Two turf stakes on the Preakness Stakes day undercard May 17, The Very One and the James W. Murphy, feature big fields and numerous betting opportunities at Pimlico Race Course.
The $100,000 Very One, at five furlongs for fillies and mares, drew a maximum lineup of 14 as the sixth race on the Saturday card with a 1:53 p.m. EDT scheduled post. The $100,000 James W. Murphy, for 3-year-olds, attracted a field of 11 going one mile as the eighth on the program slated for 3:19 p.m. EDT.
Sensible Lady has won the past two renewals of the The Very One, including last year's race by a neck when closing much ground in the 14-horse field and altering course at the sixteenth pole to get the job done for trainer Tom Salzman and Three Lyons Racing.
Now owned by Richard Santulli and trained by Alan Goldberg following a private purchase last summer, the 5-year-old Street Sense mare is the 7-2 favorite to do it again from post 12 with new rider Joel Rosario. The nine-time winner from 19 starts has not raced since Sept. 2 at Parx Racing, however, when she finished third on a yielding course in the listed Turf Amazon Handicap.
The 122-pound highweight Ageless spots most of the field four pounds while 9-2 on the morning line. Trained by Arnaud Delacour for Lael Stables, the 5-year-old daughter of Successful Appeal won the listed Giant's Causeway Stakes at Keeneland going 5 1/2 furlongs on grass April 19. She closed from last in the 10-horse field to get up by three-quarters of a length for her third victory in four starts. Luis Garcia, who has been aboard Ageless for most of her 12 starts, has the ride once more on the six-time winner.
Nutmeg Stable's Madame Giry, a multiple stakes winner from the barn of Cam Gambolati, ran third in the Safari Queen stakes at six furlongs on the Gulfstream Park turf April 20, beaten by a neck. The 5-year-old daughter of Castledale, a winner of seven of 19 starts, breaks from post 3 in her Pimlico debut and is listed at 5-1 on the morning line with Trevor McCarthy aboard.
Gambolati, 64, won the 1985 Kentucky Derby with Spend A Buck.
Trainer Delacour has the 3-1 early pick for the James W. Murphy in Special Envoy, who drew the rail in his initial stakes appearance for owners/breeders Mr. and Mrs. Bertram R. Firestone. The son of Stroll closed from dead last in a field of 12 after a half mile to narrowly miss in a 1 1/8-mile first-level turf allowance at Keeneland April 24. Garcia has the mount.
Camden Street, also making his stakes debut, is pegged at 7-2 for the Coolmore connections of Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the Elusive Quality ridgling led at every call to register a 1 3/4-length score over first level allowance company April 25 on the turf at Aqueduct Racetrack. It was the second win from four starts for Camden Street, to be ridden once again by Joe Bravo from gate 2.
Also well fancied is first-time turf starter Joint Custody (5-1), a multiple stakes winner on dirt for trainer John Robb and owner Konrad Wayson. Bred in Maryland by Janet Wayson, the son of Outflanker has made all nine of his career starts in his home state. So far this year, the gray gelding has run second in the Miracle Wood and Private Term stakes at Laurel Park and was most recently third in a troubled try in the Frederico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico April 19.
$100,000 The Very One Stakes (Race 6, 1:53 p.m.), Fillies & Mares, 3 & Up, 5 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Allwewantforxmas (KY), A Serpa, 118, M J Trombetta, 10/1
2. Too Clever by Half (FL), no rider, 118, H I McMahon, 30/1
3. Madame Giry (MD), T McCarthy, 118, C M Gambolati, 5/1
4. Tizgale (MD), J Bravo, 113, I Correas IV, 8/1
5. Galiana (NY), V R Carrasco, 118, R Romero, 30/1
6. Quality Lass (ON), J Castellano, 118, G Preciado, 12/1
7. Ageless (KY), L Garcia, 122, A Delacour, 9/2
8. Nastar Medallist (MD), F Boyce, 118, P Bagwandeen, 30/1
9. Knit One Purr Too (ON), G Whitacre, 117, D Kobiskie, 20/1
10. Perfect Measure (FL), A Cintron, 118, H A Smith, 15/1
11. Jewel of a Cat (FL), J R Velazquez, 118, B W Perkins Jr., 10/1
12. Sensible Lady (KY), J Rosario, 118, A E Goldberg, 7/2
13. To My Valentine (FR), V Espinoza, 118, W A Ward, 8/1
14. The Bop Express (WV), X Perez, 118, B L Heckrotte, 30/1
15. Joyous Music (FL), no rider, 118, H I McMahon, 15/1
$100,000 James W. Murphy Stakes (Race 8, 3:19 p.m.), 3YOs, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Special Envoy (VA), L Garcia, A Delacour, 3/1
2. Camden Street (KY), J Bravo, T A Pletcher, 7/2
3. Sonny Inspired (MD), V R Carrasco, P Schoenthal, 8/1
4. Wallyanna (KY), J Castellano, M V Pino, 8/1
5. Joint Custody (MD), T McCarthy, J J Robb, 5/1
6. Thunder Strike (GB), J R Velazquez, H G Motion, 8/1
7. Germaniac (KY), F Boyce, T J Tullock Jr., 30/1
8. Open the Bank (MD), L A Batista, S A Dono, 20/1
9. Ground Control (KY), A Cintron, A W Dutrow, 6/1
10. Allstar (KY), O Bocachica, M J Vitali, 30/1
11. Elevated (PA), S Russell, P Schoenthal, 20/1
All assigned 116 pounds.