HICKTOWN RIGHT AT HOME IN PIMLICO DEBUT
The field for Pimlico’s seventh two-year-old race of 2021, a five-furlong dash for fillies, included a $100,000 Flatter filly, a $50,000 Bernardini baby, and the first daughter of Arrogate to race in Maryland.
But in the end, it was the more modestly bred Hicktown, a daughter of Verrazano out of a winless Seeking the Gold mare, who got the money, narrowly defeating post-time favorite Determined Truth.
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The filly, who cost a paltry $6,000 when sold as a yearling, now has earned $27,600, which represents a pretty nice return on investment.
“That worked out well, right,” winning trainer Dale Capuano chuckled after the race. “Sure did.”
For most of the race, there wasn’t much to separate the field, which numbered only four, after two scratches this morning and the post-time scratch of Noble Bid, the Bernardini filly who tossed rider Jevian Toledo and led outriders on a merry chase before finally being corralled. Toledo was fine, and the horse semeed to be, as well.
Hannahs Red Ruby showed first, leading the opening quarter-mile. But it was less than three lengths from first to last after the opening half-mile went by in 46.08 seconds.
By then, with just a furlong to go, Determined Truth to the inside, with Forest Boyce up, and Hicktown (Jorge Ruiz) had begun to separate from Senson, the Arrogate filly, and Hannahs Red Ruby, the only runner of the quartet with a prior start.
Hicktown and Determined Truth battled to the wire, Hicktown inching to a neck advantage at the finish, and those two were 6 3/4 lengths ahead of the others, who were separated by just a nose with Senson earning the show. Running time was 58.78 seconds for five-eighths on a fast main track.
Hicktown paid $5.00 to win as the second betting choice. The exacta, with the favorite underneath, returned $5.30 for a dollar.
“I knew she was ready,” Capuano said. “She trained train forwardly.”
Hicktown is owned by Super C Racing, and Capuano said he’s been pleased with her development since she came to his barn a couple of months back.
“When we got her, she was a little squirrely and quirky but she just got better and better as she trained and started to settle down,” Capuano said. “She does anything you ask of her, really.”