Ravalo, who has done much of his running on the front end in stakes company in the Mid-Atlantic region and New York, didn’t break that sharply in the Maryland Sprint and was rated just off the pace while wide under John Velazquez. The 5-year-old gelding was asked for run on the far turn, and he ranged up three-wide to threaten the early leaders.
Ravalo, who got a useful prep in the Commonwealth (gr. II) on the Polytrack at Keeneland in his previous start, pushed to the front in mid-stretch as the early leaders, including Grand Traverse, faded, but he had to withstand a strong inside rally by Silver Edition. Ravalo held on to win by a head.
“He’s a nice horse and did a good job today," Velazquez said. "After the stumble, he settled in and I figured he was OK. At the five-sixteenths pole, I showed him the whip. He responded and I said, ‘OK, let’s go.’ He had to run really hard all the way, and I give him all the credit.”
Fractions on a fast track in the six-furlong Maryland Sprint were :23.44 for the first quarter-mile and :45.79 for a half-mile. The final time was 1:09.95.
Ravalo, who is trained by Donald Barr, paid $5.40 to win, $3.20 to place, and $2.60 to show as the favorite. Silver Edition paid $4.20 and $3.40, while Celtic Innis returned $4. Grand Traverse finished fourth.
Ravalo, a Kentucky-bred by Mutakddim, out of the Southern Halo mare Momentary Hope, won for the 11th time in 24 starts. The gem of consistency also has five seconds and two thirds, and pushed his earnings to more than $580,000.
Ravalo is now two-for-two on the Pimlico dirt; last year he won a six-furlong stakes on the dirt at Old Hilltop.
“He’s not an especially good gate horse and he didn’t get off to the best start today," Barr said. "He stumbled and grabbed a quarter when someone came in front of him after the start. But he does have an awful lot of speed. and, once he gets going, he’s good to go."