05/14/2010 11:00PM

Blame shows no rustiness in Schaefer

Barbara D. Livingston
Blame wins his 4-year-old debut in Saturday's Grade 3 Schaefer Stakes at Pimlico.

BALTIMORE - Blame made a successful return to the races Saturday, splitting horses in midstretch and drawing clear to a 1 1/2-length victory in the , one of six undercard stakes on the Preakness card at Pimlico.

No Advantage, who won this race last year, rallied to get second by a half-length over Timber Reserve, who was part of the early pace. Bullsbay finished fourth and was followed by Flying Private, Edgewater, and Understatement.

It was the sixth victory in nine career starts for Blame, a 4-year-old son of Arch owned by Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm, and trained by Al Stall.

Blame ($4.40) was making his first start since winning the Grade 2 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs last November. He sat a relatively close-up fourth in the early stages under Garrett Gomez. Understatement set the early pace while being chased by Timber Reserve and Flying Private.

Gomez advanced Blame into contention around the far turn. In the stretch, a large hole opened between Understatement and Timber Reserve and Gomez guided Blame right through it while simply waving his stick at the horse.

Blame covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.40.

"Everything I asked him to do today he travelled where I needed him to," Gomez said. "I just had to wait for a hole."

Stall said the Schaefer was the perfect prep for the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs on June 12.

"He used him to get through that hole and he said he got a shade [tired] at the end," Stall said. "It was a perfect prep. He flicked his ears at the end of the race like he was going easy, but he was going easy. This should tighten him up for the Foster."

Gallorette: Rainbow View overcomes trouble

In a performance that serves notice she will be one of the elite of her division this year, Rainbow View overcame some early trouble and further traffic at the top of the stretch to close resolutely and capture the for older female turf horses.

Rainbow View ($3.80), the favorite, was angled to the middle of the track for the stretch drive, and finished sharply to catch Quiet Meadow and win by a half-length. Ave, a British invader making her first start in this country, closed well along the rail to finish third, just a head behind Quiet Meadow, after a tardy start.

Under jockey Julien Leparoux, Rainbow View was timed in 1:41.04 for 1 1/16 miles on firm turf. Jonathan Sheppard trains Rainbow View, a 4-year-old homebred daughter of Dynaformer, for the Augustin Stable of George Strawbridge.

Rainbow View was forced to check sharply in traffic as the field came through the stretch the first time, and was shuffled back to seventh in the eight-horse field. She was traveling well thereafter while saving ground, but ran into a roadblock as the field neared the top of the stretch just as she was set to begin her rally.

Leparoux managed to get her free and took her to the middle of the track. From there, she launched her bid while outside of Quiet Meadow. Rainbow View ran the final five-sixteenths of a mile in less than 30 seconds.

Rainbow View, the champion British 2-year-old filly of 2008, has now won 7 of 14 starts. She has won twice this year for Sheppard, who took over as her trainer last fall following the Breeders' Cup. Up until that point, Rainbow View had been trained in Britain by John Gosden.

Maryland Sprint Handicap: Taqarub leads throughout

In a race seemingly loaded with speed, Taqarub proved fastest of all, breaking sharp out of the gate and leading virtually every step of the way en route to a one-length victory in the

Roaring Lion who chased the pace, dropped back and then tried to re-rally along the rail, got up for second, a head in front of Ravalo. They were followed in the order of finish by Lantana Mob, Snapshot, Despite the Odds, Malibu Kid, Not for Silver, Half Metal Jacket, and Celtic Innis.

Taqarub, a 4-year-old son of Aldebaran, won for the fifth time in nine starts for Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum's Shadwell Stable and trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Taqarub, who won the Jimmy Winkfield Stakes at Aqueduct at 3, finished sixth as the favorite in the Grade 3 Hirsch Jacobs here last year on Preakness Day. He came out of the race with chips in an ankle that required surgery, according to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

McLaughlin brought Taqarub back to the races on turf at Gulfstream thinking that surface would be easier on the horse, but he finished 10th of 12. On April 2, Taqarub won a third-level allowance race over Keeneland's synthetic surface.

"We always felt like he was best on dirt so we decided let's get back to what he does best," McLaughlin said from New York where he watched the race via simulcast.

Breaking from post 8 under Eibar Coa, Taqarub assumed the front while running an opening quarter in 23.03 seconds. Roaring Lion was off his flank on the inside while Despite the Odds was off Taqarub's flank from the outside, but none went up to put challenge the colt.

Roaring Lon dropped back a little bit nearing the turn and Taqarub was able to maintain a clear advantage over Despite the Odds after a half-mile run in 45.57 seconds.

As Despite the Odds tailed off, Taqarub kept on going and Roaring Lion, under Javier Castellano was trying to get back in it along the inside. There wasn't much room along the rail and Roaring Lion was not able to get through.

Taqarub, a son of Aldebaran, covered the six furlongs in 1:10.02 and returned $28.60 to win.

"I believe I outbreak everybody from the gate and I found myself almost out front leaving the gate," Coa said. "I'm waiting for somebody to come by me and just start fighting, but nobody did so I was kind of happy, but I was wondering what was going on."

Lang: Comedero much the best

Comedero furthered his stature in the 3-year-old sprint ranks with a thoroughly dominating victory in the going six furlongs.

Always in front with Robby Albarado aboard, Comedero won by 3 3/4 lengths and returned $3.40 as the favorite in a field of six. Latigo Shore rallied late to take second, another 2 1/2 lengths before Quiet Invader, who had given closest chase to Comedero for most of the six-furlong journey. The winner finished in 1:10.16 over a fast track.

Comedero, an Arkansas-bred by Posse, now has won 7 of 8 career starts, with his only defeat coming last fall when trainer Michael Stidham stretched him out around two turns for the only time. Stidham intends to keep Comedero in sprints, with the $400,000 Red Legend, a seven-furlong race at Charles Town on June 19, his next intended start.

"Every race, he keeps stepping up his game," said Stidham. "He's a very fast horse, and they just can't keep up with him."

Comedero, owned by Peter Redekop B.C., Ltd., now has won six stakes. He earned $60,000 to run his bankroll to $266,700.

The Lang is named for the longtime Pimlico general manager who was nicknamed "Mr. Preakness." Lang, who died in March at age 83, happened to have long-standing ties with Stidham's father, George, through their mutual friend, the late Hall of Fame jockey Bill Hartack. Pimlico renamed what had been the Hirsch Jacobs Stakes in Lang's honor this year.

Murphy: Dropped rein can't stop Beau Choix

Despite losing his left rein in the stretch, jockey Javier Castellano guided favored Beau Choix to a 1 3/4-length victory over Manhattan Fox in the for 3-year-olds on the turf.

Castellano had Beau Choix ($6.80) in a close up stalking position behind Ponzi Scheme and Kera's Kitten. Castellano swung Beau Choix four-wide turning for home and struck the front inside the sixteenth pole. Castellano dropped the rein at that point, but it made no difference in the outcome.

"I dropped my left rein and tried to grab it and at the same time when I grabbed it I lose the other one, it was a mess," Castellano said. "I felt like I never rode before."

Beau Choix, a 3-year-old son of Elusive Quality owned by Belle Meadows Farm and Lael Stable, and trained by Barclay Tagg, covered the one mile in 1:34.93.

- additional reporting by Marty McGee and Jay Privman