Smart Angle came from off the pace to win the $100,000-added Selima Stakes at Pimlico today and virtually clinch the 2-year-old filly championship in the process.
The bay daughter of Quadrangle scored by two lengths over Par Excellence while sharing top weight of 122 with that rival. Street Ballet led for three quarters of the 1 1/16 miles, but came up empty when the real racing began, finishing third.
The win was the sixth in eigth career outings for Smart Angle and brought her earnings well over the $300,000 mark. Trainer Woody Stephens said, "She's got the Eclipse (award). She doesn't have to run anymore. She's won six stakes now, four of them Grade 1."
Jockey Sam Maple allowed Smart Angle to settle into second place early and through the far turn. There, the pressure was applied by Maple from the right side and she responded with a strong burst of speed.
Meanwhile, Par Excellence, saving ground while being outrun, made a strong move into the stretch and appeared ready to argue with the eventual winner until jockey Lloyd Duffy had to take up and angle out sharply for running room. From the eighth pole home the Canadian winner of three stakes races made up ground, but too late.
The presentation in the winner's circle by Joseph T. Cascarella, Laurel vice president, was made difficult when it was found the Selima trophy had been left on a shelf in the publicity office.
One bettor plunked down a $70,000 show wager on Smart Angle, causing a minus show pool of $14,292.90. She paid $3 to win.
The first Saturday card at Pimilico since the track took over for Laurel, whose track is being rebuilt again, was a financial as well as an artistic success. The crowd of 13,236 bet $1,726,722, a gain of $400,000 over the comparable day last year.
In the eighth race, Bold Josh, a New York invader, came off the pace to beat T.V. Hill with an eyecatching rally in a snappy 1:43 3/5 for the 1-1/16 miles, nearly two seconds faster than the running time of the feature.
Smart Angle became the first Maryland bred to win a 2-year-old filly championship. She may start in the Demoiselle at Aqueduct next month, but her connections may decide to rest her. CAPTION: Picture, Smart Angle, Sam Maple up, captures $100,000-added Selima Stakes at Pimlico, virtually assuring the Maryland-bred filly the Eclipse Award as the top 2-year-old filly this season. By Larry Morris -- The Washington Post