Race Preview: Black Eyed Susan - Pimlico, May 17, 2013

Profile Picture: Matt Carter

Matt Carter

May 17th, 2013

The feature race on Friday at Pimlico is the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan for the three-year-old fillies.  The nine furlong event is the tenth race on the card, which is the second leg of the late pick-4. 

The favorite for the race is Emollient, who is coming off a daylight victory in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland.  That race was on the Polytrack and while Emollient has won on the dirt before, she has yet to win on the dirt around two turns.  That may be nit picking on the favorite; however, even the connections are not 100% if she is a better filly on dirt or on synthetics.  Even though jockey Mike Smith took the Juddmonte-owned filly to the lead in that race, don't expect that on Friday.

Fiftyshadesofhay and her connections are glad to finally be away from Beholder, who has defeated the daughter of Pulpit in her last two starts.  Fiftyshadesofhay gets the blinkers on for the first time since her third career race and picks up Joel Rosario in the irons.  Even though trainer Bob Baffert has top three-year-old fillies in his stable every year the Hall-of-Fame trainer has not won the Black-Eyed Susan since Yearly Report in 2004.

The one thing that this race should have is a lot of pace.  Petit Trianon has won three of her first four career starts and in all three she was in front after a half.  In fact, she was also in front after a half in her debut after dwelting at the start.  The only win for Marathon Lady was in wire-to-wire fashion and she finished second by a nose after being close to the pace in the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park.

Maracuya is another front-runner, but she may be a class above the others.  She won her debut by a length over at least one next out winner then won her second career start over another next out winner.  Also note that Barbie Wire, the second place finisher in the debut, came back on Thursday and broke her maiden, two starts after that race.  Up in class for trainer Ralph Nicks, but she may just be up for the challenge.

That leaves Toasting as the filly that will be doing her best running late.  The daughter of Congrats has won twice in seven starts with three thirds on the resume.  Toasting has not been out since a third place finish in a stakes race at the Ocala Training Center, but has been working steadily for the past two months. 

While Fiftyshadesofhay and Emollient are the most talented on paper, they may not be the ones to wager on.  Each of them face questions about either surface or race shape and would make for a great pick-4 payoff if both get beat.  It may be best to play a small ticket using other fillies in the race, then double up on the favorites.  It's all about having some money in the bank roll for the Preakness on Saturday.

First post on Friday at Pimlico is 12:00 ET with the Black-Eyed Susan scheduled to break from the gate at 4:47.  The $250,000 guaranteed pick-4 starts with the Jim McKay Turf Sprint at 4:16.