09/06/2014 2:59PM

Vielsalm gives trainer emotional win in All Brandy


LAUREL, Md. – Dylan Smith, a former assistant trainer for the highly respected Maryland horseman Dickie Small, who died in April at age 68, won the first stakes of her career Saturday at Laurel Park, where Vielsalm, a horse formerly trained by Small, rallied from last to win the $120,000 All Brandy Stakes.

"I'm very excited and also a little emotional," Smith said. "Dickie was excited about this filly."

Smith, 26, worked for Small for eight years. She currently has 13 horses stabled at Pimlico. The All Brandy, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for Maryland-bred fillies and mares, was the third win of Smith's career and her second starter in a stakes.

Vielsalm was unhurried early by jockey Julian Pementel, advanced along the inside into the stretch, angled outward for racing room, and was up to nail Nashy's Vow on the wire by a neck.

"Julian gets along with her so well," Smith said. "She gets real fussy, and he knows how to deal with her."

Nashy's Vow, the 8-5 second choice in the seven-horse field finished a neck before the third-place finisher, Joy, the 11-10 favorite.

Vielsalm paid $21.20 to win. She was timed in 1:49.88, following splits of 24.69 seconds, 49.26, 1:13.48, and 1:37.53.

Vielsalm had finished second in her prior start, a 7 1/2-furlong second-level optional-claiming race at Delaware Park.

"We ran her at seven and a half at Delaware as a prep because we couldn't get her in a longer race," Smith said.

Vielsalm, a 4-year-old, is owned by Brooke Bowman and was bred by Bowman and his family. She has now won 4 of 22 starts and $173,516.

When asked if it was a difficult decision to leave his filly with such a young trainer after Small passed, he responded, "No, it was a no brainer. We had it all arranged with everyone before Dickie died. He liked this filly and had great faith in Dylan."