Updated on 04/19/2014 10:40PM

Flattering Bea holds on by neck in Sugar Maple

Coady Photography
Flattering Bea, with Garry Cruise aboard, earns the biggest payday of her career by winning the $200,000 Sugar Maple.

Flattering Bea is based in Maryland, but  the 4-yearold filly does her best racing in West Virginia.

Four of Flattering Bea’s five lifetime victories have come at Charles Town, where on Saturday night she collected the biggest payday of her career by winning the $200,000 Sugar Maple Stakes for fillies and mares.

Ridden by Garry Cruise for trainer Crystal Pickett, Flattering Bea ($12.80) outdueled longshot Wardelle after early fractions of 23.09 and 46.94 seconds, opened up by a length in midstretch, and held off 3-5 favorite Quiet Success by  a neck.  More Than a Cruise rallied for third, a half-length behind the runner-up. The winning time for seven furlongs was 1:26.00.

Flattering Bea usually breaks slowly, but a bullet half-mile from the gate in 48.20 seconds at Pimlico on April hinted she would show more early speed in the Sugar Maple.

We did that on purpose," Pickett said. "We worked her out of the gate two weeks ago at Pimlico in 48. We knew we needed to fix that problem of slow starts. We know she loves this track and the distance.”

Cruise, who rode Flattering Bea for the first time a month ago at Mountaineer, said he was confident his mount would display much better early foot.

"In the past she's had trouble breaking," Cruise said. "She was cautious. Tonight, I wasn't going to get outrun. Once she had the Mountaineer race in her, when I worked her I felt we had something awfully nice. I said to Crystal, 'She's going to be tough to beat tonight,' and she showed up.”

Quiet Success inherited the role of favorite with the scratch of 2-1 morning-line choice My Pal Chrisy. Quiet Success had won her first two starts this season, including a score by nearly 10 lengths in her most recent start at Delta Downs, which like Charles Town is a six-furlong oval.

Flattering Bea, a daughter of Flatter owned by James Arrison, won the Miss Shenandoah at Charles Town as a 2-year-old and last season missed by a nose as a 52-1 bomber in the Miss Preakness at Pimlico. In her only loss at Charles Town, Flattering Bea was a distant fifth in last fall’s Pink Ribbon over a sloppy track.