Speed ruled in the $75,000 co-features at Pimlico Race Course yesterday when the two favorites shot to the front quickly and never relinquished their leads in registering commanding victories on Fan Appreciation Day.
In the Skipat Stakes at six furlongs on the dirt, Big Bambu never had any late challengers and won by 3 3/4 lengths at 4-to-5 odds, while the All Brandy, a nine-furlong test on the turf, went to Jazz, a 2-to-1 choice in a field of eight.
Winning jockey Mario Pino said Big Bambu is "a quality kind of horse who can go win big races in New York. She was clearly the class and speed of the race and, once we got the lead, she relaxed on her own. She's matured a lot since I rode her last year."
Based in Ohio, Big Bambu completed the six furlongs in 1:09 4/5, only four-fifths of a second off Northern Wolf's track record, without being pushed. Her $45,000 share of the purse increased her career earnings to $320,081 based on eight victories in 12 starts and only one off-the-board finish.
Trainer Alan Sobol said his stable is maintained at Thistledown, outside Cleveland, "because it's easy to ship to a lot of different tracks from there. We've got 29 head and this filly is just as comfortable shipping around the East Coast as she is staying in Ohio. She has natural speed and seems to be able to rate herself."
Big Bambu suffered a bout of heat stroke in Florida in March after tiring to finish last in a stakes at Gulfstream Park. She went home, then came back two months later to easily capture the Hancock County Stakes at Mountaineer Park in West Virginia in May.
Sobol said the long-term plans for her may include a return trip to New York for the Ballerina at Saratoga later this year. "We'll space the races for her, but we really want to run there," he said.
Saratoga was the setting for the last victory by Jazz, who beat six rivals in 1:52 over a firm grass course yesterday. She provided the fourth winner on the card for jockey Ramon Dominguez, who announced he will be married today in Delaware.
"This is a very special win because this was the last race I'll ride as a bachelor," said Dominguez. "I thought there was enough speed in the race that I would be laying third or fourth, but we managed to make the lead and set very comfortable fractions for most of the way. When she turned for home, she just sprinted away from the field and I won with some horse left."
Maria's Tiara finished gamely for second, two lengths behind.
Attendance at Pimlico and the simulcasting sites at Laurel Park and Rosecroft Raceway totaled 15,103 on Belmont Stakes day.
SHOW: More than 150 horses will be shown at the annual Maryland Horse Breeders' Association yearling show June 24 at the Timonium pavilion. Trainer Linda Rice is this year's judge.
CHURCHILL DOWNS: Indygo Shiner, making his turf debut, held off Strategic Partner to win by a neck in the $282,500 Grade III Jefferson Cup for 3-year-olds in Louisville.
The win was the first in a stakes race for the son of 1992 3-year-old champion A.P. Indy.
Indygo Shiner, ridden by Lonnie Meche and winning his third race in six starts, covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.81. Strategic Partner finished 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Fast City.
ENGLISH DERBY: Galileo won by 3 1/2 lengths, covering the 1 1/2 miles in 2:33.27, a second off Lammtara's 1995 record, in the $1.4 million race.
CALDER: Honorable Pic scored a decisive victory in the $55,900 Linear Handicap for registered Florida-bred horses 3 years old and up in Miami.
Honorable Pic, ridden by Horacio Karamanos, covered five furlongs in 55 3/4 seconds and paid $5.60, $3 and $2.40.
HOLLYWOOD PARK: Winston Chi beat Jamaican Rum by two lengths in the $100,000 California Sires Stakes in Inglewood.
Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Winston Chi covered the 1 1/16 miles over the Lakeside Turf Course in 1:41 3/5 and paid $68.60, $9.80 and $2.10.
DELAWARE PARK: Skeedattle Associates' Strike It Up scored an impressive five-length triumph in the $75,000 Susan's Girl Stakes.
Ridden by Harry Vega and trained by Tony Dutrow, the 3-year-old daughter of Smart Strike won by five lengths and covered the mile and 1/16 in 1:46.14.
Lady Andromeda, who cut early fractions of :49.27 for the half-mile and1:13.95 for three-quarters mile, ran second, with Emery Board third.
Wire services contributed to this article.