Fluffy Socks Looks to Hit Paydirt in $100,000 Gallorette (G3)

Five Towns, Blissful Loom Large in Preakness Day Turf Event for Fillies and Mares

LAUREL, MD – Fluffy Socks has a knack for making her presence prominently felt in even the most challenging of turf races for fillies and mares. It’s the winner’s circle where she tends to go unnoticed.

Owner Head of Plains Partners LLC hope to end their 6-year-old’s string of narrow losses with a long-awaited victory in the $100,000 Gallorette (G3) Saturday at historic Pimlico Race Course.

The 1 1/16-mile turf event for fillies and mares 3 and up is among nine stakes, five graded, worth $3.3 million in purses on a blockbuster 14-race program anchored by the 149th Preakness Stakes (G1), Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown. First race post time is 10:30 a.m. EST.

For the first time this year, the winner of the Gallorette receives automatic entry and travel incentive to the Prix Jean Romanet (G1) at France’s Deauville on Aug. 18.

Fluffy Socks last won a year ago in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2). Since then, she’s raced in seven graded-stakes, finishing second or third in four of those, and falling short by 2 lengths or less in five.

The mare might find the local course to her liking. It was in her lone start at Pimlico that Fluffy Socks scored her first black-type victory, the Selima, as a 2-year-old in 2020.

After Fluffy Socks, the competition in the Gallorette is murky. Merry Fox Stables’ Five Towns began her career in Great Britain and made her U.S. debut in February at Gulfstream Park in an allowance optional claiming event. The 4-year-old filly has since reeled off two straight victories, including the one-mile Dahlia at Laurel Park in her most recent outing

“I think she is fit enough,” trainer Graham Motion said. “To me, she keeps improving. Her last two races have been very good.”

Blissful, a 5-year-old mare trained by Cherie DeVaux for owners Belladonna Racing LLC, Manganaro Bloodstock and Edward J. Hudson Jr., will be seeking her first stakes win in the Gallorette and is coming off five consecutive top three finishes in allowance company.

“She’s showed a lot of talent,” DeVaux said. “It’s just taken her a while to get there. But she ran really good last out at Keeneland, a really good second, so we’re going to step her up in stakes company. She’s 5 and it means so much with the fillies and mares just to get some black type.”

Others entered in the Gallorette are John T. Behrendt’s Tequilera and Michael Dubb, Steven Bouchey, New Phoenix Stable and America’s Pastimes Stables’ Sweet Dani Girl.

Sweet Dani Girl opened her 2024 campaign with back-to-back wins at Gulfstream Park before finishing fourth in a listed stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Tequilera will be seeking her first stakes win after finishing seventh in her only previous stakes try, the Suwannee River (G3) at Gulfstream in April.

Also entered in the Gallorette are Resolute Bloodstock LLC’s Dana’s Beauty and Ascendancy, owned by Jauregul Racing Stables Inc., Dan Barrett, David Crossley, David Foran, Daniel Preiss, Ange. D. Valadez and Graham Witherall.

Haymarket Farm LLC’s Cats Inthe Timber, winner of the Weber City Miss on dirt at Laurel last year, and Albert Dilello’s Ninja Abais are entered for main track only.

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