Wildcat Bettie B made a quick bid for the lead from between horses in the first quarter mile and sped away to a two-length victory in the $125,000 Adena Stallions' Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies Friday at Pimlico Race Course.
Owned by Oasis Racing Stable, trained by J. Larry Jones, and ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Wildcat Bettie B had the lead through an opening quarter-mile in :22.82 and maintained the advantage with a half-mile in :45.56 and five furlongs in :57.40. She opened up on rail-sitting Press Camp by 3 1/2 lengths and won in 1:10.05 for six furlongs.
"I really wasn't expecting to be on the lead," Dominguez said. "A couple of horse that were on the lead got shuffled. She was real game. She was real comfortable on the lead and did as she pleased."
Press Camp held for second, with 6-5 favorite G City Gal five lengths back in third. My Lucky Free was fourth, followed by Ardmore, Celestial Legend, and Miss Lina.
"She ran very well, and Ramon rode a great race," Jones said. "She broke good, and he went ahead and sent her on her way."
Wildcat Bettie B won for the fourth time in seven starts. Earlier this year, the Kentucky-bred filly by Meadowlake
out of the Katowice mare One Number Short won the Dixie Belle Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
Before the Pimlico stakes, the filly finished third in the Beaumont Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland with a solid off-the-pace effort on a track that generally favored speed. Friday's winning purse of $75,000 increased her bankroll to $163,420.
The chestnut Wildcat Bettie B trained up to the Miss Preakness at Delaware Park, where she is based. Jones, a regular in Iowa and Kentucky after the Oaklawn meet, decided to move his stable to the Stanton, Del., racetrack this season.
"She had trouble in her race at Oaklawn and beat Hello Liberty, (who) went up to New York and won a grade two," Jones noted. "So she's been keeping company with good horses. And we think she's a really nice filly."
She paid $7.40, $3.60, and $2.80 as the second choice. The Northern California invader Press Camp, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, returned $4.40 and $3.40. G City Gal, Garrett Gomez aboard, was $2.80 to show.
"It wasn't very pretty out there," Gomez said. (Celestial Legend) came over and turned (Press Camp) into me. I got turned sideways, but after all that, she wound up running a pretty good race."