2023 Chick Lang Stakes & more Pimlico Graded Races Recap

Plenty of first-timers earned their spurs on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico on Saturday, with three horses making their stakes breakthrough on a major stage. Straight No Chaser was the most impressive when demolishing his rivals in the G3 Maryland Sprint, while Never Explain set a new track record in the G3 Dinner Party and Whitebeam won her first race Stateside in the G3 Gallorette. Ryvit got in on the act in the 2023 Chick Lang Stakes, recording his first success at Graded level.

Chick Lang Stakes

G3, $200,000, 6f dirt, 3yo

Ryvit rises above Havna tragedy

The Chick Lang, the lead event on the undercard at Pimlico on Saturday, was utterly ruined by the in-race death of favorite Havnameltdown, but the result still matters and Ryvit completed a four-timer when going gate-to-wire to beat Prince Of Jericho and Frosted Departure with some comfort.

Chick Lang Stakes Race Video


Ryvit claims the 2023 Chick Lang #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Sports #FYP #Horse #Horses

♬ original sound – horseracingtote – horseracingtote

The 5-1 third-choice was signing for his first success at this level and never looked in danger of defeat, clear on the home turn under Tyler Gaffalione and keeping on strongly to beat the persistent Prince Of Jericho by a length and three-quarters, with four lengths back to the no-kick Frosted Departure. The odds-on Havnameltdown broke an ankle at halfway and was euthanized on the circuit.

“This is a very nice horse,” said trainer Steve Asmussen, winning his sixth Chick Lang, a record, and his fourth in the last six years. “Getting him to break well has really turned him around.”

That and the application of blinkers, worn by Ryvit for all his four wins. Asmussen will now point the colt to a race at Churchill Downs before moving on to Saratoga for the G2 Amsterdam on July 28.

2023 Chick Lang Stakes Payouts

1. Ryvit12.805.603.40
2. Prince Of Jericho6.003.80
3. Frosted Departure4.00

Winning time: 1m 09.33s

Dinner Party Stakes

G3, $200,000, 1m 1f turf, 3yo+

Explain strikes in record time

There was a complete boilover in the Dinner Party, as 15-1 rank outsider Never Explain made a successful stakes debut and set a new track record in the process, putting away Hurricane Dream and Emmanuel to widespread surprise.

The five-year-old has been the slowest of slow burners but certainly caught fire here, sitting back from the pace-setting Atone and then, when that horse began to run on empty inside the final eighth of a mile, coming with a perfectly timed challenge under Flavien Prat to prevail by a half-length in a blanket finish.

Dinner Party Stakes Race Video


Never explain takes the Dinner Party Stakes #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Sports #FYP #Horse #Horses

♬ original sound – horseracingtote – horseracingtote

Never Explain stopped the clock 0.2s faster than the previous record, set in 2004, with a lightning-fast turf course a big factor. The favorite Hurricane Dream also finished well for the place, pushing Emmanuel into the show spot by a head.

“He won two allowances at Tampa Bay Downs earlier this year and they built his confidence nicely,” said trainer Shug McGaughey, signing for his fifth Dinner Party. “He’s stepping up now and Flavien rode a great race.”

Never Explain is now five-for-15 lifetime and his allowance days are probably over, although McGaughey – as surprised as anyone – could not confirm his next target.

2023 Dinner Party Stakes Payouts

1. Never Explain32.4010.204.80
2. Hurricane Dream3.202.40
3. Emmanuel3.00

Winning time: 1m 46.14s

Maryland Sprint Stakes

G3, $100,000, 6f dirt, 3yo+

No Chaser, no problem

There’s nothing quite as much fun to watch as a display of pure speed, and that’s what Straight No Chaser served up in the Maryland Sprint, blitzing gate-to-wire to beat Prevalence and Nakatomi and make his stakes breakthrough by broad daylight.

The 8-5 favorite was away on the ‘B’ of the bang and never looked back, opening up at the top of the stretch and simply blowing his rivals away, coasting home by seven and a half lengths in the sort of performance that announces a big new talent on the scene. Prevalence pursued him throughout and held on to second place by a nose from the rallying second-choice Nakatomi.

Maryland Stakes Race Video


Straight No Chaser takes the G3 Maryland Sprint #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Sports #FYP #Horse #Horses

♬ original sound – horseracingtote – horseracingtote

“As soon as the gate opened he was out fast,” said John Velazquez, who went on to win the Preakness aboard National Treasure. “I just let him do what he wants to do. He makes it feel so easy.”

It looked so easy. Straight No Chaser, trained in California by Dan Blacker, who was starting his first runner at Pimlico, is now four-for-seven in a career that started just ten months ago. He’s going places fast, very fast.

2023 Maryland Sprint Stakes Payouts

1. Straight No Chaser5.203.802.80
2. Prevalence5.604.00
3. Nakatomi2.80

Winning time: 1m 08.27s

Gallorette Stakes

G3, $100,000, 1m 1/16 turf, 3yo+ females

Whitebeam puts down roots

The depth of Chad Brown’s distaff division never ceases to amaze, and he has a new shooter in the shape of Whitebeam, who posted her first victory Stateside and her first at stakes level when much too strong for Sopran Basilea and Bipartisanship in the Gallorette.

The British import, three times a winner in her native country, was the 4-5 favorite to regain the winning thread and benefited from a smooth trip around under Irad Ortiz. She sat in behind the pace-setting longshot Traffic Song, found a gap in the traffic in mid-stretch, and kicked right away within just a few strides, cruising in by two and a half lengths. Fellow former European Sopran Basilea rallied hard on her US debut to steal second place by a neck from Bipartisanship.

Gallorette Stakes Race Video


Whitebeam wins the Gallorette stakes #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Sports #FYP #Horse #Horses

♬ original sound – horseracingtote – horseracingtote

“I’m surprised she got beat the first time,” said Brown, winning a record fifth Gallorette. “But she came out of that race brilliantly and I think the sky’s the limit for her.”

Whitebeam, four-for-eight lifetime, will have to fit her schedule around the rest of Brown’s harem of turf females, but it would be no surprise to see her in G1 company next time.

2023 Gallorette Stakes Payouts

1. Whitebeam3.602.602.20
2. Sopran Basilea5.604.40
3. Bipartisanship4.80

Winning time: 1m 41.67s

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