Go Maggie Go gives Romans second straight Black-Eyed Susan
It was the second consecutive win for Romans in the 1 1/8-mile Black-Eyed Susan after Keen Pauline registered an upset last year. Romans, whose first classic win came in the 2011 Preakness (G1) with Shackleford, will be represented by Cherry Wine in Saturday's renewal of middle jewel of the Triple Crown.
"This is such a special race in a special city that still loves horse racing so much and treats us all with such open arms when we come to town," Romans said. "I tell everyone that the Kentucky Derby is the most intense race in the world, this is the most fun for horsemen. We get out of that boiler pot over there and we come here, and Baltimore just opens its arms to us. We love it here."
Contesting the lead with Kinsley Kisses for the opening seven furlongs through splits of :23.49, :48.83, and 1:13.54, Go Maggie Go finally shook loose from that rival in upper stretch and drew away to a 2 1/2-length score under Luis Saez. The 9-5 second choice in a field of 12 three-year-old fillies, Go Maggie Go paid $5.60 finished up in 1:51.81 over a fast track.
Ma Can Do It, a maiden who finished third in the Alcibiades (G1) and fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) last fall, rallied up the inside to nip Kinsley Kisses for second by a head at odds of 50-1. Kinsley Kisses was a neck in front of Dothraki Queen, while 17-10 favorite Land Over Sea, the runner-up in the Kentucky Oaks (G2) two weeks ago, checked in sixth after a rough trip entering the first turn and down the backside.
Go Maggie Go, herself, was also exiting the Kentucky Oaks. The Mike Tarp-owned daughter of Ghostzapper was making only her third career start that day, and fared well when rallying for fourth despite getting steadied and herded.
"She should have been closer to the pace in the Oaks. She crossed her legs and when they were straightening her up they sprung the latch and she just got left behind. That's what showed me the quality filly that she is, because she had been close to the lead in her two previous starts and she got all the dirt and still came running. When she left there clean today, I didn't think they were going to beat her."
Go Maggie Go won her first two starts at Gulfstream by a combined 6 1/4 lengths, including the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2).
Bred in Kentucky by Tarp, Go Maggie Go was reared by the Tale of the Cat mare Magibel, who has also produced Grade 2 winner Wallyanna. She's now earned $371,400.
(Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)