12/11/2004 1:00AM

Pimlico: Silmaril takes Geisha


Silmaril returned to the ranks of Maryland-breds and made the best of it, winning the $100,000 Geisha Handicap by 1 1/4 lengths over Pour It On at Pimlico.

Winner of the Jameela Stakes at Laurel in February and the Maryland Million Oaks at Pimlico in October, both restricted, Silmaril failed against graded company last month, finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Anne Arundel at Pimlico.

Under jockey Abel Castellano Jr., Silmaril was kept off the initial pace in the 1 1/8-mile Geisha while Hunca Munca led the way through fractions of 23.92 seconds for the first quarter-mile, 48.08 for the half, and 1:13.26 for six furlongs.

Approaching the three-eighths pole, Silmaril left her rail position, split horses, then swung four wide to make her move and grab the lead. She drifted out a bit in the stretch but was never seriously threatened, as a late run by Pour It On fell short.

Chrusciki, the 2-1 second choice, was third, another 3 1/2 lengths back. The rallying Blind Canyon was a head behind in fourth in the field of nine fillies and mares, 3 years old and up.

Silmaril ($4.80 as the favorite), a 3-year-old daughter of Diamond trained by Christopher Grove, ran her record to 6-1-0 from nine starts. She covered the distance in 1:53.89 over a sloppy track.