BALTIMORE — Jockey Stacie Clark-Rogers misjudged the finish line and it cost her a victory Friday in the Lady Legends Race at Pimlico.
Thinking she had the race wrapped up aboard Graced, Clark-Rogers stood in the irons to celebrate about 40 yards from the wire. Andrea Seefeldt Knight took advantage of the blunder and rode to the finish. Her mount Zuerstgold won by a neck over Graced.
"Everything was going great and I just screwed up and misjudged the wire," Clark-Rogers said. "It's been a while since I hit the wire first."
Clark-Rogers won the 1994 Sovereign Award as Canada's leading apprentice rider.
It was the final edition of the Lady Legends, created in 2010 to salute pioneering female riders and raise funds for breast cancer research.
Black-Eyed Susan: Coming off two straight disappointing performances, Stopchargingmaria returned to form in a big way. She pulled away from Vero Amore in a two-horse stretch duel to win the $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes by a neck Friday. It was the fourth Black-Eyed Susan win for trainer Todd Pletcher, who also won this Grade II race for 3-year-old fillies in 2005, 2007 and 2012. "It was a terrific performance," Pletcher said. "Today, she acted like she was back to her old self." Stopchargingmaria, the 7-2 favorite, sat back behind pacesetter Image of Anna and angled four wide near the backstretch before driving to the finish under jockey Javier Castellano. Stopchargingmaria is named for owner Mike Repole's wife, Maria, who he jokingly says likes to shop a lot. Stopchargingmaria, who covered 11/8 miles in 1:51.79 on a good track for her third graded-stakes victory, paid $9.60, $5.60 and $4. Heavy rain pelted the area in the early hours, but sunshine peeked through the clouds at the start of the race. Vero Amore paid $12.80 and $9.40, and third-place finisher Fortune Pearl returned $5.80.
gelding quest: Ring Weekend will try to become the eighth gelding to win the Preakness, and first since Funny Cide in 2003. The middle jewel of the Triple Crown has not always welcomed geldings. Bowing to pressure from breeders interested only in developing mares and stallions, it banned geldings from 1920-34. Ring Weekend was gelded after a 2-year-old season in which he managed only a pair of thirds in three starts. He has two wins and two seconds in four races this season, including a victory in the Tampa Bay Derby.
health alert: California Chrome showed no signs of the previous day's cough Friday, the result of a small blister in his throat. "Sometimes they get a little scratchy with a throat blister and it's not a big deal," trainer Art Sherman said. "Sometimes it's the feed. They don't digest it really well. I'll tell you, he ate up everything. His appetite has been good. Maybe he likes those crab cakes."