May 17, 2019
BALTIMORE – Lael Stables’ Chalon, unraced since her narrow loss in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) last November, returned to action in spectacular fashion Friday with a record-setting victory in the $100,000 Fidelity First & Blackwell Real Estate Skipat Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
The 26th running of the Skipat for fillies and mares was the first of seven stakes, four graded, worth $1.15 million in purses on a spectacular 14-race Black-Eyed Susan Day program that served as a fitting prelude to Saturday’s 144th Preakness Stakes (G1).
Ridden by Hall of Famer Javier Castellano for trainer Arnaud Delacour, teaming up for their second consecutive win of the day, Chalon ($3.20) ran six furlongs in 1:09.46 over a fast main track, breaking the stakes record of 1:09.76 set by Akronism in 2008. Northern Wolf established the track record of 1:09 Aug. 18, 1990.
Everlasting Secret, sent off at 60-1, outran Chalon for the lead through a quarter-mile in 22.67 seconds with Chalon settled in third. The 3-5 favorite ranged up to challenge on the far turn, took over the lead at the top of the stretch and sprinted clear by two lengths for her fourth career stakes victory.
Everlasting Secret held on for second, 1 ½ lengths ahead of 30-1 long shot Hailey’s Flip, who emerged from a three-way photo finish a nose in front of Anna’s Bandit for third with Estilo Femenino fifth.
Castellano joined his brother, jockey-turned-trainer Abel Castellano Jr., as a Skipat winner. Castellano Jr. captured the race in 2012 with Bold Affair.
$100,000 Fidelity First & Blackwell Real Estate Skipat Quotes
Arnaud Delacour (Winning trainer, Chalon): “Everything went well. She broke a touch slow. She’s usually a little more aggressive to break and get a position. It looked like Javier really had to hustle a little bit to get her into position. Once she got to a spot she was relaxed, and she looked like herself. She finished very well and looked like she had something left.”
Javier Castellano (Winning jockey, Chalon): “I thought it was best to be on the lead, but she didn’t break that well. She’s versatile that way – she can either be on the lead or come from behind. Last year in the [Breeders’ Cup] she just got beat at the wire against the best horses in the country.”
About Pimlico Race Course
Legendary 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, American Pharoah and Cigar thunder down the stretch in thrilling and memorable competition. For more information on Pimlico, visit www.pimlico.com.
The Stronach Group is North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, home of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational, 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 leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry. For more information contact David Joseph at email@example.com or call 954.658.7156.