Comedero showed why he was the 3-5 favorite in the $100,000 Chick Lang Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO). Grabbing the lead soon after the break, the Posse gelding was pressured by Quiet Invader while racing along the rail before edging clear near the quarter pole. Even though Comedero drifted out a bit entering the stretch, he pulled away to a 3 ¾-length victory in the first stakes on the Preakness (gr. I) Day program May 15 at Pimlico in Maryland.
"He's fast," said winning jockey Robby Albarado after Comedero won his fourth race in a row and his seventh in eight lifetime starts. "Obviously, we don't know how far he's going to go, but three-quarters or seven-eighths is right up his alley. He goes very fast and finishes well. He does everything within himself with ease."
Latigo Shore, with Mike Smith aboard, charged from next-to-last in the field of six 3-year-olds to finish second, 2 ½ lengths in front of second betting choice Quiet Invader, who was ridden by Martin Garcia. The show horse was a neck in front of Kens Cape at the wire. They were followed by Charles Russell and Gary D.
"He ran great," said trainer Nick Zito of Latigo Shore. "We're very, very happy. Mike did a great job. Now you can go anywhere with this horse. We've always had high aspirations for him. This works out good because Comedero looks like a tremendous sprinter. We're in good shape."
Comedero completed seven furlongs over a fast main dirt track in 1:10.16 after setting fractions of :23.51, :46.00, and :57.76. It was the first graded victory for the quick bay, which had won five previous stakes. This was the his first graded stakes win.
"They can't keep up with him," said Comedero's trainer, Michael Stidham. "When I saw the first quarter -- :23 and change -- it made me feel great. (Trainer Bob) Baffert's horse (Quiet Invader) had to be pushed a little bit just to keep up with him. This is really a fast horse with a lot of upside."
Bred in Arkansas by McDowell Farm, Comedero is out of the Sir Richard Lewis mare Pawnee Patti. He is owned by Peter Redekop B. C. Ltd.
Comedero paid $3.40, $2.60, and $2.10. Latigo Shore returned $5.60 and $3.40. Quiet Invader paid $2.40.
"The horse that looked great on paper won it," Baffert said. "Our horse just got tired. I told him (jockey Martin Garcia) to press him (Comedero), but that horse is a really good horse. We just got outrun."
Charles John "Chick" Lang, for whom the race was named, died March 18. Known as "Mr. Preakness," he was a former vice president and general manager at Pimlico and he also served as director of racing during his 1960-1987 stint at the track.
Comedero began his 2010 campaign by taking the Mountain Valley Stakes by 4 ½ lengths at Oaklawn Park in February. He followed up that effort with a 10-length triumph in the Rainbow Stakes at Oaklawn in March and a nine-length victory in the Blue and Gold Stakes April 18 at Charles Town Races & Slots.