Joseph Allen's Randaroo raced close to the lead and then wrested command past the 1/16th marker and drove to victory in the $150,000 Safely Kept Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies Saturday at Pimlico.
Sent to the post as fifth choice in the field of eight under jockey Herb Castillo Jr., Randaroo completed the six furlongs in 1:10.54, just three quarters of a length ahead of front running longshot Follow Me Home. Awesome Charm, another longshot, was third.
The winner paid $21.40 and set off a $413.60 exacta and a $3,985.60 trifecta.
It was the first race out of the Kiaran McLaughlin barn for the daughter of Gold Case. She had been in training with Tony Dutrow at Laurel Park for her first eight starts. She finished first or second six times in the Dutrow barn, with off the board finishes in a pair of grade I races this summer (the Acorn and Prioress).
"She's been doing great since Kiaran got her and he's been doing some work with her," Castillo said. The credit really goes to him. Not knowing her, for the first time sitting on her, I didn't know what to expect. She was really quick out of the gate. I thought the key would be who left there running and who got shuffled back. We broke alertly and got good position. We saved all the ground around the turn and I just swung her around the leader and she came running down the lane for me."
Assistant-trainer Neal McLaughlin said Randaroo arrived about six weeks ago.
"She's really thrived in our program and put on some weight," he said. "She's always had a lot of natural speed so we've been aiming at trying to get her to settle."
Holy Bubbette, the 7-5 favorite, with Horacio Karamanos, chased the pace along the rail but came up empty.
"She didn't like running with pressure so I tried to get behind the speed," said Karamanos. "She just didn't respond this time."