Between Pletcher, Passion, and Pimlico, there are plenty of alliterations. And here is another for the record – preference – which is what the Eclipse Award-winning trainer will be trying to pinpoint as he sends his versatile 3-year-old filly to the $100,000 Adena Stallions’ Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III).
Run as the eighth race on Pimlico's May 16 card, the six-furlong Miss Preakness has drawn a field of eight 3-year-old fillies, the best of which is undoubtedly Passion. A daughter of Came Home, the filly has tried every surface for Todd Pletcher after launching her career last July with an impressive 7 ½-length score over Polytrack at Arlington Park. From that win she ran third in the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) on Saratoga’s dirt track before turning in her only off-the-board finish when she was bumped at the start in the New York oval’s Spinaway Stakes (gr. I).
Given more than 4 ½ months on the sidelines following a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Spinaway, Passion came back to start the season with a solid score in a Jan. 18 turf allowance at Santa Anita. She followed up on that effort with her first graded win – a game score in the Feb. 2 La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT). Most recently, the $260,000 Keeneland 2-year-olds in training sale purchase was third in Keeneland’s April 10 Stonerside Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) over Polytrack. She was bred in Kentucky by Trudy McCaffery and was produced from the Known Fact mare Rejmata.
The Patrick Gallagher-trained Peisinoe is the only other runner in the field to have started in graded stakes company. Her best effort following back-to-back maiden and allowance scores last fall was a Jan. 13 third to Indian Blessing in Santa Anita’s Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II). Owned by a partnership of Jeff Davenport, Tom Lenner, David Nafzger, Alex Solis Jr., and Howard Litt, she must rebound from a recent sixth-place finish in Hollywood’s May 11 Railbird Stakes (gr. III). A Yes It's Truefilly bred in Florida by Padua Stables out of the Ascot Knight mare Galadriel, she has never been off the synthetic surface in six career starts.
Three other fillies in the field show the potential to step up and claim their first graded stakes victories.
William Stiritz’s Palanka City, a daughter of Carson City bred in Kentucky by Overbrook Farm, won the April 11 Prima Donna Stakes at Oaklawn Park after taking a March allowance at the same track by three lengths. From nine starts she has a 4-2-1 record for trainer Terry Gestes.
Elite Stables’ Hadavision, by Vision and Verse, comes into this race after winning the April 19 Peach Blossom Stakes at Delaware Park. That was her first race of the year; she was given a significant layup by trainer Mark Shuman following an allowance score at 5 ½ furlongs in September of last year. From five starts, she has three wins and a runner-up finish.
The Tim Salzman-trained Kosmo’s Buddy has been knocking at the door for sometime – in six stakes events at Laurel or Pimlico she has finished second three times and third three times. A daughter of Outflanker, she was second in the May 3 HookedontheFeelin Stakes at Pimlico last time out.
$100,000 Adena Stallions' Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III, race 8, approximate post 3:40 p.m. EDT), six furlongs for 3-year-old fillies, dirt
PP, Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Casanova Killer, 116, Jeremy Rose
2. Hadavision, 122, Ramon Dominguez
3. Peisinoe, 116, Alex Solis
4. Palanka City, 122 Christopher Emigh
5. Passion, 122, John Velazquez
6. Beau's Valentine, 116, Rider TBA
7. Kosmo's Buddy, 116, Eric Camacho
8. Story of a Lion, 116, J. D. Acosta