Shapiro: A Closer Look at West Coasters on the Black-Eyed Susan card
The Black Eyed Susan (G2) for three-year-old fillies headlines the Friday afternoon card at Pimlico. The undercard on the day before the Preakness is one of the more challenging slates I've seen this year.
After a plethora of horses from Southern California competed over Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs, there are just a few West Coast-based runners performing over the 14-race card in Baltimore on Friday.
Let's take a look at a few of them with significant chances:
Lottie (Race 4)
This daughter of Arch was one of a string of horses based in Southern California for trainer Graham Motion. The Jack Swain III-owned filly lacks early speed, but has shown the ability to get nine-furlong distance already. In fact, her lone victory in seven tries came at a mile and an eighth when she sat mid-pack early and ran down a 12-horse field late at odds of 7-2.
Lottie has struggled to avoid trouble in most of her races to date, but if Jose Ortiz can work out a clean voyage in his first try aboard, she is the one to beat in the second leg of the early Pick 4.
I love playing horses making the second start of their four-year-old campaign. It quite often produces career-best performances. She does not offer significant value at 7-2 on the morning line, but is the one to beat.
She's A Warrior (Race 5, The Allaire duPont Distaff [G3])
Trainer Peter Eurton ships this $160,000 OBS March 2015 purchase out of Southern California for the first time since a seventh-place finish in last year's Black Eyed Susan. The C R K Stable runner returns to take on graded stakes competition after a wire-to-wire score against a compact field of four high-level optional claimers on April 14 at Santa Anita.
The daughter of Majestic Warrior also fits under the second start as a four-year-old angle, but I think she is in over her head against this group of fillies and mares. She was able to walk on the lead in an oddly-run race to start her 2017 campaign and has little shot to find the front against the talented Terra Promessa.
Perhaps she can grind along for a minor share if she moves forward on Friday, but I lean elsewhere in the $150,000 event at 1 1/8 miles.
Richard's Boy (Race 10, The Jim McKay Turf Sprint)
This California-bred son of Idiot Proof has not run since a fifth place effort over a yielding course in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in late March. The winner of eight of 21 lifetime starts has shown an affinity for the five-furlong distance, having won three of four and finishing second to the talented Michael Machowsky runner Why Two in his lone defeat.
On paper, Richard's Boy appears one of the likely winners along with the fleet-footed Pay Any Price as they both tackle the 32-time winner Ben's Cat, but I have concerns on whether his form will translate outside of California. However, if he can bounce back from the trip overseas and fire off the nearly three-month freshening, he certainly should get the right stalking trip under Paco Lopez to get it done.
You can find my entire selections/analysis on Friday's massive 14-race card at Pimlico in my Spotlight Selections at the link below: