BALTIMORE, MD – Lael Stables’ Chalon showed off her tremendous class on Friday, returning from a six-month layoff to win handily in the $100,000 Skipat Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
Breaking from post 3 under Javier Castellano as the 3/5 favorite, Chalon was a bit sluggish but soon settled into mid-pack a lane off the rail while Everlasting Secret posted opening fractions of :22.67 and :45.50. Gliding up alongside the pacesetter’s right hip as she neared the top of the stretch, Chalon soon met Everlasting Secret eye-to-eye as and the pair began pulling away from the pack as they straightened for home.
While Everlasting Secret was hard-ridden to try and keep up, Castellano remained chilly aboard the bettors’ choice. Castellano only needed to show the whip and the race was over. The Arnaud Delacour trainee crossed with an easy 2-length advantage in a stakes-record final time of 1:09.46 for the 6-furlong sprint over the fast main track (Northern Wolf’s track record of 1:09.00 was set in 1990).
“I thought it was best to be on the lead, but she didn’t break that well,” Castellano said. “She’s versatile that way – she can either be on the lead or come from behind. Last year in the (Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint), she just got beat at the wire (finishing second) against the best horses in the country.”
Everlasting Secret held onto second by 1 1/2 lengths, while a photo finish for third ultimately went to Hailey’s Flip by a nose over Anna’s Bandit, with Estilo Femenino just a head behind them in fifth. Majestic Won was farther back in sixth, while Phantom Shot, Maybe Wicked, and Last True Love completed the order of finish. Adios Annie was a trainer scratch.
Chalon’s win was her first since taking the $75,000 Regret Stakes at Monmouth Park on June 17 and improved her career record to 14-6-5-1. The 5-year-old daughter of Dialed In, purchased at the end of her 3-year-old season for $550,000, has now earned $717,295.
“Everything went well,” Delacour said. “She broke a touch slow. She’s usually a little more aggressive to break and get a position. It looked like Javier really had to hustle a little bit to get her into position. Once she got to a spot, she was relaxed and she looked like herself. She finished very well and looked like she had something left.”
Chalon returned $3.20 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.20 to show. Everlasting Secret brought back $23.80 to place and $10.60 to show, while Hailey’s Flip paid $7.40 to show.
Along with the purse money, Chalon’s connections won a breeding right to Dortmund for her at the end of her career, thanks to a donation from Dortmund’s former owner Kaleem Shah.