While the Preakness Stakes (G1) on Saturday is missing the top four that crossed the wire in the Kentucky Derby (G1), there will be no shortage of outstanding betting opportunities for horseplayers over the next couple of days.
Friday’s Black Eyed Susan Day card features 14 races including seven stakes, and there are another 14 races on tap for Saturday including seven supporting stakes for the second jewel of the Triple Crown.
Not only are there 28 races over the course of the next two days, there is mostly large fields and for the first time in what seems like forever, Mother Nature is going to cooperate on a big racing day.
The stakes action on Friday starts with the seventh race, the $100,00 Skipat for fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track. The race drew 10 led by Chalon, the 6-5 morning line favorite. She makes her first start since missing winning the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) by a head at Churchill Downs last fall.
The $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3) drew a full field of 12 with one sitting on the also-eligible list. Covfefe (7-2) turned heads with a good looking maiden win in her debut last fall and is coming off a sharp win versus first level optional claimers in her last outing.
The $100,00 Hilltop is at a mile on turf for three-year-old fillies. A field of 14 go and of course trainer Chad Brown is well represented. He sends out the Euro invader Nova Sol (7-2) and Miss Grillo (G2) fourth place finisher Dogtag (9-2), who makes her three-year-old debut.
The $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) drew 14 and if you are playing Pick 4 and Pick 5’s this is one race you might want to go deep. The Todd Pletcher trained Rally Cry is the 9-2 morning line favorite.
Black Eyed Susan Draws Nine
The $250,000 Black Eyed Susan (G2) for three-year-old fillies drew an evenly matched group of nine. Point of Honor is the 5-2 morning line favorite but Always Shopping (4-1) and Brill (5-1) will take some betting action.
The $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint will have one of the shorter prices on the day. Bound for Nowhere is the even money morning line favorite. He was beaten a neck in the Shakertown (G2) at Keeneland in his last start.
Closing out the stakes action on Friday is the $150,000 Allaire Dupont Distaff (G3) drawing a field of seven. The Bill Mott trained Golden Award is the 5-2 morning line favorite but Gio Game (6-1) and Another Broad (7-2) look like major threats.
Let’s head out to Pimlico for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Pimlico Race 11 The Black Eyed Susan G2 (4:48 ET)
#6 Always Shopping 4-1
#7 Brill 5-1
#2 Off Topic 8-1
#8 Point of Honor 5-2
She prompted the early pace while down toward the inside, brushed with a foe, got her nose in from at the eighth pole and drew clear late to win the Gazelle (G2) at Aqueduct by 1 3/4 lengths in a sharp looking outing. The filly raced down toward the inner paths most of the day on an afternoon where the outer paths were the best place to be. Two back in the Busanda in her stakes debut she stalked the early pace and came with a four-wide bid, drawing off to win by 1 1/4 lengths. She caught a racing strip that day that was playing to inside speed. She has shown improvement with each career start and looks capable of moving forward once again. She is out of the stakes winner Stopshoppingaria ($394,361) for the same connections. The mare has dropped one other foal tor ace, stakes winner Mo Shopping ($131,250). She looks very tough in this spot and I doubt we catch the 4-1 morning line.
The filly pressed the early pace and did not have enough punch left late in a third-place finish in the Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn park last out. She was stretching out form a runner up finish going six furlongs two back off a six-month layoff. She was fourth and third in a couple of Grade 1 races last year in SoCal. The $1 million purchase is out of the stakes winner Hung the Moon ($170,092). The Hollendofer trainee looks primed for a top effort in her third start off the shelf here.
She exits the Gazelle where she tracked the early pace while down along the deep inside paths and finished evenly in a third-place finish, beaten two lengths for the top spit. She as second two back Agilent Alw-1 optional claimers in her first start against winners. She is bred to get nine furlongs, by Street Sense out of a stakes placed Include mare. The Pletcher trainee looks as if she may still have some upside and may end up getting overlooked in the betting here with her stablemate looking so good.
WIN: #6 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 6,7 / 2,6,7,8
TRI: 6,7 / 2,6,7,8 / 2,4,6,7,8