Jockey Terry Thompson had one mount at Pimlico May 16 and he made the most of it, controlling the pace aboard Payton d'Oro to win the biggest race of the day, the $150,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) by 1 1/4 lengths.
With Hooh Why scratched, Payton d’Oro broke from the inside post, and that was perfect for Thompson, who sent her to the lead as the field crossed under the wire the first time in the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies.
Thompson, who rides regularly for winning trainer Larry Jones, is the only jockey who has been on the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro in her eight career starts. This was Payton d’Oro’s fourth straight victory and first graded stakes win. In her prior start, she won the Instant Racing at Oaklawn Park, where she spent the winter.
All four of her wins have come since Payton d’Oro began racing around two turns.
"This filly is very talented," Jones said. "We think she's got a great future."
As Thompson guided Payton d’Oro through the first turn of the Black-Eyed Susan, she was joined on the outside by Stage Trick and Javier Castellano. But Thompson was able to slow things down, the opening quarter going in :24.21 and the half in :48.40. As they went six furlongs in 1:12.57, the order remained the same, with Jose Lezcano and Casanova Move in third and Bon Jovi Girl and Jose Caraballo in fourth.
Stage Trick tried to pressure Payton d’Oro as the field came out of the final turn and headed for home, but it was clear Thompson had plenty of horse left for the stretch run. As Stage Trick began to fade, Bon Jovi Girl took up the chase but had to settle for second, 5 1/4 lengths in front of Casanova Move, the 17-10 favorite in the field of eight. They went a mile in 1:37.30 and completed the nine furlongs in 1:49.75.
"I was on the inside, so I wanted to go down to the first turn," Thompson said. "If somebody wanted to take the lead, I wanted them to have to use a little to get around us.
"We got the lead, and I was able to put her to sleep on the lead. No one really contested me to the top of the stretch, and I had a little bit left in the tank."
Payton d’Oro paid $7.20, $4.40, and $3 while Bon Jovi Girl returned $7.40 and $4.20. Casanova Move paid $2.60 to show.
Stage Trick finished fourth, followed by Combinate, Stone Legacy, Renda and Don't Forget Gil.
Owned by John Ferris and Mike Pressley, Payton d’Oro was bred in Kentucky by T/C Stable and James Carter. Out of the Jade Hunter mare Jealous and Jaded, she was sold at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale for $35,000. The bay filly earned $90,000 for the win, increasing her career bankroll to $197,710.