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BALTIMORE – Pennsylvania-bred Caravel who was bred and is owned and trained by Maryland-based Elizabeth Merryman scooted through an opening along the inside and emerged from a three-way photo finish to capture Friday’s $100,000 The Very One Stakes by a nose at Pimlico Race Course.
Winning Jockey Florent Geroux said “I was just hoping for an opening sooner rather than later. It looked like we got it just in time. I was full of horse and just couldn’t get out when I wanted to. When she saw the split about the eighth pole, she dug in for me and made the difference. It was all her. I’m very proud of her. Thanks to the connections. They have a nice filly.”
“I thought I might have it the last jump. But sometimes it doesn’t go your way. At the finish line she had her head down, and I was hoping to get the win.”
Gotta Go Mo, Victory Kingdom, and Dixieincandyland completed the order.
After the race Elizabeth Merryman said “In my head all day, I could just see her winning the race. And yet, in the stretch, I thought, ‘Well, it’s not going to happen. Not today.’ And it did. I thought all the way to the wire that she wasn’t getting there because there was just no room for her to run. I don’t know how she got through. It was a miraculous run.”
“I grew up in Maryland about 15 miles north of here on a farm. My father bred horses and he decided that the best, most honest way to get a good trainer was to breed his trainers as well as his horses. So he would divvy up all his horses among his children and have us train them for him. So he kind of got us hooked in the horse business early, and also in the breeding.”
“I’ve been lucky to have some pretty special horses, but this is the most special one.”
This is the first win of Caravel’s 4-year-old season. The daughter of Mizzen Mast improved her record to 7-5-0-2 and has earned $212,872 for Elizabeth Merryman.
Caravel returned $6.60 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.00 to show.
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