Adare Manor favored in wide-open Black-Eyed Susan
Trainer Chad Brown only has three horses entered over Preakness weekend at Pimlico Race Course. But don’t be fooled: he still rates a shot to sweep the Black-Eyed Susan-Preakness double.
Brown, whose runners racked up more than $22 million in earnings in 2021 and are winning at a 33% clip to date in 2022, will send out morning line second choice Early Voting in Saturday’s Grade 1 Preakness; the son of Gun Runner is 7-2 on the morning line in a nine-horse field in which Epicenter is the 6-5 favorite.
- Jockey Sheldon Russell “really close” to return to racesJockey Sheldon Russell, out with injuries for the last nine months, is “really close” to returning to the races, his agent said.
His runner in Friday’s Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes has longer odds but nevertheless merits consideration. Bradley Thoroughbreds, Gary Finder, Belmar Racing and Breeding, Tim Cambron, Anna Cambron and Team Hanley’s DIstinctlypossible, a Curlin filly, is 8-1 on the morning line in a wide-open 13-horse field. She will leave from the seven-post with Irad Ortiz, Jr. up.
“She’s a lightly-raced horse that we got a little bit of a late start with this year. She was a little sick over the winter and I was really trying to get her on the Oaks trail and she just ran out of time. She’s a really talented horse, and I’m looking forward to bringing her,” trainer Chad Brown said. “This seems like a nice spot to keep her around two turns.”
Distinctlypossible has a win from three starts. When still a maiden, she ran second in last fall’s Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland. She returned to action April 10, winning a maiden special weight at that same track.
The 5-2 program favorite for the Black-Eyed Susan is Michael Lund Petersen’s Adare Manor, a 13-length winner of the one-mile Las Virgenes (G3) Feb. 6 at Santa Anita in her stakes debut for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who is serving a 90-day suspension that goes to July 2.
Adare Manor, by champion Uncle Mo, was beaten a neck when second in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) April 9, her most recent start, for trainer Tim Yakteen. Since the race she has been with Sean McCarthy, best known as the trainer of Grade 1 winner Majestic Harbor.
Adare Manor and jockey John Velazquez drew Post 10.
Another runner who figures to receive plenty of attention is local hopeful Luna Belle, a Maryland-bred daughter of Great Notion. Luna Belle is the 9-2 second choice on the morning line.
Owned by Deborah Greene and Laurel Park-based trainer Hamilton Smith and bred by Smith, Greene and her late father, Fred Greene Jr., Luna Belle earned automatic entry into the Black-Eyed Susan by virtue of her 4 ½-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile Weber City Miss April 16 at Laurel, her two-turn debut.
During her streak, Luna Belle has won at distances from six furlongs to a mile and a sixteenth. She was also nominated to the $100,000 Hilltop going a mile on the grass and considered for the $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3) sprinting six furlongs, both on Friday’s undercard.
“She’s done everything that we’ve asked of her so far. We had another stake we could have gone in on Black-Eyed Susan Day, the sprint, but we didn’t,” Smith said. “We decided that she’s done enough to deserve the chance at it, and we’ll see how she can perform with them. We’re going to give it a whirl and hope for the best.
“If she runs the same type of race that she has in the last several, where she’s able to relax off the lead a little bit, she should be tough,” he added. “I would have to think there will be some speed in the race, moreso than what we’ve had before, really. It should set up pretty good in that respect.”
BLACK-EYED SUSAN ENTRIES
|1||Divine Huntress (MD)||F Prat||H G Motion||15/1|
|2||Missy Greer (KY)||L Saez||D Gargan||20/1|
|3||Miss Yearwood (KY)||J R Leparoux||I R Wilkes||20/1|
|4||Midnight Stroll (FL)||J Castellano||J P Terranova II||15/1|
|5||Beguine (KY)||J L Ortiz||D C Peitz||12/1|
|6||Luna Belle (MD)||D Araujo||H A Smith||9/2|
|7||Distinctlypossible (KY)||I Ortiz, Jr.||C C Brown||6/1|
|8||Candy Light (KY)||C Marquez||H G Motion||20/1|
|9||Interstatedaydream (ON)||F Geroux||B H Cox||6/1|
|10||Adare Manor (KY)||J R Velazquez||S McCarthy||5/2|
|11||Radio Days (KY)||J Rosario||C R McGaughey III||12/1|
|12||Favor (KY)||T Gaffalione||T A Pletcher||8/1|
|13||Morning Matcha (PA)||F Pennington||R E Reid, Jr.||20/1|
LUNA BELLE PHOTOS