04/16/2016 4:04PM

Seeking Treasure sets course record in Dahlia Stakes

Maryland Jockey Club photo
Secret Treasure, ridden by Alex Cintron, wins the Dahlia Stakes by half a length Saturday.

Not only did Seeking Treasure ship in from Chicago to win the $75,000 Dahlia Stakes at Laurel Park on Saturday, but she did it with a replacement jockey and set a course record.

Seeking Treasure is trained by Hawthorne Park-based Doug Matthews. Julian Pimentel was named to ride, but he took off his mounts Saturday due to a foot injury and Alex Cintron picked up the ride.

Seeking Treasure was timed in 1:33.99 for one mile over the Bowl Game course, lowering the record of 1:34.17 that was set in 2006. The Laurel turf has six different course layouts.

Seeking Treasure received an inside trip to the stretch of the Dahlia Stakes. She lacked racing room behind horses in upper stretch but was patiently handled by Cintron. When a crease opened, Seeking Treasure split the pacesetting Gypsy Judy and Nakuti, then accelerated up the rail to win by a half-length.

"I had a good trip until the quarter pole and then got caught up in the traffic," Cintron said. "Once I found room, she just took off."

Seeking Treasure, a 6-year-old mare owned by Steven Frum, paid $26.20 as the seventh choice in the nine-horse field. She was making her second trip to Laurel. She finished second over the Laurel turf last November in a $25,000 starter race.

Ginger N Rye, making her first start since October for trainer Horacio DePaz, ran well to be second at 10-1. DePaz is training his string of Sagamore Farm runners at Laurel Park this year rather than on the farm, which is owned by Under Armour founder and chief executive Kevin Plank.

Ginger N Rye went outside horses for the stretch run and finished a length ahead of third-place Nisharora, who lacked room in the stretch and didn't shake free until it was too late.

All in Fun, who lodged a four-wide bid on the far turn and then finished from well out in the course, was fourth, a head in front of Bride to Be, the 3-1 favorite by $4 over Hope Cross, who raced forwardly early but tired to finish last after racing closest to the front-running Gypsy Judy early.

Nakuti, the 3.6-1 third choice, raced forwardly until inside the final furlong and then flattened out to finish sixth.

Gypsy Judy clipped off fractions of 23.48 seconds, 46.48, and 1:10.42 before tiring in the final furlong to finish eighth.

The start of the Dahlia was delayed about five minutes when Bride to Be broke through the gate, injuring assistant starter Scott Daniels, who was taken to the hospital complaining of back spasms.

** Pimentel suffered two cracks in his foot after being stepped on by a horse six weeks ago. He wore a boot for support Friday while returning off a month layoff but had some swelling after riding in the fifth race. He will take off his Sunday mount also.

Agent Roniel Gerrardo, said Pimentel "is going to see the specialist Monday and have an MRI. We’ll see what happens and go from there.”