Favored Film Maker, making her first start since finishing second in last year's Breeders' Cup Fillies & Mares Turf (gr. IT), won the $100,000 Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a neck Saturday on the Preakness day undercard.
The 5-year-old Dynaformer
mare ran in last year's Galorette and just came up short while closing ground. She finished second, beaten a half-length by Ocean Drive. She then won the All Along Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs before running a close third in a division of the Glen Falls Handicap (gr. IIIT) and second in the Flower Bowl Invitational (gr. IT).
In the Breeders' Cup at Lone Star, Film Maker was closer to the pace than usual and ran second to Ouija Board.
Saturday, Film Maker and Jerry Bailey were content to wait before making their run while wide on the far turn. The early pace was set by Gelli and Path of Thunder, who went a quarter in :24.34, a half-mile in :48.80, and six furlongs in 1:13.24.
Bailey was moving Film Maker easily at this point and she bounded to the lead on the outside while Briviesca and Ramon Dominguez, also waiting patiently, were launching their bid on the outside. Humoristic and Steve Hamilton also joined the run down the stretch.
Film Maker dug deep and just had enough left in the tank, despite not having run in nearly seven months, to get the neck win. She ran the 1 1/16-mile in 1:44.29.
"They were starting to quicken from the three-eighths pole home, and I really couldn't keep pace," Bailey said. "I couldn't gain any ground, so I tucked her back in again. She didn't have a lot of acceleration on the turn, so I didn't know what to expect in the stretch, but I was pleasantly surprised."
Owned by the Courtlandt Farm of Don Adam, Film Maker is trained by Graham Motion. Out of the Mr. Prospector mare Miss Du Bois, she was bred in Kentucky by TAC Holdings.
"She's definitely the best turf filly I've ever trained," Motion said. "Her next start will probably be in New York, wherever Jerry can ride her. Jerry said she didn't handle the turf that well, so she should be able to handle Belmont turf even better."
Film Maker ran her record to 6-4-4 in 17 starts with earnings of $990,290.
The narrow 2-1 choice over Path of Thunder, Film Maker paid $6.40, $4, and $3.20. Briviesca returned $5.40 and $4.20 and Humoristic, three-quarters of a length behind the runner-up, paid $7.60.
"My horse ran great, but we just got outrun," Dominguez said of Briviesca, who was shortening up in distance after two starts on the Gulfstream Park turf.
Dynamia ran fourth, followed by Changing World, Path of Thunder, Art Fan, Feelin' the Breeze and Gelli.
Path of Thunder gave way after pressuring the pace and vying for the lead in the stretch.
"She usually runs evenly, but today she wasn't quick enough," Velazquez said of Path of Thunder. "She did not like the ground."