BALTIMORE, MD – Owner/trainer Eddie Kenneally’s Girls Know Best shot to the lead in the far turn and blew away her competition in front of the packed house that made her the even-money favorite in Saturday’s $100,000 The Very One Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
Breaking sharply under Javier Castellano, Girls Know Best closely tracked the early leader Victorias Fire through an opening 1/4-mile in :21.74 before taking command in the far turn. Hitting the top of the stretch in full stride, Girls Know Best exploded with fury, drawing off before casually crossing by 1 3/4 lengths in a final time of :57 flat for the 5-furlong sprint over the sloppy (sealed) main track that was originally scheduled for the turf course.
“She’s very straightforward,” Castellano said. “She’s got the speed and she’s got the dimension. I like her because she doesn’t have to be in the lead, and that other horse (Victorias Fire) she targeted and let dictate the race. She just sat right off her and relaxed. If she wants to go to the lead, she can, but today, they were going fast, and my goal was to save something for the end, and that’s what happened. She finished really strong.”
Pretty Perfection crossed in second ahead of Anna’s Bandit, while Chanteline was stuck on the rail much of the race and couldn’t muster better than fourth. Smiling Causeway took fifth ahead of Daylight Ahead and Keep Your Distance, while Victorias Fire faded to complete the order of finish. Angel At War, Jessica Krupnick, Boos, Carolina Shag, Just Talkin, and Miss Gossip all scratched when the race switched surfaces.
Girls Know Best’s win was her second straight following an allowance score over a yielding Keeneland turf on April 26. The 4-year-old daughter of Caleb’s Posse improved her record to 14-8-1-1 with career earnings of $260,024. Kenneally, who co-owns her with Brian Chenvert, claimed her for $40,000 on October 15, 2017.
“I contemplated scratching her, even though she has won six races on the dirt, but not at this level,” Kenneally said. “I didn’t know if I should run her or not, but we decided to go ahead, and it worked out. She had won five races before we claimed her. She knew how to win. She was just a 3-year-old last year. A 3-year-old having already won five races means a lot. She looked like she was a pretty sound filly, so we went ahead and claimed her. She’s matured and grew-up and I think she’s just sort of got lucky, really.”
Girls Know Best returned $4 to win, $3 to place, and $2.60 to show. Pretty Perfection brought back $5.40 to place and $4 to show, while Anna’s Bandit paid $5.80 to show.