1 in the program.
“He was a little funny in behind when we first got him and he’s kind of worked his way out of it,” Farrior said. “It just seems like he’s getting better with time.”
The 2-1 program favorite for the Pimlico Special is Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable and LNJ Foxwoods’ Vindictive, a three-time winner from six starts who drew the rail for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher, who also entered stakes-placed Untreated. Among other rivals are 2021 Dwyer (G3) winner First Captain, trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, and Panamanian Group 1 winner and U.S. Grade 3-placed Capocostello.
“I grew up in Kentucky and I’ve always had claimers. I’ve claimed a lot of horses, so claiming one at Keeneland for [$32,000] and running him in a graded-stakes race on Preakness weekend and not be 50-1 is pretty good,” Farrior said.
“He came out of the last race really good. We skipped an allowance race because we kind of wanted to try him in a stakes race,” he added. “Mr. Wolf is a native of Maryland and he wanted to run one on the big day, so we’ll give it a shot.”
Beguine Getting Chance on Big Stage for 95-Year-Old Owner
Though it will be the biggest field for the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) in nearly three decades, Charles Matses’ homebred Beguine doesn’t have to worry about getting the chance to run.
That wasn’t the case two weeks ago, when the daughter of Gun Runner was ranked 15th in points for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and, as the lone also-eligible, didn’t draw into the main body of the field, which is restricted to 14 horses.
“When it’s all said and done, maybe it was a blessing we didn’t get in the Oaks,” trainer Dan Peitz said Thursday morning outside Barn D at Pimlico, where Beguine is bedded down for Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan, the highlight of a 14-race program featuring six stakes, four graded, worth $1.05 million in purses. “We had a little more time, and this is definitely a softer spot.”
Peitz watched as Secret Oath powered to a two-length win in the Oaks over favored Nest, earning her another chance at facing males in Saturday’s 147th Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. The next day, he saw Rich Strike draw into the Kentucky Derby (G1) following the defection of Ethereal Road and then spring an 80-1 upset.
“When that horse drew in off the also-eligible to win the Derby, everybody was firing me up. They said, ‘Hey, they let him in and they wouldn’t let you in.’ I would have only paid 80 bucks, not 160,” Peitz joked. “I’ve just maintained that same feeling that if it was meant to be, we would have got in. The Black-Eyed Susan was always our backup plan, and it’s a great race.”
Beguine has settled in well since shipping in Tuesday from Kentucky to Baltimore, where the forecast calls for high temperatures in the 90s both Friday and Saturday after some cooler temperatures to start the week.
“She seems awfully happy. She is knocking her feed tub out,” Peitz said. “It’s just whether we are good enough or not. I think we are going to run well; what that means, I’m not sure. She shipped right in here, galloped and was nice and relaxed. I think she is going to run big. The only thing that bothers me is how hot it’s going to be. Everything else says she’s sitting on a good race.”
Beguine went unraced at 2 and needed three tries to break her maiden, graduating when stretched out from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles in a March 5 maiden special weight at Oaklawn Park. She came back and ran a gutsy second, beaten a neck, in the April 9 Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn, her stakes debut.
Out of the Eltish mare Shananies Song, Beguine will have the services of jockey Jose Ortiz from Post 5 of 13, the biggest field since 1994 when there were also 13 horses. Matses, 95, is a longtime owner and breeder who in 1954 founded Charles Construction Co., a full-service general contracting firm located in North Andover, Mass. specializing in commercial and healthcare construction.
Matses’ best horse was Miss Indy Anna, an Ontario-bred that New England Hall of Famer Ned Allard trained to seven wins from 10 starts including the Columbia (G3) at Pimlico and Churchill Downs Budweiser Breeders’ Cup Handicap (G3) in 1993. That same year she also won the Dearly Precious at Monmouth Park and Lewis Morris at the Meadowlands, and ran second in the Test (G1) and Meadowlands Budweiser Breeders’ Cup Handicap (G3).
“He’s like, ‘What are you telling everybody I’m 95 for?’ Um, because you are? That’s the whole story to me, that at 90 or 91 you say, ‘I think I’m going to send my good mare to Gun Runner,’” Peitz said. “I told him most people at your age are getting rid of their mares. They’re not even breeding anymore and you’re still going to a top stallion trying to get a good horse and, lo and behold, you have one.
“He’s been doing this on his own for a long time,” he added. “I told him, ‘Hell, Charlie, you’re 95 and you’ve still got mares that you’re breeding. That’s a pretty good story.”
Advance Wagering Friday for Entire Preakness Stakes Day Program
The Maryland Jockey Club on Friday will offer advance wagering on Saturday’s entire Preakness Day program.
Saturday’s blockbuster 14-race card includes 10 stakes, six graded, worth $2.75 million in purses highlighted by the 147th running of the $1.65 million Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, in Race 13. Post time for the Preakness is 7:01 p.m.
The 1 3/16-mile Preakness serves as the final leg of Saturday’s all-stakes 20-cent Rainbow 6 that begins in Race 8 with the Dinner Party (G2) and continues with the Chick Lang (G3) in Race 9, James W. Murphy in Race 10, $100,000 Sir Barton
Pimlico will also serve up a spectacular 14-race program Friday featuring six stakes, four graded, worth $1.05 million in purses anchored by the 98th renewal of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies in Race 13. Post time for the Black-Eyed Susan is 5:44 p.m.
First race post time is 11:30 a.m. Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Advance wagering includes that on the special Black-Eyed Susan/Preakness double.