05/19/2012 2:34PM

Pimlico: Il Villano pulls away in Chick Lang Stakes

Email
Tom Keyser
Il Villano pulls away to a 4 3/4-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico.

BALTIMORE – Il Villano kept his perfect record at six furlongs intact with a dominant 4 3/4-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Chick Lang Stakes for 3-year-olds at Pimlico.

Laurie’s Rocket caught favored Innocent Man by a head for second. It was 3 3/4 lengths back to Trippi’s Secret, who was followed in the order of finish by Scaramagna, He Can Run, and Mandorla. Lemon Juice scratched.

Il Villano, ridden by Jose Flores, is now 4 for 7 lifetime, 4 for 4 at six furlongs. He had to withstand an inquiry and a jockey’s objection from Corey Nakatani, the jockey aboard runner-up Laurie’s Rocket, to retain the victory.

Away from the races since finishing second to Thunder Moccasin in the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream on Feb. 11, Il Villano stalked the pacesetting favorite Innocent Man, who stumbled at the start under Joel Rosario but ran an opening quarter in 23.24 seconds.

Il Villano drew on even terms at the five-sixteenths pole and took over with ease turning for home. He then drew off to the convincing score.

Il Villano, a son of Pollard’s Vision owned by Chuck Russo and trained by Susan Crowell, ran six furlongs in 1:10.40 and returned $9.20 as the third choice.

“My horse is very quick, I broke better than [Innocent Man], but I saw what Rosario wanted to do and I sat behind,” Flores said. “This colt’s getting better and better. I’m glad he got a little time off. He needed it and came back fresh.”

Rosario said his horse was hindered by the poor break, but noted the “best horse won.”

“He stumbled a little bit out of the gate and he took a lot of time to get going,” Rosario said. “The horse that won was really impressive. Before turning for home, he was already in the bridle.”