Odds-on favorites got the job done in the first two turf stakes on Preakness Day at Pimlico, the Gallorette S. (G3) and James W. Murphy S.
Gallorette S. (G3)
The combination of superior class and controlling speed made Mean Mary unbeatable as the 4-5 choice in Saturday’s $148,500 Gallorette.
Beaten only 2 1/2 lengths in seventh when last seen in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), the Graham Motion mare was resuming over a 1 1/16-mile trip shorter than her ideal. But Mean Mary was let alone on the front end through a slow pace, and she quickened too well for them.
The one rival with claims to keep her honest early, Vigilantes Way, did not play that role after a complicated start. Breaking awkwardly on the rail and bumping with Great Island, Vigilantes Way was unhurried from that point on until cornering for home. It’s an intriguing counterfactual to wonder what might have happened had Jose Ortiz tried to improve position during the dawdling stages.
Mean Mary, in contrast, went straight to the lead for Luis Saez. Doling out fractions of :25.27, :50.92, and 1:15.29 on the firm course, the daughter of Scat Daddy blitzed her next quarter in :22.31 to build up an unassailable lead into the stretch.
Vigilantes Way unleashed a furious rally to cut the gap, but Mean Mary could not be caught. The favorite still had a half-length to spare at the wire in 1:43.10.
Great Island checked in another length away in third. Flighty Lady, the 2.40-1 second choice, and Feel Glorious rounded out the quintet. Mean Mary’s stablemate, Tuned, was scratched.
An Alex G. Campbell Jr. homebred, Mean Mary has compiled a record of 10-6-2-0, $606,160. The dark bay didn’t race until the fall of her sophomore season in 2019, but she rapidly climbed the class ladder. Mean Mary romped in her graded debut in the 2020 La Prevoyante (G3) and added the Orchid (G3) and New York (G2). Her skein ended in the Diana (G1), where she made Rushing Fall dig to prevail by a neck. Mean Mary attempted the Breeders’ Cup off a 2 1/2-month layoff. The unexpected pace presence of Irish shipper Cayenne Pepper didn’t help, and Mean Mary tired to seventh.
Mean Mary was the opening act of a sibling duo at Pimlico, with Grade 3-winning half-brother (and stablemate) Bye Bye Melvin set to follow in the Dinner Party S. (G2). They are out of the Dynaformer mare Karlovy Vary, who captured the 2012 Ashland (G1). This is the further family of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion War Pass and Grade 1 victor Jack Milton.
James W. Murphy S.
After the scratch of 7-5 morning-line favorite Outadore, T D Dance was bet down to odds of 9-10 in the $100,000 James W. Murphy. The market proved right as the Brad Cox sophomore won like a good thing.
Under a well-judged ride by Javier Castellano, T D Dance angled over from the outside post and slotted into a ground-saving spot a few lengths off the pace. Frontrunning Charles Chrome shrugged off pace attendant Kasim on the far turn and pulled clear, but the favorite was just about to play his hand.
T D Dance got the split he needed in upper stretch and charged to the fore. Inhaling Charles Chrome, he drew off by 3 3/4 lengths and clocked the mile in 1:34.89.
Arzak rallied to snatch second by a neck, and Charles Chrome held third by the same margin from Indian Lake. Extrasexybigdaddee, Reassured, and Kasim concluded the order of finish.
Campaigned by Madaket Stables, Wonder Stable, Paul Farr, and Team Hanley, T D Dance was scoring his first stakes victory and enhancing his resume to 5-3-1-0, $122,300. The son of Can the Man was fifth in his only previous stakes, the Feb. 27 Black Gold S. at Fair Grounds. He rebounded from that uncharacteristic effort by taking an entry-level allowance over the same course March 27 and made it two straight here.
T D Dance was bred by Sovereign Farm in Kentucky and initially sold for $27,000 as a Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling. The dark bay later brought $75,000 as a juvenile at the OBS Spring Sale. His dam, Sheza Sweet Lemon by Lemon Drop Kid, is also responsible for Grade 3-placed Kid Perfect.