Prior to the Preakness, Stuart Janney’s Ironicus closed hard to capture the $300,000 Dixie Stakes (G2) over the Pimlico turf for three year olds and up. Going off at 7-1 in perhaps the best betting race of the Pimlico card, backers of the Shug McGaughey pupil were well rewarded in the 14-horse field.
“This race set up perfectly for us,” commented winning rider Javier Castellano in the winner’s circle. “In his last race the leader just galloped and he made a run but didn’t have a chance to win. The turf was also softer that day. He likes a little harder track and with today’s fast pace, it was exactly what we needed. I think he may be able to step up.”
Favored Long On Value, a Virginia-bred, finished fourth after being forced extremely wide in the later stages of the race.
“When I turned for home I thought I got him and then we come out and just kind of rolled outside a little bit,” said Joel Rosario, who rode Long OnValue. “He kind of looked at the people a little bit. He finished well. He’s still trying. He’s still learning. He looked he was handling everything fine. I just wished when we turned for home he was a little bit more focused.”