ARNAUD DELACOUR DUO AIMS AT PG COUNTY STAKES
Assuming it remains on the turf, Sunday’s $100,000 Prince George’s County Stakes at Pimlico Race Course is slated to have a field of 11 — but only eight trainers. Three trainers — Arnaud Delacour, Joe Sharp, and Michael Stidham — will each send out two runners
The 1 1/8-mile Prince George’s County for 3-year-olds and up is among five stakes worth $450,000 in purses and one of four scheduled for the grass on a 10-race program. Having debuted in 2019, it was not run during a pandemic-shortened 2020 stakes schedule.
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Delacour entered the pair of Mark B. Grier’s Grade 3 winner Eons and Lael Stables’ Talk Or Listen, runner up in the Dinner Party by a head over Midnight Tea Time. Eons is 4-1 on the morning line, while Talk Or Listen is 5-1. The morning line favorite is the Stidham-trained Pixelate, who is 3-1.
Bred in Ireland, Talk Or Listen began his racing career overseas where he was Group 3-placed in France. His lone win from six North American starts came Jan. 10 in his seasonal debut, a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance at Tampa Bay Downs. Most recently, he was second by a length in the Grade 2 Dinner Party Stakes on the Preakness undercard.
“He ran very well in the Dinner Party. He had a good trip. Hopefully the added sixteenth of a mile I don’t think will bother him and he can run a decent race,” Delacour said. “It looks like it’s going to be a very competitive race. They always are. Hopefully he can negotiate a good trip. He likes the course so we’ll hope for the best.”
Eons, also 5, won his only previous start at 1 1/8 miles in the July 2019 Kent (G3) at Delaware Park. He has gone winless in nine tries since, all but one of them in stakes, including a second in the Feb. 6 Tampa Bay (G3) and fourth by less than two lengths in the April 24 Henry S. Clark at Pimlico.
“He hasn’t won for two years now. I was trying to get him in an easier race, an allowance at Delaware Park, unfortunately it came off the turf. The horse is doing well and I think he’ll be very efficient at a mile and an eighth,” Delacour said. “We’re probably going to try to ride him a little bit closer to the pace. The last time he was last and I don’t know if he didn’t like the course or it was more like, ‘eh,’ and he didn’t bother. But he’s not that type of horse, not a deep closer. He needs to be a little more in the race so we’ll see if we can make that happen.”
Mychel Sanchez is named on Eons from Post 2 and Daniel Centeno will be aboard Talk Or Listen from Post 6.