Prior to the Black-Eyed Susan S. (G2) at Pimlico on Friday, E. Paul Robsham Stables' homebred R HOLIDAY MOOD (Trippi) was a stalking second in the $52,750 Miss Preakness S. and just got up by a neck on the wire to score under jockey John Velazquez. The six-furlong event was one of four undercard stakes at Pimlico, and gave trainer Todd Pletcher and Velazquez the first of two black-type wins on the program.
R Holiday Mood settled just behind 4-5 favorite Final Mesa (Sky Mesa) through splits of :23, :46 and :58 4/5 and inherited the lead when the leader faded in the stretch. The sophomore miss maintained her momentum in the lane, and had just enough left in reserve to hold the late rally of Strike the Moon (Malibu Moon) while stopping the clock on the fast main track in 1:12.
"The only time we sprinted her was on a sloppy track that I don't think she appreciated," trainer Todd Pletcher commented. "I felt good when she broke good and put herself in good position. She gutted it out."
"She really surprised me. I didn't think she was going to be that fast," Velazquez said. "I was going to break a little bit slow and let her come back. What happened is that she broke with the other horse (Final Mesa) and I took advantage of that. I had to stick with (Final Mesa) once (R Holiday Mood) broke like that."