Sunday, April 24, 2011


BALTIMORE, 04-23-11---R. Larry Johnson’s Baltimore Belle wore down the frontrunner to win today’s feature at Pimlico Race Course, the $75,000 Dahlia Stakes for fillies and mares. The Dahlia had been scheduled to be run over the turf but was switched to the main track because of a drenching rain in Baltimore on Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Julian Pimentel was atop Baltimore Belle for trainer Mike Trombetta. He kept the filly racing comfortably in third through the far turn before circling wide into the lane and driving past Volare Cantare a furlong from the wire and catching Weeper in deep stretch. Baltimore Belle won by 1-3/4 lengths and completed the 1-1/16th mile distance in 1:46.69.

“We had a really good trip,” said Pimentel. “They were going really slow in front but I was able to just keep it together and when I asked her to run she kept digging. Mike told me to stay off the rail. He didn’t think it was good on the inside.”

Baltimore Belle became a stakes winner when she captured the Maryland Million Oaks in October while in the barn of J.B. Secor. The daughter of Bowman’s Band was purchased by Larry Johnson for $130,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December Mixed Sale at Timonium and sent to Trombetta. She finished fourth for her new conditioner in both the Nellie Morse and Conniver Stakes at Laurel Park.

“She’s a nice filly from a good family. She just needed this kind of race,” said Trombetta. “The first time we ran her at Laurel the track was very deep and she struggled on it. The second start she caught a very fast half-mile and they really didn’t back up to her.”

Baltimore Belle paid $6.60 and topped a $61 exacta and $293 trifecta.

The win capped a big day for Baltimore on the track. Balto More won the Pimlico opener, while Baltimore Bob, a multiple stakes winner in Maryland, won the $50,000 Grand Prairie Turf Challenge at Lone Star Park minutes before the Dahlia.

“Like Larry said good things come in threes,” joked Trombetta, a Baltimore native.

Trombetta indicated Baltimore Belle would run next on Preakness day, May 21 either in the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap or the Grade 3 Allaire duPont Distaff. Both are at today’s 1 1/16th mile distance. The Gallorette is scheduled for the turf.

Today’s victory upped her career record to five wins and five second place finishes in 16 career starts with earnings of $194,064.


Pimlico Race Course will not offer live racing on Sunday, April 24 for the Easter holiday. Pimlico and its sister track, Laurel Park, will also be closed for simulcasting. Live racing returns Thursday, April 28 with an 11-race card.

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