06/24/2017 7:12PM

Phlash Phelps storms to Mister Diz victory

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Phlash Phelps was making his first start since Nov. 16 in the Mister Diz.

Racing at a distance short of his best, Phlash Phelps still was good enough in the $75,000 Mister Diz Stakes, a 6-furlong turf sprint for Maryland-breds.

Phlash Phelps ($7) stormed from the back of the pack to take the lead in the final furlong and push out to a neck victory over English Minister, who just edged fast-closing Talk Show Man for second. Blue Moon Ace was a troubled fourth, while Ben’s Cat, the legendary Maryland-bred sprinter, took a step in the wrong direction in the Mister Diz, a race he won every year between 2010 and 2015. Prominent at the top of the stretch, Ben’s Cat had no late punch and checked in ninth of 11.

Phlash Phelps, a Maryland-bred champion, won all four of his starts in 2015 and had another strong season last year, but his forte has been two-turn turf racing, and he was making his first start since Nov. 16 in the Mister Diz only for lack of a more suitable spot.

“We entered seven or eight times and couldn’t get in,” trainer Rodney Jenkins said. “That’s why we ended up here.”

Phlash Phelps had won before over five furlongs on turf, but that was a maiden race in April 2015, and Jenkins didn’t know what to expect Saturday.

“Today, I thought we were up against it,” he said.

But Phlash Phelps had little trouble getting home in time. Spartiano left running from his outside draw and cleared the field to set fractions of 22.90 and 45.14, but by the three-sixteenths pole he was under heavy pressure, and would play no final part. English Minister ran past the pace-setter, but Victor Carrasaco had Phlash Phelps in full throttle down the center of the course, and Phlash Phelps flashed home a winner in his 6-year-old debut.

“He always amazes me,” Jenkins said. “The horse tries real hard – we give him all the credit.”

Phlash Phelps ran six furlongs in 1:08.40 and paid $7 to win. The gelding, by Great Notion and out of the Not For Love mare Love Me Twice, was bred by Carol Kaye and is owned by the Hillwood Stable of Ellen Charles. His record now stands at 7-3-2 from 17 starts.
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Do What I Say ($27) led a longshot parade in the $75,000 M. Tyson Gilpin Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong turf dash for Virginia-bred fillies and mares.

Do What I Say hadn’t won in more than 13 months and went unraced between June 4, 2016 and a comeback race May 19, but off a sixth-place allowance-race finish she rallied home a one-length winner over 35-1 shot Sister Says in the Gilpin.

Sister Says won a tight place photo, beating 5-1 Ring Knocker by a head, with Northern Eclipse another head back in fourth. Rapid Rhythm, the odds-on favorite, raced from the back of the field and never mounted a rally.

Northern Eclipse did well to hold a close fourth after laying down fast splits of 21.52 seconds for the first quarter-mile and 44 for the half as closers swept the top three places.

Do What I Say, bred and owned by R. Larry Johnson, was ridden to victory by Alex Cintron for trainer Michael Trombetta while covering 5 1/2 furlongs over firm turf in 1:01.80. By Street Magician out of Not What I Do, by Parfaitement, Do What I Say won for the third time in seven starts while capturing her first stakes.