05/18/2016 12:20PM

R Girls a Charmer gets class relief, shorter distance in Miss Preakness

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R Girls a Charmer should appreciate shortening to the six-furlong distance of the Miss Preakness.

BALTIMORE – Like Maryland blue crab with Old Bay spice, a cutback in distance and some significant class relief could be the winning recipe for R Girls a Charmer when she faces nine rivals Friday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Miss Preakness Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico.

R Girls a Charmer set a wicked pace in the Beaumont at Keeneland last time out before fading to fourth, and that followed a try against eventual Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia in the one-mile Davona Dale at Gulfstream. The Miss Preakness is at six furlongs, the distance at which she beat maidens, and there’s not a single graded stakes winner in the field.

“We think this is the perfect spot,” Norman Casse, the assistant to his father, trainer Mark Casse, said Wednesday at Pimlico. “She’s been keeping very good company. This is certainly class relief. She’s turning back. She’s distance-limited.”

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R Girls a Charmer looks as though she will have to deal with quite a bit of pace pressure, as She’s All Ready, Ultra Brat, Lost Raven, Quick Release, and Moment Is Right all prefer to be on or near the lead. That could help a filly like Banree, who is dropping back to a sprint after competing in the Grade 1 Ashland last time out.

R Girls a Charmer is hoping to improve upon the performance of the only other Casse-trained runner to ever compete in the Miss Preakness. In 2014, he finished eighth with Tepin. She has done okay since then.

Miss Preakness, Race 13

KEY CONTENDERS

R Girls a Charmer, by In Summation

Last 3 Beyers: 73-62-80

◗ She has had to gun it from inside draws in three of her prior five races but is favorably drawn here in post 8.

Quick Release, by Trappe Shot

Last 3 Beyers: 75-58-70

◗ She comes off a front-running victory against allowance company at Keeneland and has never finished worse than second in three tries at six furlongs.

◗ Both of her victories have been in concert with Javier Castellano, who is back aboard Friday.

Banree, by Macho Uno

Last 3 Beyers: 78-61-74

◗ She was no factor in the Ashland, but her dirt sprints last year were competitive, and she’ll have plenty of pace to sit behind.

She’s All Ready, by Girolamo

Last 3 Beyers: 75-59-69

◗ She has drawn the rail for the third time in her last four starts, so she likely has to be sent from there to hold her position.

◗ This is her second start off a layoff, and she earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 78 last year at 2 in her second lifetime start.

◗ She owns two wins and a second when ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, who is back aboard.

Simple Surprise, by Cowboy Cal

Last 3 Beyers: 69-70-51

◗ She adds blinkers and switches to Florent Geroux after a pair of starts at Oaklawn.