Black Eyed Susan Day Kicks Off The Wagering Fun That Is Preakness Weekend

Sports and Bets — May 14, 2015 at 10:40 am by

Preakness weekend is upon us, and thankfully, our beloved Baltimore will be in the spotlight for something other than smashed windows, burned out cop cars, and mayhem.  Sure, Geraldo and his stupid grin won’t be prowling our streets looking for violence, but I guess we’ll have to deal with his absence as he treks onward to find another national crisis to temporarily care about.  In and around Baltimore, us hometown folks will be focused on all the quality horseflesh that’s come to town and all the wagering opportunities that come along with them.  The Black Eyed Susan is the first of two serious horse-playing days and it’s become something of a local’s tradition.  I know a ton of old-school Baltimorons that won’t go near Old Hilltop on Preakness Day, but those same folks wouldn’t miss Black Eyed Susan Day come hell or high water.  That’s because the Black Eyed Susan is set in a bit of a lower key.  There won’t be over 100,000 rowdies hootin’ and hollerin’ on Friday like on Preakness Day; instead expect about 30,000- 40,000 of your closest Maryland friends to start the weekend off right at Old Hilltop.


After a week of concerts, balloon races, and anticipation, the real action and focus is here.  The neighborhood of Pimlico does a great job of welcoming and hosting this event.  There are rumblings again that Pimlico Race Track won’t be around forever, and this time I actually believe those rumblings. (More on that in another post.)  So let’s enjoy our old relic of a sports venue while we still have her.  Giddy up, it’s time to bet Black Eyed Susan Day….


We’ll begin this blog on Race 5 simply because that’s right around the time that I’ll be arriving at Pimlico.   (We’ve got all the stakes races included here, babes.)  Remember, take these for what you will…..

Race 5- The Hilltop 100K-   #1 Ayaady is our top selection in this turf affair for three year old fillies.  Chad Brown may be the best grass trainer in the country and this miss may have some serious talent.  Just missed from the clouds in her last and is training forwardly for this.  She’s a $1,000,000 purchase and I’ll be betting a step forward is well within her reach.  Pilot Castellano can save ground from the git and then go after them in the lane.  She needs some pace up front and I think she’ll get enough.  #10 Miss Temple City is the obvious one to beat. Can Ayaady run her down in the lane?  I’m willing to wager so. Exacta 1/10. Also like the #6 Kawfee Fa Marfa in exacta fun.

Race 6- ALW 52K-  The #4 American Progress looms logical here as do a few others who have been knocking on this condition’s door.  the #7 Holiday Camp has been awful against much better competition, but his maiden win speed fits here and his workouts have been stellar.  Maybe the class relief brings this blue-blood a win.  Gotta have at least 5 or 6-1 to play.  If not, I’ll bet the #9 Regal Soldier.  The pace may suit that one just fine.

Race 7- ALW 52K-  Looking at this card, trainer Graham Motion has contenders and bettable ponies everywhere.  This race is no exception. Motion’s #8 Charm City Girl is the favorite in this turf contest.  But she’s been away from the track for almost a year and will probably offer little value.  Maybe she’s vulnerable off the long break.  Since we are value seekers, we’ll be watching the odds on the #1 Playful Love, who’s also out of the Motion barn.  This lass hasn’t raced since November and never on turf, but her speed figs on dirt fit here and she’s got some turf running in her blood.  Motion does well with new runners to his stable, which Playful Love is.  If the odds stay at around 5-1 she may be worth a shot.  Draws Maragh as driver and may draw me as a gambler.  The 10 and 11 also warrant a long look.  Will be watching the wagering pre-post

Race 8- The Miss Preakness G3- Motion will have the probable favorite here as well with the #3 Miss Ella.  Love this filly and Grade Two winner.  Looks like she’ll get a nice pace set up and her works have been great in prep for this.  If she stays at 4-1 she may be an obvious play in this interesting race.  But I’m wavering like a bribed politician on this race due to the #9 Irish Jasper.  Throw out the ’15 debut, grass isn’t her surface.  Back on dirt for last and she exploded off the pace at big odds.  Interim work hints she may keep that form.  Perfect set up for her style from the 9 hole.  8-1 ML adds to the appeal.   May have to go for it here.  Exacta hammer with 3/9.  Also working 4,6,10, and 11 into triple mix and multi-race schemes.


Race 9- Jim McKay Turf Sprint 100k- Ben’s Cat is back in this spot and he’s won this thing three times.  Legendary 9-year-old is one of my favorite athletes of all time, but he’ll be over bet and we’re out for value this weekend.  Besides, his ’15 debut wasn’t all that and his 83 speed fig doesn’t inspire.  He may have just needed that and if he wins I’ll be happy as a fan of the game, but my wallet seeks others.  The #9 Amelia’s Wild Ride will be our play.  Last was on the soft grass and he’ll appreciate the return to the solid footing here.  Rival from two back, Power Alert, beat a loaded field on Derby day.  Everything fits here.  Ready for launch….


Race 10- Allaire Dupont Distaff G3- The prospect of wagering on this race isn’t a thrilling one to me.  #2 Stopchargingmaria is a real solid filly who has won over $1.5 million.  She won the Black Eyed Susan here last year.  She also angers me every time she runs.  If I bet her, she loses.  If I throw her out she wins.  Ugh.  So I’ll try and beat her again even though she stands out to me here.  (Will include in multi-race wagers though.)  I’ll go with the #1 Lunar Surge here.  She’s in career form and she would have won the last G3 event if she hadn’t been blocked in the lane.  May need some pace here but she’ll be rolling late.  Bullet work inspires as does a prior win at the 9 furlong distance.  Price is right at 5-1.  Including with 4,5,10 and 2 in exacta and triple plays.  Risky business.

Race 11- The Black Eyed Susan G2- Throwing all caution to the wind here and trying to beat Baffert’s #8 Luminance, who looms as the probable winner.  If #8 is allowed to control the pace, I’m doomed, but if not maybe the lightly raced #3 Ahhh Chocolate can make an upset splash here.  Broke her maiden at the Fairgrounds where tons of quality fillies have emerged from this season and her breeding greatly suggests that she’ll love the distance.  Training nicely and has the look of a young pro.  Include with 1,7, and 8.  Looking for dollars.

Race 12- The Skipat 100K- #5 Lady Sabelia is one of my favorite local fillies and she back in Maryland for this listed stakes.  #4 Galiana has won half of her races and is coming off maybe her best effort yet.  Bingo. This race is a stone cold exacta box play with the #5 and the  #4.  That is all.

Race 13- OC 25K- #9 Velvet Tie is a three year old who has suddenly figured out how to race.  Two for two in 2015 and she looks primed for her third straight.  Keeps improving and gets local racer Jevian Toledo in the irons.  Filly is also 2 for two on the  Pimlico lawn.  Horse for course.  Loves and is bred for this five furlong distance and she’ll be able to stalk the leaders from her outside perch.  All systems say go.

Race 14- The Pimlico Special G3-  I was all set to bet the #1 Tapiture, but he’s already a scratch, so I’m searching for somebody else to beat the heavy and deserved favorite, #10 Commissioner.  Maybe the #9 Cat Burglar is my guy.  Awful in last but has usually been ultra consistent in tough company.  Has the speed for this and was a strong third in this event last year.  Works are always sensational.  Can he finally translate them into a Graded Stakes win?  At 5-1 I’m probably ready to say yes with my dollars.  The 2 and the 7 also are intriguing at a price.  (Can #5 Page McKenney run into the money?) Final decision probably close to post time, but for now the Cat in is my hat.

Have fun and Good Luck!



cover: paulickreport



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