04/21/2012 5:42PM

Pimlico: Idle Talk handles rise from $25,000 tag to upset Dahlia

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Idle Talk and jockey Horatio Karamanos overtake In the Rough in the final jump before the wire in the Dahlia.

Idle Talk ended her 2011 campaign by winning three straight races and after a four-month freshening the 6-year-old mare picked up right where she left off by running down  In the Rough in deep stretch to capture Saturday’s $75,000 Dahlia Stakes at Pimlico.

Trainer Mary Eppler showed confidence in Idle Talk, a daughter of Olmodavor owned by Patrick Kelley, by giving the mare the first stakes shot of her 30-race career after she had been running for the optional $25,000 claiming tag during her three-race winning streak at Laurel Park.

Eppler said she would have preferred to have had a prep for Idle Talk ($32) off the long layoff, but there was nothing suitable in the condition book.

“I tried to get Georganne Hale to write a race for me, but she wouldn’t do it,” said Eppler, referring to the Maryland Jockey Club racing secretary.

Horatio Karamanos, riding Idle Talk for the first time, said he encountered traffic trouble in the stretch run and wasn’t sure he would be able to find racing room.

“I had no room,” Karamanos said. “I waited for the moment. The 2 horse [In the Rough] opened up in the stretch, but my horse gave me a good kick and I got her at the wire.”

In the Rough, ridden by J.D. Acosta, looked like a winner at the sixteenth pole, but Idle Talk kept coming once she got into the clear and prevailed by a head, completing a mile on turf in 1:37.25. The Italian-bred Master Shade rallied from last to get third and 2-1 choice Baltimore Belle was fifth.

Ben's Cat sixth at even-money in prep

Earlier on the card, Ken’s Cape ($41.80) defeated his far more accomplished stablemate, 10-time stakes winner Ben’s Cat, in a five-furlong allowance on turf.

Ben’s Cat, the even-money favorite in a field of eight, had to check sharply at the three-eighths pole and never mounted his usually rally while finishing sixth.

My horse got bumped very hard and he just did not have enough time to recover with his normal run,” Karamanos said of Ben’s Cat, who is being pointed to the Jim McKay Turf Sprint on May 18.

Kens Cape, with Erick Rodriguez, stalked the leaders around the turn and closed determinedly to prevail by a neck over Ju Jitsu Jax. Super Chunky and Suzzona dead-heated for third.