Taxed collects in Black-Eyed Susan win

Those who were behind Taxed collected Friday afternoon at Pimlico Race Course when Richard Bahde’s three year old filly took advantage of an uncontested trip to win the $300,000 George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) for three-year old fillies going 1 ⅛ miles. 

Taxed is a gray filly by Collected out of the Yankee Gentlemen mare Yankee Union, and she found enough backing to go off at 11-1. The upset produced yet another longshot winner as the post-time favorite has won only once since 2006 (Royal Delta in 2011). This time the upset winner was a former claiming horse. 

“That was pretty special….I tell you. I’ve been kind of dreaming that she might run that way,” said winning trainer Randy Morse after the race.

After the nine-horse field broke nearly evenly, four lined up under the wire the first time. Taxed galloped well-spaced in the second-tier line up with Comparative along the inside and favored Faiza (3-5)  to her outside. When Faiza went up to challenge, Bejarano was running in open space two paths off the rail. Bejarano moved Taxed up with a burst of energy past Faiza.

“When they headed up the backside, I loved her spot,” observed Morse. “She was behind horses and clear. I said to myself, ‘If you can’t do it from here, you don’t have any excuse.'”

The sunny day at Old Hilltop turned gray when Taxed moved up on the only other gray filly in the race, Hoosier Philly, who had achieved the lead, setting the first quarters in 23.44 and 47.24. Taxed then went after her. Though Hoosier Philly with Edgar Morales aboard drifted out towards Taxed in the stretch, it was of no consequence as inside the eighth pole, Taxed was anything but taxed, finishing energetically and maintaining her long stride past the wire.


“I had a very good trip,” Bejarano said after the race. “I put her in the position the way that I wanted and went from there. I followed the favorite, came to the stretch and let her out. My horse responded really good, and she finished really well. She has improved a lot and was better than the last time.”

Taxed won the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes. Photo by Allison Janezic.

Hoosier Philly trained by Thomas Amoss, held on for second while Faiza, trained by Bob Baffert, finished third. Balpool, Merlazza, Cats IntheTimber, Towhead, Comparative and Sacred Wish completed the order of finishers. Pate, Frosty O’Toole and Miracle were scratches.

The finishing time for a mile and an eighth  of Taxed of 1:49.45 was just off of the winning time of Interstateddaydream earlier in the day. Last year’s winner of the Black-Eyed Susan won the Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes in frontrunning style earlier in the card, going the same distance in 1:49.32.

Taxed returned $24.00 to win and topped an exacta that returned $94.80 on a one-dollar wager.

Owned Richard Bahde and Morse claimed Taxed for $50,000 in November, and she had emerged as a stakes runner at Oaklawn Park with a pair of seconds behind Wet Paint, the beaten favorite in the Kentucky Oaks (G1). For the first time in four starts, Randy Morse’s horse wasn’t facing Wet Paint, who had won the previous three races in which Taxed was entered.

Taxed now has two wins from eight starts and earning of $379,644.

“She’s a real nice-looking filly, and I’d seen her train. Just one of those deals where we got lucky – got her in a shake,” added Morse about his pun intended Taxed-claim. “It’s hard to compete with these guys who go in and spend millions of dollars on young horses. I’m not knocking them; I’d like to be in their position. Most of my better horses have been claimed.”

NOTES In the day’s other graded stakes, Rattle N Roll rallied to win the Grade 3 Pimlico Special, and Maple Leaf Mel was clearly best in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness. The Jeremiah Englehart trainee won by 1 1/2 lengths and got the six furlongs in 1:09.56 over a fast main track. Joel Rosario was aboard… Total handle of more than $28.2 million was up 1.9% from 2022…