Preakness weekend’s top performers
With a weekend filled with stakes, graded and otherwise, at Pimlico, you knew there would be some fast races and some boffo performances. With a Grade 1 race, the Preakness, a couple of Grade 2 events, and several Grade 3s, how could there not be?
So which were the best? We cooked up some speed figures for the weekend. Here are the top speed winning speed figs from Preakness weekend:
- Jockey Sheldon Russell “really close” to return to racesJockey Sheldon Russell, out with injuries for the last nine months, is “really close” to returning to the races, his agent said.
1. Early Voting, Grade 1 Preakness Stakes, Speed fig of 109
Early Voting got a perfect trip in the 147th Preakness and turned in a terrific performance in defeating favored Epicenter by over a length. That runner had a troubled start but then was able to save ground and mount a strong late rally along the inside, but it was too late.
Early Voting is now 3-for-4 in his career, with just a narrow defeat to Mo Donegal in the Wood Memorial to tarnish his record.
2. Jaxon Traveler, Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Stakes, 109
The three sprint stakes on the Preakness day card all were run in similar times – fast. And Maryland-bred Jaxon Traveler was fastest of them all, getting six furlongs in 1:09.70 to win by nearly two lengths over local longshot Threes Over Deuces.
It was Jaxon Traveler’s fourth stakes win and first in graded company. Three of those stakes wins have come in Maryland, and the win Saturday was his first since winning the Star de Naskra in August 2021 at Pimlico.
3. Joy’s Rocket, Skipat Stakes, 108
Joy’s Rocket entered Saturday’s six-furlong Skipat on an eight-race losing streak, but the Steve Asmussen trainee perked right up at Old Hilltop. She went right to the front under Joel Rosario and simply ran her rivals off their feet, finishing more than four lengths clear of runner-up Fille d’Esprit. Running time was 1:09.76 – virtually identical to Jaxon Traveler’s effort three races earlier.
Joy’s Rocket earned the fourth stakes win of her career and fifth win overall while raising her purse earnings to nearly $450,000. She is graded stakes-placed, and this effort suggests she might be ready to make that step again.
4. Super Quick, Grade 3 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes, 106
Friday’s flashiest winner was the Norm Casse-trained Super Quick, who obliterated her rivals in the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont, winning by over 14 lengths in 1:47.78 for nine furlongs, to log the first stakes win of her career.
Over a racing strip that was kind to speed all weekend, Super Quick led throughout under jockey Florent Geroux, throwing down quick fractions – 46.39 seconds for the half-mile, 1:09.92 for three quarters – while daring her rivals to catch her. They could not.
It was the first stakes win for Super Quick, who is a homebred for Marylou Whitney Stables (Hendrickson).
5. Lightening Larry, Grade 3 Chick Lang Stakes, 106
Jockey Chantal Sutherland obviously knew what she was doing when she sat around the Pimlico jocks’ room all day for the chance to ride Lightening Larry in the Grade 3 Chick Lang. Off at 12-1, the Jorge Delgado trainee pressed the pace of favored Cogburn before outslugging that rival to win by three parts of a length in 1:09.86 for six furlongs.
It was Sutherland’s first time on the sophomore Uncaptured colt, who earned his first graded victory in his first try. In nine career starts, Lightening Larry has been worse than second just once.
Top performers gallery