A competitive field of 10 three-year-old fillies will line up in Friday’s $250,000 Black Eyed Susan (G2) led by the Bob Baffert trained Beautiful Gift, the 9-5 morning line.
Baffert has not exactly been having a good week and will not be at Pimlico to saddle Beautiful Gift, the runner up in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) in her last outing. She will be saddled by Baffert’s assistant Jimmy Barnes, who will give Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez a leg up.
“She’s run well,” Baffert said. “I was going to run her in the Kentucky Oaks, but it came up way too tough. That’s one of the toughest Kentucky Oaks I’ve seen. I didn’t want to put her through that. I said, ‘We’ll wait for the Black-Eyed Susan. You try to spot your horses, give them a chance where they have a chance to win.”
The filly takes on nine fillies including the Chad Brown trained The Grass Is Blue (6-1), who ran into the talented Search Results, her stablemate, in her last two starts, a third in the Busher Invitational and a fourth in her most recent start in the Gazelle (G3).
2021 Gazelle Replay
The Brad Cox trained Adventuring (4-1) is coming off a victory in the Bourbonette Oaks over the Tapeta surface at Turfway Park. Florent Geroux has the return call as the filly returns to conventional dirt.
“She broke her maiden in an off the turf race on the dirt and performed extremely well,” Cox said. “She was able to get the job done on the synthetic and she works well enough on the dirt to give us the confidence to try a graded stake on the dirt.”
The Black Eyed Susan is the 13th of 14 races on the Friday card at Pimlico. There are five supporting stakes including the $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3) and the $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3).
My full card reports for both Black Eyed Susan Day and Preakness Day are now available.
Let’s head out to Pimlico for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Pimlico Race 13 The Black Eyed Susan G2 (5:44 ET)
#8 The Grass Is Blue 6-1
#9 Adventuring 4-1
#10 Beautiful Gift 9-5
#5 Lady Traveler 12-1
The Grass Is Blue
This filly is sent out by the Chad Brown barn who takes the blinkers off after a fourth-place finish in the Gazelle (G3) last out. This gal was the Busanda three back at Aqueduct at nine furlongs for her first stakes win. She then was third in the Busher Invitational behind Search Results, who beat her again in the Gazelle and the runner up Miss Brazil who came back to trounced Alw-2 optional claimers and the fifth-place finisher Make Mischief came back to beat Alw-1 foes and then run third in the Eight Belles (G2) at Churchill Downs on Oaks Day. She picks up Irad and looks like decent value if she goes off close to her 6-2 morning line.
The Cox trainee is coming off a good looking win over the Tapeta surface at Turfway Park in the Bourbonette Oaks. The filly was making her first start against winners, came with a three wide rally to take command and drew off to win by two lengths earning a career top speed fig. Her first three stakes came in races taken off the turf at Fair Grounds. She graduated in the third by 6 1/2 lengths. She has worked well over sit and it looks as if this gal still has some upside. She has a nice pedigree, by Pioneerof the Nile out of the multiple G1 stakes winner Questing, who won the 2012 CCA Oaks and Alabama.
The morning line favorite prompted the early pace and could not get past the winner in the stretch in a runner up finish in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) as the 4-5 chalk. It was a small field of four and the third and fourth place finishers came back to run 11th and fifth in their next starts. She won the San Ysabel (G3) two back in her first start against winners and off a 4 1/2-month break. But again, she faced just three foes. The runner up Moraz came back to run third in the Santa Anita Oaks and 11th in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). Her last two speed figs are tops in here, but she draws the outside post and is going to be a light price. And who wants to root for Baffert this weekend?