He Loves Me, the overwhelming favorite, ran to form and won Monday's $75,000 Pearl Necklace Stakes for 3-year-old Maryland-bred fillies. The race, which was originally carded for the turf, was run on the main track.Richard Small trains He Loves Me at Pimlico and is ridden by Jozbin Santana. The bay daughter of Not For Love has won three stakes this year and two have come at Old Hilltop, including the Caesar's Wish on April 24. Santana, who is the stable rider for Small, won both stakes races carded over this holiday weekend. He Loves Me stalked a trio of frontrunners including the pacesetter, longshot Hi Five Raven. She raced far out from the rail down the backstretch and moved on the pacesetter entering the lane. Hi Five Raven bravely dug back in when the favorite pulled alongside and still managed to hold onto second. Pour It On closed to be third.
The winner ran the 1-1/16 mile distance in 1:44.15 and paid $2.80. Her winning margin was 1 1/2 lengths. (Chart, Equibase)