Hanson: Spot plays for Black-Eyed Susan Day May 20
The 14-race Preakness eve card at Pimlico on Friday has a variety of possibilities, including a wide-open renewal of the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) with a field of 13 three-year-old fillies. Here several horses that pique our interest looking ahead.
Race 1: Allowance (11:30 a.m. ET)
#8 Credit River (9-2) concedes recency having not run since October 2020, but that is offset by the fact the More Than Ready colt won a five-furlong turf stakes at Woodbine on debut before hitting the sidelines after a fading sixth in the 1 1/16-mile Cup and Saucer S. Less exposed than most everyone he faces here, the gray adds blinkers and Lasix for a barn that is generally pretty dangerous with comeback types.
Race 3: Allowance (12:32 p.m. ET)
Although he might wind up running instead in Saturday's opener on the dirt, #2 Spitball (15-1) offers some appeal in this spot as longshot fodder for exotics, at the very least. The 27-start veteran does concede turf experience and back class to the main candidates, but is by 13% turf debut sire City Zip and he's had positive wet track form in the past, often indicative that he'll take to the turf.
New barn, which recently haltered him for $25,000, has won at a 26 percent clip off the claim from a sample of 211, according to Brisnet stats. He shows a recent fast workout, too, a :47 4/5 half-mile over the main track at Laurel.
Race 4: Allowance (1:02 p.m. ET)
#7 Affable Monarch (4-1) returns to the racing wars having not run since October but faces a group that's pretty well exposed at this point. An easy winner on debut at Monmouth over Pioneer of Medina, who finished fourth in the Risen Star (G2) and third in the Louisiana Derby (G2) over the winter, Affable Monarch closed well from behind a slow pace to miss in his two-turn debut at Delaware when last seen.
An Arrogate half-brother to Belmont Derby (G1) winner Force the Pass, Affable Monarch remains with plenty of upside.
Race 8: Allaire duPont Distaff (G3) (3:05 p.m. ET)
#6 Frost Point (3-1) appeared to race out of her comfort zone last time in the Top Flight Invitational at Aqueduct, rating just behind a slow pace and not producing the kind of kick she displayed more effectively in prior two-turn runs, one of which was in a previous trip to Maryland in late January.
Beaten only a neck by morning line favorite Super Quick in a Keeneland allowance last fall, Frost Point might trip out better this time with plenty of speed signed on in this short field.
Race 13: Black-Eyed Susan (G2) (5:44 p.m. ET)
As noted in the Racing Roundtable earlier this week, #7 Distinctlypossible (6-1) seemingly has a bright future and is the pick to win this nine-furlong test, despite only recently breaking her maiden.
The Chad Brown trainee was a clear second to subsequent Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) runner-up Juju's Map in the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland in October in only her second lifetime start. She got a late start to this campaign, but returned on a winning note at Keeneland last month to graduate over next-out winner and fellow Black-Eyed Susan entry Miss Yearwood.
Distinctlypossible is bred to get better with distance and has kept as good of company as most everyone else here.