Curlin's Point of Honor Surges Late to Take the Black-Eyed Susan

11th at PIM, $250,000GII Black-Eyed Susan S. (1 1/8m)Winner: Point of Honor, f, 3 by Curlin

Point of Honor | Horsephotos

BALTIMORE, M.D.–The lightly-raced Point of Honor (Curlin), who debuted with a victory in an off-the-turf spot on a sleepy Sunday at Gulfstream in the winter, announced herself in the

3-year-old filly division by overcoming a wide trip to score a game victory in the GII Black-Eyed Susan S. on a sun-splashed Friday at Pimlico.

Romping by six lengths against a short field in the finale Dec. 16 in Hallandale for John Connelly's Stetson Racing, the chestnut was then bought into by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and proved her mettle against much tougher competition next out, notching a convincing success in the Suncoast S. Feb. 9 at Tampa. She suffered her first defeat when an even fourth in the GII Gulfstream Park Oaks Mar. 30, keeping her from qualifying for the GI Kentucky Oaks, but was backed into narrow favoritism in this traditional day-before-Preakness feature.

Off a half-beat slowly, Point of Honor went three wide into the clubhouse turn while second-last behind a :23.36 quarter set by Cookie Dough (Brethren). Five deep by the time heads pointed onto the backstretch, she continued to lope along last but one past a :47.02 half. Drawing into contention bending into the far turn, the chestnut lost even more ground from there, floating four and even five wide by the top of the lane. Nevertheless producing a strong punch once straightening, she overtook the pacesetter a furlong out, but longshot Ulele (Candy Ride {Arg}) had slipped through at the rail by that point and it briefly appeared like the ground loss would do Point of Honor in. The favorite was emboldened by the challenge once Javier Castellano pulled her inside to eyeball Ulele, however, and she found more to narrowly deny that foe on the wire. The victory capped off a banner day for Castellano, who racked up five wins, including four stakes scores.

“She's three for four now and we've always liked her,” said winning trainer George Weaver. “The Gulfstream Park [Oaks] race was a little odd to us. She just didn't seem quite as handy or responsible that day. We drew a little outside today and you lose ground being wide, but I think she likes that kind of trip and Javier rode her as such. And she went back to where we were in the first place of wanting to go to the Kentucky Oaks and participate in some of these big races. She's just very professional, very classy.”

“She's a filly that likes to be in a high cruising speed, be in a rhythm and we were okay with her being outside today,” said Eclipse Thoroughbreds' Aron Wellman. “She's a big filly with a long stride and we didn't want to disrupt her rhythm. So when I saw 23 [seconds] and change and saw 47 and Javier had a good hold on her on the outside in the clear, I was pretty confident. Down the lane, I thought she would put them away with more ease, but Brad Cox's filly [Ulele] put up a heck of a fight. She really made our filly run to the wire.”

Pedigree Notes:

Point of Honor was an $825,000 RNA at Keeneland September in 2017, but was later privately purchased by bloodstock agent Donato Lanni for Connelly and Eclipse bought in after her career bow. The winner is out of the unplaced Siena Farms homebred Zayanna, a half-sister to GSWs Mr Freeze (To Honor and Serve), Dilemma (Grand Slam) and Heavenly Ransom (Red Ransom) and MSW/MGSP Capitano (Belong to Me). Zayanna's other two foals to race are black-type performers as well in SW Velvet Mood and SP Admiral Jimmy. She is responsible for a juvenile Liam's Map filly who sold for $500,000 to Alex and JoAnn Lieblong at KEESEP, as well as a yearling filly by Union Rags and a full-brother to the winner foaled Apr. 26. Third dam In Excelsis Deo is a MSP daughter of MGISW Sabin (Lyphard).

Friday, Pimlico
BLACK-EYED SUSAN S.-GII, $250,000, Pimlico, 5-17, 3yo, f, 1 1/8m, 1:47.88, ft.
1–POINT OF HONOR, 120, f, 3, by Curlin
1st Dam: Zayanna, by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Heavenly Cat, by Tabasco Cat
3rd Dam: In Excelcis Deo, by Forty Niner
O-Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners & Stetson Racing, LLC;
B-Siena Farms LLC (KY); T-George Weaver; J-Javier Castellano.
$150,000. Lifetime Record: 4-3-0-0, $246,375. *1/2 to Velvet
Mood (Lonhro {Aus}), SW. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple
Plus* Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Ulele, 120, f, 3, Candy Ride (Arg)–Princess Arabella, by Any
Given Saturday. ($300,000 Ylg '17 FTSAUG). O-Cheyenne
Stables LLC; B-Summer Wind Equine LLC (KY); T-Brad H. Cox.
3–Cookie Dough, 124, f, 3, Brethren–Brooke's Valentine, by
Fusaichi Pegasus. O-Arindel; B-Arindel (FL); T-Stanley I. Gold.
Margins: HF, 2 1/4, 4 1/4. Odds: 2.90, 7.30, 4.00.
Also Ran: Brill, Off Topic, Always Shopping, Las Setas, Our Super Freak. Scratched: Sweet Diane. Click for the chart, the PPs or the free catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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