February 26, 2024

Covfefe smashes track record, Chalon returns a winner at Pimlico

Covfefe has inspired new fans with her brilliance
Covfefe has inspired new fans with her brilliance (c) Horsephotos.com/Cecilia Gustavsson

The three-year-old filly Covfefe demolished a near three-decade old track record for six furlongs at Pimlico on Friday, and that’s no misprint.

The 9-5 favorite in the $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3), Covfefe led from the start and opened up through the stretch to win by 8 1/2 lengths. The final time, even with little run-up, was a startling 1:07.70, later confirmed by hand time. The previous record of 1:09 was set by Northern Wolf in the 1990 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash.

Owned by LNJ Foxwoods and trained by Brad Cox, Covfefe was the second of four consecutive winners ridden by Javier Castellano on the Black-Eyed Susan Day card. She paid $5.60. Please Flatter Me was a clear second, with Tomlin finishing third.

The post-race was marred by the death of Congrats Gal, who trailed home last of nine after stalking in second early. She collapsed shortly after the finish.

Covfefe won on debut by more than nine lengths at Churchill Downs last September, and then was a tiring fourth to eventual champion Jaywalk as the odds-on choice in the Frizette (G1). She made her season debut a winning one, taking an April 6 allowance at Keeneland by a half-length. She’s now earned $196,200.

Multiple stakes winner Chalon, who lost both the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) and Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) by a head last fall, proved much the best on her return to action in the $100,000 Skipat, winning by two lengths from 65-1 outsider Everlasting Secret.

The 3-5 favorite against eight rivals, she paid $3.20. Castellano was aboard for Lael Stables and trainer Arnaud Delacour.

“Everything went well,” Delacour said. “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.”

A five-year-old daughter of Dialed In, Chalon had previously captured stakes at Belmont Park, Laurel, and Monmouth Park. She’s won or placed five times in graded company. Her record now stands at 14-6-5-1, $717,295.