05/20/2001 11:00PM

Two Item Limit wins the Black-Eyed Susan


BALTIMORE - In 1980, Richard Migliore was the exercise rider for a filly named Island Charm who Stephen DiMauro Sr. brought down to Pimlico for the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. She finished fourth.

Twenty-one years later, Migliore guided Two Item Limit - a filly trained by Stephen DiMauro Jr. - to a two-length victory in the $200,000, Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico.

"I was thinking about that flying down here this morning that 21 years ago I was in the back of a horse van with a filly that I loved who eventually became my first stakes winner," Migliore said. "This had a lot more personal and emotional meaning to me than people might see from the outside."

It also meant a lot to DiMauro Jr., who passed up the Kentucky Oaks to run in this spot.

"It worked out good," DiMauro said. "I guess I've been lucky, I passed on a couple of races and ended being lucky."

Last fall, DiMauro skipped the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with Two Item Limit, who won the Tempted and Demoiselle at Aqueduct.

Migliore had Two Item Limit in between horses while tracking the pace-setting Scoop, who was being pressed by Tap Dance. Around the turn, Migliore sent Two Item Limit out of the pack and after Scoop. She collared that one in mid-stretch and had more than enough to hold off Indy Glory under Jorge Chavez.

"Ideally you don't want to be between horses but I was directly in behind Tap Dance who I felt was live enough to carry me as long as I needed her to," Migliore said. "The horse outside of me was a horse I figured I'd be able to shake loose from anytime from the three-eighths pole out. . . . She won with a little left in the tank. I was really impressed with her performance."

Two Item Limit covered the nine furlongs in 1:50.84 over a fast track and returned $4.40 as a slight second choice behind Tap Dance who finished third. Vines of Justice and Scoop completed the order of finish.

License Fee's best is good enough

Trainer Elliott Walden calls License Fee "one of my favorites of all-time," and again she displayed why - by bravely holding off fast-finishing Starine to win the $100,000, Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap on the turf.

License Fee, the 6-5 favorite, was best by a half-length, with 28-1 shot Crystal Sea 1 1/4 lengths behind Starine. Colstar, the race's defending champion and the 8-5 second choice, finished fifth in the field of eight, her late punch negated by a slow early pace. It was Colstar's first loss in four tries on the Pimlico turf.

License Fee sat second while Crystal Sea set fractions of 24.92 seconds, 49.06, and 1:13 for the first six furlongs. License Fee reeled in Crystal Sea just inside the furlong pole, then was all out to prevail.

Pat Day rode License Fee, who paid $4.60 and covered 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:42.81. A 6-year-old mare and a daughter of Black Tie Affair, License Fee is owned by Bill Casner and Kenny Trout's WinStar Farm, which purchased License Fee privately in October 1999 on advice from Jerry Brown of Thoro-Graph, a handicapping information tool.

License Fee has now won 15 of 41 lifetime starts, and is 5 for 13 for Walden. Although her recent best races have been on the turf, she showed her versatility in her previous start by capturing the Sixty Sails Handicap on the dirt at Sportsman's Park.

"So many horses don't try, don't put their best foot forward," Walden said. "She's not a big, imposing mare. She's not blessed with tremendous speed, but she is blessed with tremendous heart."

Confessional wins The Very One

Confessional, a turf sprint specialist, won for the seventh time in her last eight starts, but she had to work for it in the $75,000 The Very One Stakes. Confessional got a perfect trip behind two dueling leaders, but one of them, Merry Princess, hung on doggedly and forced Confessional to reach down deep and find more.

Confessional won by a head in 56.46 seconds for five furlongs on firm turf. The course record is 56.20. The heavy 1-5 favorite, Confessional paid $2.60. Dressy Dress was another 3 1/4 lengths back in third.

Ramon Dominguez rode Confessional for trainer H. Graham Motion. Confessional, a 5-year-old Holy Bull mare bred and owned by Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Stable, has now won 10 of 21 starts.

* DiMauro said he would point Two Item Limit to the Grade 1, $250,000 Mother Goose on June 30 at Belmont.

* Pimlico offered two pick-four wagers with guaranteed pools on Friday. The first pick-four, covering races 4 through 7, guaranteed $25,000 in the pool and had a pool of $98,167. That pick-four, which featured all winning favorites, returned $100.90 for a $1 ticket.

* The second pick-four, which covered races 8 through 11 and guaranteed a minimum pool of $50,000, returned $40.20 for a $1 wager for three favorites and a second choice. The total pool was $125,102.

- additional reporting by Jay Privman