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Preakness undercard not just whistling Dixie

BALTIMORE -- Hap returned to the races in winning fashion Saturday, pulling away in the stretch for a 1 1/4 -length victory in the $200,000 Dixie, one of several stakes on the Preakness undercard.

The 5-year-old chestnut last raced six months ago, when he finished fourth in the Breeders' Cup Mile on Nov. 4. Hap was in fine form in the 100th running of the Dixie as jockey Jerry Bailey guided him past leader North East Bound in the upper stretch.

Trained by Bill Mott, Hap won for the seventh time in 11 starts. The son of Theatrical covered the 1 1-8 miles on the grass in 1:48 2-5. Hap paid $7.20, $4.40 and $4.

After the BC Mile, Hap had ankle surgery and Mott said he was in no hurry to get his horse back to the race track.

"This horse has always run well fresh," Mott said. "I had six horses to choose from for this race and I felt he was my best chance."

Make No Mistake, with Corey Nakatani up, finished second and returned $6 and $4.80. Cynics Beware, ridden by Mario Pino, was third and paid $9.20. Favored Quiet Resolve, who won the Dixie last year, was fourth in the field of eight.

Holditholditholdit was fifth, followed by North East Bound, Watchman's Warning and Dynamic Trick.

Hap stumbled out of the gate, but regained his stride and took control entering the eighth pole. increased his earnings to $484,890 for his owner, the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust.

Serra Lake by a neck in Pimlico Distaff
Serra Lake, ridden by Pat Day, caught 3-5 favorite Jostle in the final strides for a neck victory in the $200,000 Pimlico Distaff. The 5-year-old filly trained by Shug McGaughey returned $9.40 in her third win in as many starts this year. Serra Lake covered the 1 1-8 miles in 1:50 1-5.

Perfect Cat over Rize in Schaefer Handicap
Perfect Cat, the 7-5 favorite, overtook second choice Rize just past the 16th-pole and won the $100,000 William Donald Schaefer Handicap by 1 1/4 lengths. Ridden by Jerry Bailey, the winner covered the 1 1-8 miles in 1:49 2-5. Perfect Cat, trained by Mark Hennig, returned $4.80 for a $2 win bet.

Burning Roma takes Sir Barton
Burning Roma, ridden by Rick Wilson, grabbed the lead in the stretch and held off Mi Amigo Guelo by three-quarters of a length in the $100,000 Sir Barton Stakes for 3-year-olds. The winner, trained by Tony Dutrow, returned $4 to win, and covered the 1 1-16 miles in 1:44. It's So Simple, trained by Nick Zito, was third.

Disco Rico dances away with Maryland BC
Disco Rico won the $100,000 Maryland Breeders' Cup by 2 1/2 lengths over Flame Thrower. Disco Rico paid $8.40 to win, covering six furlongs in 1:10 2-5.