STREET LUTE TO TACKLE G3 MISS PREAKNESS
Lucky 7 Stables’ Street Lute, already a six-time stakes winner from just nine starts, will make the jump to graded-stakes competition for the first time in the $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3) Friday, May 14 at Pimlico Race Course.
The 36th running of the six-furlong Miss Preakness for 3-year-old fillies is one of six stakes, four graded, worth $1 million in purses during a spectacular 14-race card on the eve of the 146th Preakness Stakes (G1), headlined by the 97th running of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies.
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Street Lute had won five consecutive stakes from mid-November to late February at six or seven furlongs before having her streak snapped when running third as the favorite in the one-mile Beyond the Wire March 13 at Laurel Park. She cuts back to a distance where she has won twice in three attempts – the 2020 Smart Halo and Jan. 16 Xtra Heat.
Street Lute has made her last seven starts in Maryland, all at Laurel. Despite never having raced at Pimlico, the Street Magician’s last three works have come over the main track including five furlongs in 59.40 seconds April 28 and a half-mile in 46.80 May 7, both bullets.
“I’ve always felt she was a better sprinter. We tried her long just because there was nowhere else to run and you’ve got to find out sooner or later,” trainer John ‘Jerry’ Robb said. “There’s a lot of really nice fillies in here. This will be her biggest test, yet I’m sure. You couldn’t work any better, you couldn’t go into it any better, and we’ve got home field advantage.”
Street Lute was a neck away from being undefeated through eight starts, her margin of defeat when second to Miss Nondescript in the six-furlong Maryland Million Lassie last October. She won the Smart Halo and Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship to cap her 2-year-old season, then opened 2021 with wins in the Gin Talking, Xtra Heat and Wide Country.
“I believe you’ll see horses win and then their next race is better. I believe the more they win the better they get. [It’s about] finding easy spots and building them up,” Robb said. “We kept her mostly in restricted [races]. She did win a couple open ones. This week is a big test for her. We’ll find out where she is this week. We can always go back to Maryland-breds and Delaware-certified, and Virginia-certified … but, hopefully, we can go further with her.”
Regular rider Xavier Perez, up for each of her last six races, gets the return call from Post 5 in the field of nine. Street Lute is 9-2 on the morning line in a wide-open field with the Steve Asmussen-trained Abrogate the 7-2 morning line favorite.