BALTIMORE, Md. – We’re ready to kickoff a great weekend at Old Hilltop which will culminate in the Preakness Stakes late Saturday afternoon. On tap tomorrow afternoon at Pimlico Race Course is the 1 1/8-mile $500,000 Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan. Friday’s card will also includes three Grade 3 races, the Miss Preakness, the DuPont Distaff and the Pimlico Special, in addition to three other non-graded stakes races.
The 92nd running of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes features a full field of 14 fillies trying to step up within the 3-year-old filly division. The race has attracted two of the top four finishers from the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks two weeks ago in Land Over Sea (2-1) and Go Maggie Go (5-2).
This year’s race will be televised nationally on NBC Sports Network (3 p.m.) in a two-hour telecast as part of NBC’s weekend coverage of the Preakness Stakes.
Let’s take a look at the field for the Black-Eyed Susan (trainer, jockey, odds in parenthesis):
Race 11 – Post Time: 4:50 p.m.
1 – AP Majetstic (Trombella, Carrasco, 30-1) – The long shot daughter of Majestic Warrior finished second in a local prep at Laurel, but was placed first via disqualification. This appears to be a big step up in class and anything other than a minor award would be a surprise.
2 – Dothraki Queen (McPeek, Leparoux, 15-1) – Was on the outside looking in for the Kentucky Oaks, stuck on the also-eligible list. She posted some strong workouts at Churchill during training for the Oaks, so she could be ready to roll. The daughter of Pure Prize has only raced once during the current year and her last win was in September at Churchill in a Grade 2 contest.
3 – Land Over Sea (O’Neill, Gutierrez, 2-1) – She’s the morning line favorite off her big effort in the Oaks. The daughter of Bellamy Road wheels right back for O’Neill who will look to complete a BES-Preakness double with the Derby winner. She’s a late closing type who should have some pace to close into. My pick in the Oaks stays right in the same spot for me.
4 – Ma Can Do It (Romans, Hernandez, 30-1) – Maiden filly is a daughter of Majesticperfection. Doesn’t appear to have the past performances nor the speed to contend with this field.
5 – Go Maggie Go (Romans, Saez, 5-2) – Lightly raced filly finished strong in the Oaks to complete the super after being forced seven-wide. That effort was much better than the result. A daughter of Ghostzapper, she has the tools to be a factor in this division. Win threat.
6 – She’s a Warrior (Eurton, Stevens, 6-1) – It’s not everyday you see a maiden listed at 6-1 in a Grade 2 race. She ran a decent third behind the very talented Songbird in the Santa Anita Oaks, beaten four lengths after finding some trouble. Looks to be an improving filly, but still hasn’t visited a winners’ circle. Best used underneath in the exotics.
7 – Downdraft (Lawrence, Cruz, 30-1) – Big maiden win last out at Laurel. Daughter of Warrior’s Reward comes in third off the layoff, but steps into deep waters in facing winners for the first time on the big stage. Passing.
8 – Double Entendre (Walder, Spieth, 30-1) – Another big-priced long shot sired by former Derby trail horse American Lion out of a FuPeg mare. Only third career start, add an equipment change (blinkers) and you’re asking a lot from this lightly raced filly. She’s not shown the level of speed required in here to compete.
9 – Midnight On Oconee (Jones, Saez, 15-1) – Tough to toss a Larry Jones-trained filly in a big race. If you throw out her last effort in the Fair Grounds Oaks, she has a decent resume and could be used underneath for a price.
10 – Kinsley Kisses (Pletcher, Velazquez, 6-1) – Any time you can get 6-1 for this all-star combination you have to give it a second thought. With only three career sprint races under her belt, stretching out for two turns for the first time may be a big ask for the daughter of Congrats. But it’s Pletcher-Velazquez so it’s worth a saver win bet.
11 – In The Navy Now (Trombetta, McCarthy, 30-1) – Midshipman filly was the DQ loser to the rail horse in the Laurel prep. Looks to be an improving filly but the outside post may be a hindrance when they hit the clubhouse turn. Took her five races to break her maiden and drifted out to cause the DQ in her last.
12 – Flora Dora (Coffey, Alvarado, 30-1) – Daughter of First Dude, runner-up of the 2010 Preakness to Lookin at Lucky. Has struggled in her last two outings at the Big A against decent competition, don’t see a change on Friday. She has a couple decent mornings on the worktab, but seems to have regressed on the track.
13 – Cced (Asmussen, Geroux, 15-1) – After two solid efforts in maiden races at the Fair Grounds, she faltered at Oaklawn before winning an optional claimer there in her last effort. She has the pedigree (daughter of Curlin out of a Holy Bull mare) to stretch out for connections that have enjoyed success together. May have to exert some early energy to get to the lead. Wouldn’t be surprised if she hung on for a piece.
14 – Mom’s On Strike (Sharp, Rocco, 15-1) – Broke her maiden last out for Joe Sharp at Oaklawn. Another daughter of First Dude who will be starting her third career race. Outside post and lack of class and experience at this level are enough for me to toss.
Post Time Outlook – 1 –Land Over Sea 2 –Go Maggie Go; 3 – Cced; 4 – Kinsley Kisses
The Preakness Post Position Draw