Dogwood Stable's Windsor Castle rallied wide and from off the pace to roar to victory in the William Donald Schaefer Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico on Saturday. The 5-year-old son of Lord Carson got the 1 1/8 miles over a good track in 1:50.08.
Ridden by Jose Santos under 117 pounds, Windsor Castle was content to stalk the early pace that was set by Roger E. Roger E set early splits of :24.16 and :48.37 while being followed by Changeintheweather and Tempest Fugit. Those three had an open length advantage on the rest of the field down the backstretch.
The field bunched on the field after six furlongs in 1:12.81. Windsor Castle, showing the track was playing fair, came with a wide move on the turn, gathering the lead at the head of the lane. He opened up a clear advantage in the lane while being chased by Changeintheweather who was along the rail.
Sent off the fourth choice in the $100,000 race, Windsor Castle paid $11.40, $6, and $4. Changeintheweather returned $7.20 and $4.60. Tempest Fugit finished third and paid $4 to show. The 8-2 exacta returned $70.60.
Windsor Castle is trained by Frank Alexander. A winner of six of 26 starts, Windsor Castle came into the race off a runner-up effort in the Ft. Marcy Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct on April 26. Earlier in the year he won the Hal's Hope Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream. He signaled his readiness for the Schaefer with a :59 2/5 work at Belmont on May 10, the third-fastest of 46 that day at five furlongs.
"This horse has trained very well this year," said Jack Sadler, vice president of Dogwood Stable. "We were anxious to run him here at Pimlico. Pimlico has great memories for Dogwood Stable. We won the Preakness here in 1990 with Summer Squall. We wanted to bring this horse here years ago for the Preakness. But some physical problems kept him away."
Windsor Castle is out of the It's Freezing mare Frigidette and was bred in Kentucky by Windwoods Farm.