05/22/2007 12:00AM

Time's Mistress rallies to take Miss Preakness


BALTIMORE - Time's Mistress, taking advantage of a contested pace and a clever, ground-saving ride from Mark Guidry, rallied boldly through the lane to capture the Grade 3, $125,000 Miss Preakness Stakes for 3-year-old filly sprinters on Friday at Pimlico.

Time's Mistress ($17.80) caught Silver Knockers inside the sixteenth pole and quickly drew away to prevail by 1 3/4 lengths. Silver Knockers finished second, 3 3/4 lengths in front of third-place Richwoman.

Your Flame in Me, the even-money favorite, faded to finish fifth in the seven-horse field while suffering the first loss of her four-race career.

Time's Mistress covered six furlongs on the fast main track in 1:10.53 to score her fourth win in 11 lifetime starts. D. Wayne Lukas trains Time's Mistress, a daughter of Mr. Greeley, for owner Charles Kidder.

Your Flame in Me had won her three previous races from start to finish, but she was hounded early by Sea the Joy through an opening quarter-mile in 22.97 seconds, which is rapid with the short run up to the timer at Pimlico. Your Flame in Me began to bear out on the turn, allowing Silver Knockers to come through inside her.

Silver Knockers rolled to a three-length lead with a furlong remaining, but Time's Mistress closed powerfully to reel her in.

"The pace was a little quicker than I anticipated, but they kind of collapsed on the front end," Guidry said.

"She had a horrendous trip last time," Lukas said, referring to the fifth-place finish by Time's Mistress in the La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 5. "Today she had a perfect trip with Mark."

Lukas said he would keep Time's Mistress around one turn. He said the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at one mile at Belmont Park on June 9 would be "a quantum leap."

"But I've done well in races I don't belong," he said.

Michael Trombetta, the trainer of Your Flame in Me, was puzzled by his filly's antics.

"She was trying to get out for some reason today," Trombetta said. "We have a bit of work to do with her. She's still young. You may see her with blinkers the next time she runs."

The Very One: Unbridled Sidney gate to wire

Calvin Borel made his first ride at Pimlico a winning one, guiding Unbridled Sidney to a gate-to-wire three-length victory in the $75,000 The Very One Stakes.

Wild Berry got up for second, a head in front of Keep on Talking.

The victory was the eighth from 20 starts for Unbridled Sidney, a 6-year-old daughter of Unbridled's Song owned by Norrine and Douglas Devenport and trained by Ronny Werner.

Unbridled Sidney broke like a shot and quickly opened up a clear advantage while running fractions of 21.95 seconds and 44.27. She maintained a clear advantage coming into the stretch and she responded to three taps of Borel's whip to register the victory. She covered five furlongs in 55.77 seconds over firm turf and returned $3.60 as the favorite.

"[The break] is really important, you know she's got to be on the lead, she's got natural speed," Borel said. "She put me there and Ronny said save a little bit in the tank for me at the end which we did."

Unbridled Sidney rebounded from a sixth-place finish in the Aegon Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on May 4. That race was run over yielding turf. Though rain was in the forecast Friday, it never came.

"The firmer the better for her," Werner said. "That's what I think hurt us quite a bit Derby week."

- David Grening

Whimsical: La Chica Rica upsets short field

Trainer Crystal Pickett scored the first stakes win of her career when La Chica Rica sped to a gate-to-wire victory in the $95,000 Whimsical Stakes for older female sprinters at Pimlico.

La Chica Rica ($11.60) was the longest shot in a field that was reduced to a mere four runners following three scratches off the program. Under jockey Jozbin Santana, she set fractions of 23.64 and 46.25 seconds en route to a final clocking of 1:10.99 for six furlongs on the fast main track.

She lasted to win by a half-length over Homesteader, with favored Waytotheleft another five lengths back in third. Ursula's Passion trailed.

La Chica Rica was disqualified from a victory in the Squan Song Stakes at Laurel in December, which would have given Pickett her first stakes win then. Friday's victory was the sixth in 18 lifetime starts for La Chica Rica.

"She's come a long way since being a $20,000 claimer at Delaware Park, where I clamed her last year," Pickett said.

La Chica Rica, 4, is by Disco Rico and is owned by Bella Cavello Stables.

- Jay Privman