Gigi's Magic leaves Your Out behind by 5 as Pimlico opens

Jameela Stakes victory 1st in 4 tries against rival

Pimlico notebook

Horse Racing

March 29, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Under sunny skies, Gigi's Magic showed her heels to the field in the $60,000 Jameela Stakes to feature yesterday's opening card at Pimlico Race Course.

Overlooked in the wagering at 12-to-1 odds, the daughter of Allen's Prospect zoomed in front at the start of the six-furlong event and was never threatened by five rivals, including the 1-to-2 favorite Your Out, which had beaten her in three stakes races.

Timed in a rapid 1 minute, 10.33 seconds, she provided trainer Kelly John Breen with his first stakes victory by five lengths.

"I told Rick [Wilson, jockey] to go to the front and don't look back," said Breen, a protege of Ben Perkins Sr. "I saw that [Minnie's Premier] had shown a lot of gas [speed] at Charles Town and that could kill us. But we outbroke the five, and the race was history."

Gigi's Magic was coming off a three-month rest after faltering in the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship won by Your Out.

"She was floundering a little and hit herself really hard, so the best thing was to give her some time off," said Breen, who has been based at Belmont Park but will move to Monmouth Park shortly. "The other two times Your Out beat her was at seven [furlongs], and I thought we had a better chance at six."

Gigi's Magic was coasting along with a four-length lead over Urban Dancer after a half mile, widened it to seven, and easily outlasted the rallying Your Out, second by a head over Urban Dancer.

Your Out encountered traffic problems on the turn and had to swing four wide, but she seemed unlikely to catch the winner.

"The trainer told me this horse may not be 100 percent fit, but she's been sharp in training and that I should just use her natural speed to make the lead and go as far as she will go. This filly finished fantastic," Wilson said. "She didn't show any signs of being short at all. I just don't think she really wants to go long."

Purchased for $13,000 at the Timonium yearling sale, Gigi's Magic is owned by Pete and Elizabeth Walsh, who liked the bloodlines of stallion Allen's Prospect.

"I've always liked this filly," Breen said. "She's shown nothing but talent since her first start, but she's had her fair share of problems. It was poetic justice to have Rick Wilson aboard, because during the five years I was an assistant to Mr. Perkins, Rick and I made a lot of trips to the winner's circle."

Johnston staying here

Mark Johnston, one of Maryland's leading jockeys, has reversed field and will continue to ride here instead of at Delaware Park, which opens April 7.

"We talked it over with [trainer] Scott Lake and opted to stay," said Johnston, who finished third at the recently concluded Laurel Park meeting with 59 winners. He is the primary rider for Lake, the second-leading trainer at Laurel.

"We had every intention to ride at Delaware Park," added Gordon Becraft, Johnston's agent. "However, there has been a change of plans. We will ride in Maryland full-time and ride at Delaware Park during Maryland's dark days."

Pick 4 popular

On its first day, the innovative Pimlico Pick 4 proved a popular wager as $45,667 went through the tote machines, easily eclipsing the guaranteed payoff of $25,000.

On the back end, On His Terms scored a $25.20 upset in the seventh race to complete a $490.90 payout to 80 bettors in Maryland and along the simulcast network who selected 6-2-1-2 combination.

The Pick 4 has a 14 percent takeout, nearly 50 percent lower than most exotic wagers.

With reduced concession prices, free admission and free programs offered and the weather cooperative, Pimlico attracted 4,826 patrons, a 3 percent increase over last year.

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