Grade Two Success for Tale of the Cat Filly
Exciting filly Stopchargingmaria (3f Tale of the Cat x Exotic Bloom, by Montbrook) was one of the better juvenile fillies last year and struck top form at her third run back as a three year-old to take out the $500,000 Grade II Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico. Prepared by Todd Pletcher, Stopchargingmaria produced a spirited finish to get the better of Vero Amore and win the 1 and 1/8th mile contest by a neck. “It set up perfectly for us and I had a beautiful trip,” said winning rider Javier Castellano. “We took a look at the race beforehand. We figured there’d be a lot of speed and I just wanted to put her in a good position. We saved ground going into the first turn and after that it was a matter of keeping her in the clear. I had ridden her before at Saratoga on an off track, and she had no problems with it today at all. At the top of the stretch, I was pretty confident.” A $220,000 purchase from the OBS March 2YO Sale, Stopchargingmaria runs for Repole Stable and is the first winner for stakes-winner Exotic Bloom, who comes from the family of Grade II winners Vision and Verse and Bourbon Bay. She has banked some $874,000 for her owners in winning four races and placing twice from just eight starts.