By Ben Massam
Without a doubt, Friday’s GIII Miss Preakness S. will prove to be one of the most interesting races of the weekend from a pari-mutuel perspective with 14 sophomore fillies and one also eligible entered for the six-furlong dash. Leading the way is 7-2 morning line favorite Our Majesty (Majesticperfection), who has crossed the wire in front in each of her three previous starts. After being demoted to fourth via a much-debated disqualification in Oaklawn’s Mar. 25 Purple Martin S., the bay recently notched a sharp 3 1/2-length score in an Apr. 21 Keeneland allowance test. Trained by Ron Moquett for Anna Seitz’s It’s All About the Girls syndicate, the filly will need to break alertly from post five with plenty of other early speed drawn to her outside. One of those rivals is J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s Vertical Oak (Giant Oak), a recent commanding winner of the Apr. 29 Goldfinch S. in the slop at Prairie Meadows. One start prior, the chestnut was ostensibly impeded along the inside in the Purple Martin, resulting in Our Majesty’s disqualification.
As is the case in many graded stakes across the country, Todd Pletcher will play a major role in the Miss Preakness. He sends out the pair of Nonna Bella (Stay Thirsty)–who cuts back to a one-turn trip after finishing a tiring fourth in the 1 1/16-mile GII Gulfstream Park Oaks Apr. 1–and Bode’s Dream (Bodemeister), a two-time stakes winner as a 2-year-old.
The Miss Preakness features a number of other fillies with speed and a proven ability to find the winner’s circle, including Dreamchaser Thorobreds’ once-beaten Astrollinthepark (Divine Park), undefeated Who’s the Lady (Munnings) and four-time stakes winner R Angel Katelyn (High Cotton). Belka Stud’s Too Much Tip (Too Much Bling) is an intriguing name to add to that list, having won all but one of her seven lifetime starts in Puerto Rico. A Group 1 winner, she makes her Stateside debut for trainer Wesley Ward and could obtain an ideal stalking trip.
John Oxley’s GI Spinaway S. winner Pretty City Dancer (Tapit) is back on two weeks rest after finishing an even fifth while encountering some trouble in the GIII Eight Belles S. at Churchill May 5. The gray’s best races have been in sprints, giving hope that the cutback to six furlongs will play to her benefit.