Something Awesome, CT Classic winner, headed to Pimlico Special
Something Awesome (#4, outside) was narrowly best in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic. Photo by Coady Photography.
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Stronach Stables’ homebred Something Awesome, who became a millionaire with his hard-fought victory in Saturday’s $1.2 million Charles Town Classic (G2), will make his next start in the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) at legendary Pimlico Race Course.
The 48th running of the historic Pimlico Special will take place Friday, May 19 as part of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Day program on the eve of the 143rd Preakness Stakes (G1), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.
Something Awesome, trained by Laurel Park-based Jose Corrales and ridden by Hall of Famer Edgar Prado, can become the second straight Stronach-owned horse to win the 1 3/16-mile Pimlico Special following multi-millionaire Shaman Ghost in 2017.
“That’s what my main thing was, even before this race. That’s what I want to do, and he came back very well. He was ready to go again today,” Corrales said between races Sunday. “I’ll be very happy if I can win the Pimlico Special.”
The 1 1/8-mile Charles Town Classic, contested around three turns, was the third consecutive victory for Something Awesome, a gelded 7-year-old son of Awesome Again out of the Dance Floor mare Somethinaboutlaura.
It was also the fifth win from six starts since Corrales took over the training of Something Awesome last fall, including the seven-furlong General George (G3) Feb. 17 and the 1 1/8-mile Harrison E. Johnson Memorial March 17, both at Laurel.
“It feels great, man. It’s good. It’s really something. I didn’t expect to get there that quick, but I did it. The horse did it,” Corrales said. “I go step by step with the horse. We started at three-quarters and then we go seven-eighths, then we go a mile and an eighth just to see what happens. Now we go to a small race track where the turns are small to see what he can do and he hits a million dollars. Where we go from here, the horse will tell me.”
In the Charles Town Classic, Prado settled Something Awesome in mid-pack then took over the lead three wide on the far turn, briefly gave up the lead to War Story in upper stretch but dug in again down the lane to edge that rival by a neck at odds of 9-1. Diversify, the 1-5 favorite, faded to last of seven after setting the early pace.
“He ran very good. Edgar had him really ready. When they passed the first wire I saw that Edgar had him in a gallop and I said, ‘He’s sitting very well.’ Then he put him on the outside and he was watching when to make the move,” Corrales said. “He made the move and the other horse made a move and pinched him a little bit and they fought through the lane. It was not easy, but it was a very exciting race. After the wire the other horse passed him again and I said, ‘Well, I’m glad the jump was mine.’”
Prado took over the riding of Something Awesome for the Harrison Johnson following the injury of regular pilot Elvis Trujillo, Corrales’ nephew. The General George and Charles Town Classic marked the first graded victories for the former jockey Corrales.
“I have to thank Mr. Corrales, Mr. Stronach and the whole group for giving me this opportunity to ride a horse like this. He’s on the rise and moving forward,” Prado said between races Sunday. “He ran a good race. He broke good, sat in a good spot most of the way and I was biding my time. When I pressed the pedal he gave me a nice long kick and he was able to prevail.
“The race yesterday wasn’t easy. There was three or four horses that could have won,” he added. “He won good and came back out of the race good so we’ll see what kind of horses are going to the Pimlico Special. We’ll give them a run for their money.”
The Pimlico Special was created in 1937 by Alfred Vanderbilt, the master of Sagamore Farm, as the first major stakes in the United States set up as an invitational. War Admiral, carrying 128 pounds as a 3-year-old, won the inaugural running, then was upset by Seabiscuit the following year in what was termed the “Race of the Century” by Sports Illustrated.
Revived in 1988 by late Maryland Jockey Club president Frank De Francis, the Pimlico Special’s roster of winners include Triple Crown champions Whirlaway, Citation and Assault and modern-day Horses of the Year Criminal Type, Cigar, Skip Away, Mineshaft and Invasor.