A Classy Champion, 1989 Belmont Stakes Winner Easy Goer
The Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve has the Longines Kentucky Oaks. At the Preakness Stakes, it’s the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes that offers 3-year-old fillies a chance to share the weekend spotlight with the colts at Pimlico. Though it’s a Grade 2 stakes and not a Grade 1, the Black-Eyed Susan attracted a large and competitive field and should offer some nice value bets for handicappers.
BLACK-EYED SUSAN STAKES
1. Sacred Wish (10-1): She was a wide second in the Gulfstream Park Oaks presented by FanDuel TV and should be much more of a factor here from the rail. Should enjoy some added distance
JOCKEY: John Velazquez TRAINER: George Weaver
2. Pate (20-1): Stretched out to two turns for the first time in the Fantasy Stakes and she never fired while finishing sixth. We’ll pass.
JOCKEY: Jeiron Barbosa TRAINER: Mike Maker
3. Hoosier Philly (10-1): A year ago, there was speculation that she might run in the Kentucky Derby. Losses in the Rachel Alexandra presented by Fasig-Tipton and Fair Grounds Oaks presented by Fasig-Tipton ended those thoughts. Yet a pair of fast, bullet works recent at Churchill Downs give off hope that maybe she is finally ready to bounce back with a big try here.
JOCKEY: Edgar Morales TRAINER: Tom Amoss
4. Merlazza (6-1): She has won her last three starts for trainer Brad Cox and while this is her graded stakes debut, she is on the upswing and seems poised for a strong effort here.
JOCKEY: Florent Geroux TRAINER: Brad Cox
5. Frosty O’Toole (15-1): Didn’t fire in her first start for trainer Todd Pletcher, finishing sixth in the Gazelle Stakes at Aqueduct. Gambling Girl, who was second in the Longines Kentucky Oaks, was second in the Gazelle, so perhaps it might be a key race. We’ll see.
JOCKEY: Joel Rosario TRAINER: Todd Pletcher
6. Miracle (10-1): Had a rough trip when fifth as the favorite in the Gulfstream Park Oaks presented by FanDuel TV. Was second before that in the Rachel Alexandra presented by Fasig-Tipton and a repeat of that effort will make her a major contender here.
JOCKEY: Irad Ortiz Jr. TRAINER: Todd Pletcher
7. Comparative (12-1): Steps into stakes company after an allowance and maiden win. She’s moving in the right direction but may need a little more seasoning to be a force here.
JOCKEY: Luis Saez TRAINER: Brad Cox
8. Balpool (8-1): Comes off a big win in an off-the-turf stakes. That normally would not carry much weight in a race like this, but the time was quick and she was a winner by 9 1/2 lengths on dirt in her previous. Merits serious consideration.
JOCKEY: Manny Franco TRAINER: Rob Atras
9. Faiza (7-5): Skipped the Kentucky Oaks, where she probably would have been the favorite, and that makes her an even bigger choice here. She’s undefeated in five starts and has a running style that should be flattered by the racetrack. It’s hard to look past her in search of a winner.
JOCKEY: Flavien Prat TRAINER: Bob Baffert
10. Taxed (15-1): Was second in the Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park and second in Oaklawn's Martha Washington Stakes two starts before that. A sharp work for the race paints her as an interesting longshot.
JOCKEY: Rafael Bejarano TRAINER: Randy Morse
11. Cats In the Timber (30-1): Won the Weber City Miss Stakes at Laurel Park, but the time was too slow to consider her a threat here.
JOCKEY: Jevian Toledo TRAINER: Brittany Russell
12. Towhead (20-1): Hard to build enthusiasm for her off a seventh in the Fantasy Stakes and a fifth in Oaklawn's Honeybee Stakes. Especially from the outside post.
JOCKEY: Tyler Gaffalione TRAINER: Mike Maker
THE PICK: Faiza
LIVE LONGSHOT: Taxed