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Little man wasn't there
William Leggett
May 31, 1976
The only filly ever to beat Optimistic Gal was Dearly Precious and she did it again in the Acorn Stakes (above) when a jockey turned up missing
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May 31, 1976

Little Man Wasn't There

The only filly ever to beat Optimistic Gal was Dearly Precious and she did it again in the Acorn Stakes (above) when a jockey turned up missing

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Dearly Precious has been strikingly visible, even in defeat. Two weeks before the Acorn, she ran in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico. She was coming off a loss in the Comely at Belmont, but was expected to smother the field. In what was probably the finest filly race in several years, Dearly Precious and What A Summer drove to the wire together. The stewards took a full eight minutes to read the photo finish, finally declaring What A Summer the winner by a nose. But Dearly Precious had given her rival 10 pounds. "I felt it was one of her best races even though she lost," said Trainer Steve DiMauro. "She proved to me that she could run a distance [1[1/16] miles] and that she might have needed the race. I love Dearly Precious. She's unlike any horse I've ever seen. When she runs she seems to be happy. You can almost see her smiling."

Should Dearly Precious win the Mother Goose on June 4, she would then have to win the June 26 Coaching Club American Oaks (both races are also at Belmont Park) to complete the filly Triple Crown. Another filly did so last year. To many her name is dear and precious: Ruffian.

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