Updated on 05/19/2012 6:49PM

Pimlico: Hudson Steele triumphs in Dixie

Tom Keyser
Hudson Steele and Javier Castellano win the Dixie Stakes.

BALTIMORE - When trainer Todd Pletcher decided to run Hudson Steele back in three weeks it was a matter of where to place him.

His choices were the $75,000 Elkwood Stakes at Monmouth Park or the $300,000 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico. When he heard that Chad Brown was going to run Corporate Jungle in the Elkwood, Pletcher wanted to avoid that horse and run in the Dixie.

It turned out to be a good choice.

A little while after Corporate Jungle won the Elkwood - running a mile in 1:32.70 - Hudson Steele rolled to a 2 1/2-length victory under Javier Castellano in the Grade 2 Dixie at Pimlico, his first graded stakes victory and his sixth win from 10 starts overall.

Humble and Hungry rallied for second, one-half length in front of Forte Dei Marmi. Casino Host was fouth.

Hudson Steele did it with a devastating turn of foot turning for home, which carried him past the pace-setting Straight Story. Hudson Steele, a son of Johannesburg owned by Roger Weiss, ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.29 and returned $8.20 to win.

Hudson Steele had won the Henry Clark Stakes at Pimlico by 2 1/4 lengths on April 28.

“When he won over here the other day we were thinking is three weeks going to be enough time?” Pletcher said. “The horse took that race so well, he bounced out of it so well and trained so sharply it turned out to be an easy decision to run back in three weeks. He’s done very little wrong his whole life. Nice horse.”

Under Castellano, Hudson Steele stalked the pace from the inside, sitting fourth inside of Trend and just behind Straight Story, who ran a quarter-mile in 24.06 seconds and a half-mile in 47.77 while pressed by Boxeur des Rues.

Leaving the quarter pole, Boxeur des Rues, under Mario Gutierrez, blew the turn, leaving an inviting opening for Hudson Steele. When Castellano asked Hudson Steele to run, he overtook Straight Story easily.

“I just waited, didn’t want to move; when Mario’s horse blew the turn I was able to split horses, and when he split he took off amazingly,” Castellano said. “Nobody could beat that horse today.”