Russo’s Il Villano broke on top when betting favorite Innocent Man went
to his knees at the start, then surrendered the lead to the betting
favorite, only to take it back for good at the top of the stretch on his
way to victory in the $100,000 Chick Lang Stakes Saturday at Pimlico
Villano, under jockey Jose Flores for trainer Susan Crowell, completed
the six-furlong distance in 1:10.40, prevailing over late closer
Laurie’s Rocket by 4 ¾ lengths. Favored Innocent Man finished third.
Chick Lang was the third stakes victory for Il Villano, who paid $9.20.
The son of Pollard’s Vision won the Lord Henry at Aqueduct and the
Southampton Stakes at Parx Racing last year.
Chick Lang Stakes Quotes
Susan Crowell (winning trainer, Il Villano)
– “I saw that they were going pretty fast and he sat exactly where I
wanted him to. He made his one run on the turn for home, and we were
very impressed the way he ran today. I was worried coming in, because he
had his little vacation, but he had a couple of good works. We were
hopeful. We’ll keep him short and probably head for the Jersey Shore at
Jose Flores (winning jockey, Il Villano)
– “I had to go early. The horse (Joel) Rosario had was going, so I knew
I had to go to have a good shot. My horse is very quick. He keeps
getting better and better.”
Dallas Stewart (trainer, Laurie’s Rocket, 2nd)
– “I thought he ran well. He had a little trouble leaving the gate a
little bit. He just got outrun today, but he’ll probably be better at
Corey Nakatani (jockey, Laurie’s Rocket, 2nd)
– “We had a good post and a good position to start. We had a good
break, but the outside came down pushing on us and the inside came over.
I had to steady and get out of there. It was more the inside horse that
affected our trip, and the winner had a good trip.”
Patrick Biancone (trainer, Innocent Man, 3rd)
– “I thought it was good for the first time at this level. It was his
first time in a stakes. He was the least experienced horse in the race.
He stumbled at the start, but they need to learn. I'm very happy with
Joel Rosario (jockey, Innocent Man, 3rd)
– “He kind of stumbled a bit at the start and then we got going. He was
good for a little bit, but he just didn’t keep going with the winner.
The horse that won was really impressive. The best horse won it.”