05/15/2009 11:00PM

Ravalo recovers to win Maryland Sprint

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BALTIMORE Trainer Donald Barr didn't like the way things started for his 5-year-old gelding Ravalo in the $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap, but he was certainly pleased with how they finished in Saturday's Grade 3 sprint stakes at Pimlico.

Ravalo, under John Velazquez, overcame a stumble at the start and then withstood a stretch-long battle with Silver Edition to win the Maryland Sprint Handicap by a head. It was two lengths back to Celtic Innis in third.

It was the 11th victory in 24 starts for Ravalo, a Kentucky-bred son of Mutakddim owned by Lindy Redding. It was his eighth stakes victory.

Barr figured Ravalo would be on or near the lead in the early stages, but the horse wound up fourth after the stumble. Velazquez said he let Ravalo gather himself up and was quite pleased when the gelding grabbed the bridle entering the far turn.

"At the five-sixteenths pole I showed him the whip and he responded, and I said, All right buddy. let's go, Velazquez said. Down the lane he switched [leads], went on and put on a good fight with the horse. He had to run really hard, and after stumbling and everything I really give him a lot of credit.''

Ravalo covered six furlongs in 1:09.95 and returned $5.40 as he 8-5 favorite.

"It worked out all right,'' Barr said. "I was a little shaky when I was laying fourth but I've been known to be shaky anyway. I didn't expect him to be fourth, I though I'd be head and head for the lead or right on it.''

For Silver Edition, it was the second straight tough Preakness Day loss at Pimlico. Last year, he finished second to Lantana Mob in the Hirsch Jacobs.

"If he could've gotten outside he could've been a little tougher,'' trainer D. Wayne Lukas said. "He's been second and third in all these stakes, he just needs one.''