by Mike Henry

Paco Lopez knew he was sitting on a powder keg. And when he lit the fuse, 5-year-old mare Dickinson responded with a powerhouse performance.

The Godolphin Racing-owned daughter of Medaglia d’Oro gobbled up pace-setter Isabella Sings through the stretch, posting a half-length victory in the 19th edition of the Grade II, $200,000 Hillsborough Stakes on the Tampa Bay Downs turf course.

Dickinson’s time of 1:46.75 for the mile-and-an-eighth was only .49 seconds off the course record set in last year’s Hillsborough by Tepin.

Elysea’s World rallied nicely to finish second, while never really threatening the winner. Isabella Sings finished third and Evidently was fourth.

Dickinson, who is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, improved to 6-for-13 with her second consecutive stakes victory. She is 4-for-5 since being moved to the turf last September.

“I was very lucky to have the best horse in the race, and she turned in a very good performance,” Lopez said.

“We’ve been patient with her, and we’re starting to be rewarded,” said Jimmy Bell, President and Racing Manager in the United States for Godolphin. “Paco fits her very well and he gave her a great ride today. We love her versatility, but the turf is where she has really started to flourish.”

Dickinson paid $8 to win.