Jostle, Mike Smith up, winning the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.

Jostle, Mike Smith up, winning the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga.

Associated Press/ NYRA, Adam Coglianese

Evenly Matched Field of Seven in Pimlico Distaff

Jostle will headline what appears to be an evenly matched field in Saturday's $200,000 Pimlico Distaff Handicap (gr. III). Odds-wise, the top three picks are closely bunched with Jostle at 5-2, Strolling Belle at 3-1, and Serra Lake at 7-2.

Saturday could be the perfect opportunity for Jostle to remind herself, her connections, and her fans, why she was among those considered in last year's Eclipse Award balloting as the top 3-year-old filly. After winning the grade I CCA Oaks and Alabama, Jostle finished last in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Distaff. In her first start this year she also finished last, but rebounded nicely with a third-place finish to Country Hideaway and Critical Eye in her last start, the April 21 Bed o' Roses BC Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct.

As the winner of last year's Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II), Jostle already has a presence at Pimlico. She will face Strolling Belle, who is also trying to return to her former graded stakes-winning form. The winner of the 1999 and 2000 Ladies Handicap (gr. III) finished just a neck behind another Distaff rival, Serra Lake, in an April 27 allowance at Aqueduct.

The field for the Pimlico Distaff Handicap, from the rail out with odds, jockey, and weight: 1) Jostle, 5-2 (Mike Smith, 119). 2) Prized Stamp, 3-1 (Travis Dunkelberger, 114). 3) Serra Lake, 7-2 (Pat Day, 112). 4) Sheldons Jet, 12-1 (Mark Johnston, 113). 5) Strolling Belle, 9-2 (Jorge Chavez, 116). 6) A. O. L. Hayes, 6-1 (Jerry Bailey, 110). 7) Serela, 8-1 (Mario Pino, 111).