Solid fields set to contest Black-Eyed Susan, Pimlico Special
Something Awesome ran through the snow to win the Grade 3 General George. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
by Frank Vespe
Friday’s Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakea at Pimlico Race Course is either going to give Coach Rocks her second graded stakes win — or one of her rivals their first.
The $250,000 test, contested on the main track at 1 1/8 miles, has drawn a field of 10, most more promising than accomplished. It, along with the $300,000, Grade 3 Pimlico Special, tops a 14-race card that features seven stakes, four of them graded.
The Black-Eyed Susan goes as race 11 on the card. Coach Rocks, who rallied to win the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks for trainer Dale Romans, tops the event in terms of accomplishment, with her Grade 2 score, though she most recently was thrashed in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks two weeks back.
Among her top rivals Friday figure to be the Todd Pletcher trainee Sara Street, second recently in a pair of stakes, including the Grade 2 Busher; multiple stakes winner Midnight Disguise for trainer Linda Rice; and local hopeful Goodonehoney, who dazzled in earning her spot in the event with a win in Laurel Park’s Weber City Miss.
Two races prior to the Black-Eyed Susan, the Pimlico Special — one of the nation’s great, historic races — has drawn a field that includes six graded stakes winners among nine entrants.
Local hopeful Something Awesome, winner of two recent graded events, most recently the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic, figures to get plenty of attention from bettors. The Jose Corrales trainee has won three straight and five of six to push his career earnings past $1 million. He is joined in the seven-figure club by the popular New Jersey-bred, Irish War Cry, the Graham Motion trainee who won a pair of Grade 2 events last year, including the Wood Memorial, and was the runner-up in the Belmont Stakes.
In the Grade 3 Miss Preakness, a six-furlong test for sophomore fillies, the speedy local Limited View, a Maryland-bred daughter of Freedom Child trained by John Salzman, Jr., will need her running shoes on against a solid group of 10 fillies. That group includes the Wesley Ward trainee Happy Like a Fool, the Wesley Ward trainee who won last October’s Grade 3 Matron at Belmont Park and last out was fourth in the Grade 3 Beaumont at Keeneland.
The day’s final stake is also its final graded stake, the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont Distaff, contested at 1 1/8 miles for older fillies and mares. Among the runners likely to garner bettors’ attention are the Grade 3 winner Verve’s Tale, for trainer Barclay Tagg, and Grade 2 winner Blue Prize, trained by Ignacio Correas. Blue Prize has not been out of the money in five starts at the distance.