Keying Sara Street in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

May 15th, 2018

Not to rain on the parade, but it sounds like there will literally be rain on the post parade for Friday’s $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico Racecourse.

Only one of the ten fillies entered in the nine-furlong event has ever won a graded stakes races, and only one other has placed at that level, so a sloppy or muddy track would add another layer of difficulty to an already challenging race.

With this in mind, handicappers might be rewarded for digging into pedigrees a bit in search of fillies that are bred to handle wet tracks. Fortunately, it appears that #9 Sara Street—arguably the fastest horse in the race on paper—has a top-notch mud pedigree as well, making her an appealing choice in this tricky race.

In my opinion, everything about Sara Street’s pedigree suggests that she’ll relish wet going. Her sire, Street Sense, has sired several runners that excelled over off tracks, including the Grade 1 winners Sweet Reason and Aubby K. Furthermore, Sara Street’s dam, Sara Louise, won the 2009 Victory Ride Stakes (gr. III) over a sloppy track, and her sire—Malibu Moon—is renowned as the sire of Orb, who won the 2013 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) over a sloppy track.

With that kind of heritage, I don’t think Sara Street will have an issue with a wet track on Friday, and her races to date suggest that she has the talent to back up her pedigree. Just look at how she ran when second in the nine-furlong Gazelle Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct last time out—after battling for the early lead, she fought on gamely through the homestretch to finish just a half-length behind the late-running My Miss Lilly, earning a 99 BRIS speed figure and a 100 BRIS Late Pace rating.

Making the effort even more impressive is the fact that RacingFlow.com recorded a noteworthy track bias favoring late runners on the day of the Gazelle, so the fact that Sara Street ran as well as she did on the front end despite less-than-favorable circumstances is eye-catching. Taking all of this together, I think that Sara Street is the horse to beat in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.

Therefore, I’ll key Sara Street in the exotics while adding #3 Coach Rocks, winner of the Gulfstream Park Oaks (gr. II) and seventh in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I); #4 Red Ruby, triumphant over a sloppy, sealed track in the Martha Washington Stakes two starts back; and #7 Goodonehoney, an impressive seven-length winner of the Weber City Miss Stakes at Laurel last month.

$4 exacta: 9 with 3,4,7 ($12) $2 trifecta: 9 with 3,4,7 with 3,4,7 ($12) $1 trifecta: 3,4,7 with 9 with 3,4,7 ($6)

Good luck!