05/16/2013 2:09PM

Pimlico: Gallorette may be Samitar’s turn to shine

Barbara D. Livingston
Samitar, the winner of the Grade 1 Garden City last year, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite for Saturday's Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap.

BALTIMORE – Last year, Zagora rebounded from a fifth-place finish in the Jenny Wiley to win the Gallorette Handicap, one of the highlights of a season that led to an Eclipse Award as champion female turf horse.

Martin Schwartz and Chad Brown, the owner and trainer of Zagora, hope for lightning to strike twice when they send out Samitar in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Gallorette at Pimlico.

Samitar, who won the Grade 1 Garden City last year, is coming off a third-place finish to Centre Court in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland. In her only other start this year, Samitar finished second to Centre Court in the Grade 2 Honey Fox at Gulfstream.

“Her first two races were good; I think she ran into a very, very good filly,” Brown said. “I don’t have any excuses in her first two starts. She looks good physically, better than I’ve ever seen her. I still have hope she’ll have a really successful season. Hopefully, we can put a ‘W’ up on the board in the Gallorette.”

Samitar, who usually does her best running late, will break from post 4 under Javier Castellano.

[PREAKNESS STAKES: Live updates and live video from Pimlico]

Brown also will send out Pianist in the Gallorette. Pianist has not run since finishing fifth in the Honey Fox, but Brown noted that she does her best running fresh. She won a third-level allowance race at Gulfstream off a three-month layoff in February.

Embarr came off a six-month layoff April 6 to win the Dahlia Stakes, making her 3 for 3 over the Pimlico turf course. She overcame a severe stumble at the start and found herself closer to the pace than usual but still won anyway.

“I thought she was the best horse in the race, but when she fell on her head leaving there and was second going into the first turn, I was a bit concerned,” trainer Susan Cooney said. “Being a little horse, she was able to recover from that.”

Forest Boyce rides Embarr from post 6.

Hard Not to Like, Old Tune, and Charged Cotton also are entered in the field of 10.

Daydreamin Gracie is expected to scratch to run in the Grade 3, $150,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff on dirt, her trainer, Dane Kobiskie, said.