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Hudson Steele Wins The Dixie Stakes At Pimlico

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Hudson Steele, the 3-1 favorite, beat Humble and Hungry by 2 1/2 lengths Saturday in the $300,000 Dixie Stakes, the richest race on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico.

The 5-year-old gelding trained by Todd Pletcher is now 5-2-0 in seven races since switching to the turf. He eased out three wide turning for home and quickly took charge.

“He responded and fired,” said Pletcher. “It was a real big effort.”

Javier Castellano was aboard for the 1 1-8 miles in 1:47.29. He paid $8.20 to win

Zagora, the even-money favorite, rallied from last in the seven-horse field to beat the pace-setting Speak Easy Gal by 1 3/4 lengths in the $150,000 Gallorette for fillies and mares on the turf.

Finding room in the lane, Zagora finished strongly for her eighth win in 18 starts. Castellano was aboard for trainer Chad Brown as the 5-year-old ran the 1 1-16 miles in 1:41.73. Zagora paid $4 to win.

Il Villano took advantage of a stumble by even-money favorite Innocent Man to score a 4 3/4-length victory over Laurie’s Rocket in the $100,000 Chick Lang Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters.

Innocent Man went to his knees at the start and quickly recovered to gain the lead. The mishap left him vulnerable in the lane as he faded to third.

Il Villano pulled clear at the top of the lane with Jose Flores riding for trainer Susan Crowell. He paid $9.20 to win with the six furlongs clocked in 1:10.40.

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas captured the $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap with Hamazing Destiny, a 6-year-old who ended a 10-race losing streak dating back to Sept. 13, 2010. It also ended a string of 116 loses by Lukas in graded stakes.

The 5-2 favorite, Hamazing Destiny beat Bandbox by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:10.48. Corey Nakatani was aboard as Hamazing Destiny got his fifth win in 26 starts, paying $7.80 to win.

Lukas made it stakes double when Skyring held on by a neck over Easy Crossing in the $100,000 James Murphy for 3-year-olds on the turf. Joel Rosario guided the colt to his third win in eight starts. He paid $19.60 to win. The time was 1:35.64 for the one mile.

Awesomemundo, making her stakes debut, edged Love and Pride by a head in the $100,000 Allaire Dupont Distaff Stakes. The 4-year-old owned by trainer Bob Baffert’s wife Jill won for the fourth time in seven starts.

Mike Smith was the rider as they covered the 1 1-16 miles 1:44.70. Awesomemundo paid $4.80 to win as the 7-5 favorite.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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