Experts’ Black-Eyed Susan day picks

Friday’s Pimlico card features three graded stakes in the Miss Preakness, Pimlico Special, and Black-Eyed Susan. We asked our experts for their picks.

The Grade 3 Miss Preakness is the 10th race on a 14-race card and has drawn, before scratches, a field of seven. The Grade 3 Pimlico Special comes up two races later with eight runners, and the featured Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan, race 13, has a dozen entered before scratches.

Here’s what our pickers came up with:


The six-furlong Miss Preakness has drawn some sizzling performances over the years, perhaps most notably Covfefe’s 2019 track-record-setting performance in a win here en route to her championship season. Her trainer, Brad Cox, will be represented by Key of Life, the even-money favorite with five wins in eight outings.

She’ll be challenged by Jeremiah Englehart trainee Maple Leaf Mel (8-5), undefeated after three career outings, as well as local hopefuls L Street Lady (20-1) for Brittany Russell and Happy Clouds (15-1) for Anthony Farrior.

Derby Bill WatsonTed BlackJohn PiassekJoe ParisiNick HahnEric RubinGary Quill
Miss Preakness Stakes12. Key of Life (KY) (F Prat)2. Key of Life (KY) (F Prat)6. Maple Leaf Mel (NY) (J Rosario)2. Key of Life (KY) (F Prat)2. Key of Life (KY) (F Prat)1. L Street Lady (KY) (J Toledo)2. Key of Life (KY) (F Prat)
22. Goodnight Olive (KY) (I Ortiz, Jr.)6. My Destiny (KY) (R Gutierrez)2. Key of Life (KY) (F Prat)7. Bound by Destiny (KY) (S Russell)6. Maple Leaf Mel (NY) (J Rosario)2. Key of Life (KY) (F Prat)4. Afternoon Tea (KY) (I Ortiz, Jr.)
31. Hot and Sultry (KY) (J Rosario)5. Matareya (KY) (F Prat)4. Afternoon Tea (KY) (I Ortiz, Jr.)6. Maple Leaf Mel (NY) (J Rosario)4. Afternoon Tea (KY) (I Ortiz, Jr.)4. Afternoon Tea (KY) (I Ortiz, Jr.)7. Bound by Destiny (KY) (S Russell)



The Pimlico Special is one of racing’s great historic races, though recent years haven’t been quite so strong. A bevy of Hall of Famers and Horses of the Year have run in the Special.

This year’s renewal seems to run through Rattle N Roll (9-5). The Kenny McPeek trainee arrives off a win and is a multiple graded stakes winner. He’s not the only graded winner in the group, though: Clapton (6-1) took a graded event last out, and Law Professor (5-2) also has a graded win on the resume.

Our ‘cappers consensus: Rattle N Roll gets a slight nod over Kuchar and Law Professor, with Speed Bias and Armando R farther back.

Derby Bill WatsonTed BlackJohn PiassekJoe ParisiNick HahnEric RubinGary Quill
Pimlico Special14. Armando R (KY) (H Karamanos)2. Rattle N Roll (KY) (F Prat)7. Speed Bias (KY) (L Saez)1. Kuchar (KY) (I Ortiz, Jr.)2. Rattle N Roll (KY) (F Prat)1. Kuchar (KY) (I Ortiz, Jr.)1. Kuchar (KY) (I Ortiz, Jr.)
25. Law Professor (KY) (M Franco)5. Law Professor (KY) (M Franco)2. Rattle N Roll (KY) (F Prat)2. Rattle N Roll (KY) (F Prat)5. Law Professor (KY) (M Franco)5. Law Professor (KY) (M Franco)2. Rattle N Roll (KY) (F Prat)
32. Rattle N Roll (KY) (F Prat)4. Armando R (KY) (H Karamanos)5. Law Professor (KY) (M Franco)5. Law Professor (KY) (M Franco)7. Speed Bias (KY) (L Saez)2. Rattle N Roll (KY) (F Prat)5. Law Professor (KY) (M Franco)


The Black-Eyed Susan, for three-year-old fillies, has drawn a robust field of 12 prior to scratches, and while Faiza (7-5) deserves solid favoritism, you don’t necessarily have to accept those short odds. Merlazza and Balpool both have solid enough resumes, and Triple Crown nominee Hoosier Philly has had a disappointing season to date but flashed plenty of talent as a juvenile and could go a long way to righting the ship here.

Our ‘cappers as a group narrowly land on Faiza over Sacred Wish, with those two well clear of a cluster of Taxed, Balpool, Merlazza, and Hoosier Philly.

Derby Bill WatsonTed BlackJohn PiassekJoe ParisiNick HahnEric RubinGary Quill
Black-Eyed Susan Stakes19. Faiza (KY) (F Prat)8. Balpool (FL) (M Franco)9. Faiza (KY) (F Prat)1. Sacred Wish (KY) (J R Velazquez)10. Taxed (KY) (R Bejarano)1. Sacred Wish (KY) (J R Velazquez)1. Sacred Wish (KY) (J R Velazquez)
23. Hoosier Philly (KY) (E Morales)9. Faiza (KY) (F Prat)10. Taxed (KY) (R Bejarano)9. Faiza (KY) (F Prat)3. Hoosier Philly (KY) (E Morales)4. Merlazza (KY) (F Geroux)4. Merlazza (KY) (F Geroux)
311. Cats Inthe Timber (KY) (J Toledo)6. Miracle (NY) (I Ortiz, Jr.)1. Sacred Wish (KY) (J R Velazquez)6. Miracle (NY) (I Ortiz, Jr.)2. Pate (VA) (J Barbosa)9. Faiza (KY) (F Prat)9. Faiza (KY) (F Prat)