BALTIMORE – Trainer Dale Romans has been in considerable discomfort since he was involved in a car accident almost two weeks ago. His pain magically vanished when Go Maggie Go topped stablemate Ma Can Do It by 2 ½ lengths in the $250,000, Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes on Friday at Pimlico Race Course.
“I was having a lot of pain about an hour ago. For some reason, it went away,” Romans said. “And it wasn’t the bourbon.”
Go Maggie Go, making only her fourth career start after being unraced as a 2-year-old, rebounded from a fourth-place finish in the Longines Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs two weeks ago that was not as disappointing as it might have seemed. She endured a difficult trip during which jockey Luis Saez was forced to steady her and later take her seven wide in a 14-horse field.
Romans kept faith in Saez and in Go Maggie Go.
“This is a special filly,” Romans said. “This is something special, and she is just going to get better.”
Romans said the daughter of Ghostzapper experienced problems typical of many 2-year-olds and needed time to mature.
“If you wait on Ghostzappers, they will pay you back,” he said.
Go Maggie Go paid $5.60 to win. She completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.81 for her third win in four starts.
Go Maggie Go made an auspicious debut for owner Mike Tarp when she was bumped at the start but still rolled by four lengths in a three-quarter-mile sprint at Gulfstream Park on March 13. She showed her readiness for a step up to graded stakes company and welcomed added distance to 1 1/16 miles with a driving 2 ¼-length, Grade 2 score in the Gulfstream Park Oaks on April 2. Her most recent success represented her second Grade 2 triumph.
Kinsley Kisses finished third in the Black-Eyed Susan for trainer Todd Pletcher. Dothraki Queen, conditioned by Ken McPeek, came in fourth. Favored Land Over Sea, the Kentucky Oaks runner-up behind Cathryn Sophia, was never a factor for Doug O’Neill, her trainer. Her rider, Mario Gutierrez, was forced to steady her in tight quarters entering the first turn. He again checked in heavy traffic entering the backstretch.
O’Neill was left to hope for much better on Saturday, when he attempts to bring down the second leg of the Triple Crown with undefeated Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist.
Go Maggie Go’s big front-running effort in the Black-Eyed Susan was no surprise to Tammy Fox, her exercise rider and Romans’ long-time partner. “There is no limit to her,” Fox said.
When asked if she is the best filly she ever worked, Fox replied, “There is a chance of that. I’m not going to say that right now, but she would be in my top three.”
Ma Can Do It remained winless through seven career starts, but many an owner would be happy to take this maiden off the hands of owner Kyle Nagel. She snagged third in the Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes last year before closing for fifth in the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
“I know Go Maggie Go is the better horse, but Ma Can Do It is not far behind,” Fox said. “I put her in my top five — and I’ve been on a lot of good fillies.”
Fox added, “Once she does not have to run against Maggie, she will show how good a horse she is.”
For an Equibase chart, click here.