Taken back to last in the field of four who were racing 1-1/16th miles over the muddy main track, Queen of Song let speedy Graceful Ginger and outsider Call of a Lion set the tempo before sweeping to the fore and drawing away to win by five lengths in 1:44.74. Call of a Lion continued on to finish second and Graceful Ginger tired to third. Post time favorite Prom Time faltered in the chase and faded to last.
“The instructions were to ride her, save her for the lane. We took hold of her around the first turn. She settled nicely and came home,” Rose said. “Once I saw Prom Time was out of the picture, she was either not firing or couldn’t keep up, I sat a little longer. I thought I had the two in front of me pretty well in hand and finished the last quarter.”
“She’s a horse you need to sit against her until the top of the stretch. If not, she falls apart,” Shuman said. “Jeremy rode her picture perfect. I said you ride her that way, it’s the best shot of winning.”
Rose now has three victories in this race, also winning aboard True Sensation (2001) and Welcome Inn (2006), passing Kent Desormeaux (1988 & 1989), Edgar Prado (1991 & 1997) and Ramon Dominguez (2000 & 2002). The 29-year-old has won 13 stakes races at Laurel and Pimlico this year and is winning at a 27% rate.
“This is the place where I have told people once they get the money I will be here full-time,” added Rose, who won the 2005 Preakness Stakes with Afleet Alex. “I love riding here. The people are great and tracks are always good. Maryland made me, made Prado, made Ramon and made Desormeaux. If I had a choice this is where I want to be.”
Trainer Chris Grove scratched both Heaven’s Voice and Landers Gem. Heaven’s Voice, a promising sprinter who won first time out earlier this month will be pointed towards the $50,000 Marshua Stakes, a six-furlong test, here on February 7, 2009. The race was also without prohibitive favorite Miss Charm City, who was a perfect three-for-three with two stakes victories this year but injured a suspensory in her left front foot earlier in the week and was not entered by trainer Carlos Garcia.
“I entered her when Miss Charm City was injured but slept on it and thought this wasn’t what I wanted for this filly,” Grove said. “Coming back in 15 days is just too much to ask so we’ll use an allowance race in January to prep for the Marshua.”
HOLIDAY RACING SCHEDULE
Laurel Park will present live racing just twice during the final 11 days of the calendar year: December 26 and 27. The latter card will feature the $50,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship for two-year Maryland-breds. First post for both programs will be 12: 35 p.m.
Laurel, Pimlico Race Course and the Maryland OTB facilities will be closed Christmas eve and Christmas day and offer simulcasting December 21-22-23-28-29-30-31.
The 2009 Laurel Park winter meeting kicks off on Thursday, January 1. The 15-week stand features live racing four days a week with a Wednesday through Saturday schedule (with holiday exceptions). First post will be 12:10 p.m.