Devil His Due gets his with Pimlico Special victory 4-year-old comes from off lead to win

May 16, 1993|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

Give him his due: He was the favorite, and he didn't disappoint.

Devil His Due received an ideal trip, coming from just off the lead to capture the 28th running of the $600,000 Pimlico Special yesterday by a length over Maryland-based Valley Crossing.

It was the third straight victory for the son of Devil's Bag, an Eclipse Award winner as a 2-year-old.

Everything broke beautifully in the six-horse race for Devil His Due, the 13-10 choice.

"It worked out real good," said jockey Herb McCauley. "He was in good position. Just like I wanted. Going down the back side, I wanted to make sure he could keep up and not lose any position. And that's just what he did."

Without a true speed horse in the field, Ibex was forced to set the early fractions, which turned out to be a slow 24 seconds for a quarter and 47 3/5 for a half-mile.

But the pace picked up approaching six furlongs with Pistols and Roses stalking Ibex and then grabbing the lead around the final turn of the 1 3/16-mile test.

But Pistols and Roses didn't have command long. McCauley moved Devil His Due to the front passing the eighth pole, then held off a determined charge by the longest shot in the field, Valley Crossing, with Edgar Prado aboard.

Pistols and Roses held on for third. Strike the Gold, the 1992 Special winner, proved the flop. He failed to mount the rally he's famous for, running last all the way around.

"He just never took hold of the track," trainer Nick Zito said of Strike the Gold, the 17-10 second choice in the betting. "He seemed like he wasn't acting right.

"I don't know if the slow pace was the answer. Craig [Perret] called on him and thought he had horse and called on him again. He ran in spots, but never really fired."

Hall of Fame trainer H. Allen Jerkens won his first Grade I Stakes in Maryland with Devil His Due, who earned 10 points in the American Championship Racing Series, boosting his total after four races to 21.

The victory, coupled with Valley Crossing's finish ahead of Pistols and Roses, gave Devil His Due a $150,000 mid-ACRS bonus. Pistols and Roses, now second in the series with 20 points, received $100,000.

Devil His Due, a 4-year-old colt, has career earnings of $1,582,485 with seven victories in 19 lifetime starts. He has won three of four this year, including the second ACRS race of the season, the Gulfstream Park Handicap, on March 14.

Devil His Due paid $4.60, $3.40 and $2.60. Valley Crossing returned $9.40 and $4, and Pistols and Roses paid $3.20.

Jerkens said he was getting a "little concerned down at the end" whenValley Crossing made the spirited drive. "That horse was ++ coming pretty quick. I was hollering, 'Hurry up.' He [Devil His Due] will loaf a little bit on the lead."

Jerkens said if the horse stays sound, he will point him for the Nassau County Handicap, the next race in the ARCS, on Belmont Day.

Valley Crossing, running at 18-1, improved on a fifth-place finish in last year's Special.

"He ran a super race," Prado said. "It was a slow pace, and I wanted to lay close. But with a half-mile to go, it didn't look like we were going to be able to get him. He is too tough."

Trainer Dick Small complimented Prado for his judgment of the pace. "He rode him beautifully," Small said. "He's a little tricky, a real hard horse to ride. I couldn't be more pleased."

Herberto Castillo, on Pistols and Roses, said he had a clean trip and responded when he was asked.

"I wanted to get to the lead and go from there," said Castillo. "But we just couldn't hold off the other horse."

SPECIAL WINNERS

The winners of the Pimlico Special since the race was revived in 1988 after a 29-year layoff:

Year .. .. .. .. .. Winner

1988 .. .. .. .. .. Bet Twice

.. .. .. .. .. Blushing John

.. .. .. .. .. Criminal Type

.. .. .. .. .. Farma Way

.. .. .. .. .. Strike the Gold

1993 .. .. .. .. .. Devil His Due

ACRS AT A GLANCE

What: American Championship Racing Series, a nine-race series for older horses

Point system: First place, 10 points; second place, 7; third place, 5; fourth place, 3; fifth place, 1.

Mid-series bonus: $300,000 Final series bonus: $900,000 (presented Sept. 18 after Woodward Stakes)

Point leaders

Horse .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Points

Devil His Due .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 21

Pistols and Roses .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... 20

Missionary Ridge .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 15

Latin American .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... 10

Irish Swaps (deceased) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 8

Valley Crossing .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... 7

Offbeat .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 7

Memo .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 5

Sir Beaufort .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... 3

Conte Di Savoya .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... 3

Chief Honcho .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... 3

Reign Road .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1

Ibex .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1

% Remainder of schedule

Date .. .. .. .. .. .. Race .. .. .. .. .. . Track

6/5 .. .. .. .Nassau County .. .. .. .. .. Belmont

.. .. .. .. . Handicap .. .. .. .. .. ... .. Park

7/3 .. .. ... Hollywood .. .. .. .. ... Hollywood

.. .. .. .. . Gold Cup .. .. .. .. .. .. ... Park

7/24 .. .. .. Philip H. Iselin .. .. .. .Monmouth

.. .. .. .. . Handicap .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Park

8/21 .. .. .. Pacific Classic .. .. ... Del Mar

9/18 .. .. .. Woodward .. .. .. .. .. .. Belmont

.. .. .. .. . Stakes .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . Park

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