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Real Quiet Wins Pimlico Special

May 8, 1999

BALTIMORE (AP) _ Real Quiet overtook Free House in a dramatic stretch duel Saturday and won the $500,000 Pimlico Special by a neck, his first victory in nearly a year.

Real Quiet, winless since the 1998 Preakness, covered the 1 3-16 miles in 1:54 1-5. That’s two-fifths of a second faster than his winning time in the Preakness, and the 4-year-old needed that kind of time to hand favored Free House his first loss in three races this year.

Real Quiet won $300,000 and Free House earned $100,000.

Fred Bear Claw finished third in the five-horse field, followed by Precocity and Brushing Up.

Real Quiet, at 9-5, paid $5.80, $2.20 and $2.10. Free House paid $2.10 and $2.10, and Precocity paid $2.10.

Free House and longshot Fred Bear Claw raced to the lead, but Gary Stevens came from the outside to put Real Quiet into contention shortly after the turn. When they hit the stretch, it became a battle between Chris McCarron, on Free House, and Stevens, who was running outside the rail.

Down the stretch, the two-horse race between the 1998 Preakness winner and the 1997 runner-up was impossible to call. But Real Quiet had a bit more left at the end and hit the wire an instant before the 3-5 favorite.

``It’s too bad a horse had to lose,″ said Real Quiet’s owner, Michael Pegram. ``Gary rode him the right way today, the horse had something left and we got lucky.″

Despite the lack of entrants in the race, there was no shortage of quality. Free House had two straight wire-to-wire wins this year; Real Quiet won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness last year before finishing second at Belmont; and Precocity came in with $1.74 million in career earnings.

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