04/02/2011 6:24PM

Pimlico: D Day ends long drought for herself, owner-trainer Sam Cronk

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Jeremy Rose guides D Day to her first win since January 2009 in the Shine Again Stakes.

More than two years have passed since the 6-year-old mare D Day visited the winner’s circle prior to Saturday’s $50,000 Shine Again Stakes at Pimlico. But that drought was nothing compared to how long it had been since Day’s owner and trainer, Sam Cronk, had won a stakes.

D Day ($6.20) ended an 11-race losing streak and gave the 75-year-old Cronk his first stakes victory since September 1995 when she blew past dueling pacesetters Secret Peace and Lily Quatorze in the stretch to score by 4 3/4 lengths in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile race for Maryland-bred fillies and mares who had never won a stakes.

Jim Cronk, the assistant to his father, said D Day finally found a spot where she could win after knocking heads with some talented runners in high-priced optional claiming events at Delaware Park last summer.

“The races she was running in at Delaware could have been graded stakes,” the younger Cronk said. “She ran some monster races, but those horses were just better than her.”

D Day, now 5 for 22 lifetime, was winless since taking a turf race at Tampa Bay Downs in January 2009. Her last win on the main track came in July 2008 at Delaware.

Sam Cronk, who led the trainer standings for three consecutive years from 1989-91 at Delaware Park,  was 1 for 53 in stakes since 1976 coming into the Shine Again.. His son said Cronk also raced D Day’s dam, Hill Keys, who won 3 of 21 starts as a sprinter with a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 91.

Grandiloquent, a 40-1 outsider, rallied to get second, three-quarters of a length in front of Amelia’s Bro in the field of seven. Lily Quatorze faded fo fifth as the 3-2 favorite.

D Day, ridden by Jeremy Rose, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Friday, completed the distance on a fast track in 1:47.08.