No Advantage and jockey J.D. Acosta bided their time, and then made their winning move coming out of the turn to take the William Donald Schaefer Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) by 2 3/4 lengths at Pimlico May 16.
The 4-year-old Posse colt won his first stakes, as he entered the race off a fifth-place effort in the Charles Town Classic April 18. Owned by Suarez Racing, Joseph Besecker, and Kirk Wycoff, he is trained by Stephanie Beattie.
"This is absolutely awesome," Beattie said. "To win a graded stakes race on the Preakness card is the highlight of my training career. We thought he could get the distance, even after he came up a little short in the Classic at Charles Town. We still believed he was a real nice colt, and now we know just how nice."
Real Merchant and John Velazquez had made the lead out of the gate and took the field of seven through fractions of :24.51, :48.05, and 1:11.44 before giving way to No Advantage, who was always within striking distance while tucked in and made a strong move on the outside coming through the turn for home. Real Merchant finished in a dead-heat for second with post time favorite Ea and Javier Castellano.
Bred in Kentucky by Viking Stud, No Advantage is out of the Tactical Advantage mare Prime Advantage. He was sold at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale, which occurs each year right after the Preakness (gr. I) at nearby Timonium. No Advantage sold there in 2007 for $14,000.
It was the fifth win in 13 starts for No Advantage.
No Advantage covered 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:42.79 and paid $28.40, $9, and $5.80. Real Merchant returned $3 and $3.60, while Ea was worth $2.40 and $3.
"I took him back so he could be behind horses," Acosta said. "I wanted to follow Johnny (Velazquez). I knew my horse can be sharp sometimes, but I got him to relax. Then I took him to the outside and he closed fast. I had every confidence in (trainer Stephanie Beattie). I have confidence in every horse she puts me on."
Richard's Kid finished fourth, followed by Ready Set, Crimson Comic, and Cave's Valley.