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On Friday, May 20, Pimlico Racecourse will feature four graded stakes races including the Grade II Black-Eyed Susan. Get Matthew DeSantis' picks and analysis for each of the four graded stakes races on Friday's card.

2022 Black-Eyed Susan Predictions: Free Pimlico Picks

On Friday, May 20, Pimlico Racecourse will feature four graded stakes races including the Grade II Black-Eyed Susan, which is the second jewel in the filly Triple Crown after the Kentucky Oaks of two weeks ago. Friday will be defined by the heat at temperature are expected to reach over 90 degrees making it the hottest day of the year in Maryland. Underneath the Black-Eyed Susan are a trio of intriguing graded stakes races that feature a nice mix of horses with a national profile running against those who have cut their teeth in the Mid-Atlantic.

Let's get into our Black-Eyed Susan predictions and picks. Check out the latest Preakness Stakes odds.

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2022 Black-Eyed Susan Prediction

Black-Eyed Susan Race 8 Prediction

  • Distance: 1 1/8 miles
  • Name: Allaire DuPont Stakes - Grade II
  • Age: 3-year-old and up fillies
  • Surface: Dirt

Let's start off the Black-Eyed Susan Day graded stakes schedule with another race for the fillies as we see a small, but a competitive field in the Grade II Allaire DuPont Stakes. On big days, it's not uncommon for tracks to favor early speed and if that's the case, it's hard to get past the favorite Super Quick (5-2). She has been running against better horses lately as she's faced Malathaat, Clairiere, and Bonny South in her last two races. Those three horses represent three of the best in the older female dirt division. Any one of them would be a 3-5 favorite or shorter in this field. Super Quick lives up to her name as she likes getting out to the lead and if she's able to get an easy lead as she did in two races last fall at Churchill Downs, then it might be all she wrote for the rest of the field.

However, she may not get quite that easy of a lead since Lil Kings Princess (9-2) is going to be right there with her and pushing the pace. Both fillies are stretching out to nine furlongs for the first time in their careers, so it's fair to wonder whether they may wear themselves out on the lead and open things up for the horses sitting behind them. Therefore, I like using Exotic West (3-1) up top as she should sit behind the early pace and she's repeatedly shown the ability to pass horses late. She's also won at the 9-furlong distance, so I'm not worried about her stamina. If you draw a line through her race three back when she stumbled and lost her rider, she's undefeated since December 2021 and has been stepping up against better competition each time out.

Frost Point (3-1) should get a similar trip but has already been beaten by both Exotic West and Super Quick, so I would prefer to get a little better value out of using her underneath. Into Vanishing (7-2) is more interesting for me since she finished second to the best older dirt female in North America, Letruska, two races back. Admittedly, Letruska was barely asked to do anything that day, but still, Into Vanishing was the clear next best in a Grade III field and should stalk the pace again here. She doesn't win often but is useful underneath.

Black-Eyed Susan Race 8 Picks

  • Win: Exotic West (3-1)
  • Place: Into Vanishing (7-2)
  • Show: Super Quick (5-2)

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Black-Eyed Susan Race 10 Prediction

  • Distance: 6 furlongs
  • Name: Ms. Preakness - Grade III
  • Age: 3-year-old fillies
  • Surface: Dirt

When you see trainer Wesley Wardship in a sprinter, it's often a smart idea just to assume they are going to run well. Ward's Happy Soul (5-2) is the clear pick in this race. She can wire the field or just sit off the pace. After biting off more than she could chew going over a mile at the Grade I Ashland, she's back to her comfort zone of sprinting where she has won three consecutive races by over 25 lengths, which includes two stakes races.

The morning-line favorite, Under the Stars (8-5) is also coming off a Kentucky Oaks prep race where she finished well back at the Grade II Santa Anita Oaks. However, I'm going to play against her in this spot. She used to be a former Bob Baffert horse who got transferred to the Tim Yakteen barn in March due to Baffert's looming suspension. She was transferred again to Sean McCarthy last month. While she maintains her jockey, the incomparable Flavien Prat, it is still a lot of changes and we have not seen many former Baffert horses firing on all cylinders since they've left his care. Additionally, if you examine her previous sprint form, her fractional speed figures do not hold up to Happy Soul.

I will point you to two horses I like to use underneath at a price in Saucy Lady T (8-1) and Lady Scarlet (6-1). Saucy Lady T broke her maiden last April and has run in nothing but graded stakes races since then, including two Grade I races. She is coming back from a nine-month layoff, so there is some risk that she may not fire, but she is cutting back to a more comfortable distance and her trainer, Graham Motion, is on absolute fire after capturing a Grade I win last weekend at Belmont. Motion has a 24% win rate when bringing horses back from a long layoff and in a race that will feature an honest pace up front, I think Saucy Lady T could have something to run into. As for Lady Scarlet, she has the versatility to win both sitting off the pace or going to the lead and wiring the field. Her last time out was a step back in the Grade III Beaumont, but that was against better competition and at a longer distance. She has Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard and should get a nice run late. Finally, local trainer Brittany Russell has an intriguing filly in La Casa d'Oro (8-1). She just broke her maiden last time out and maybe this is too much of a jump in class, but she may surprise and would be useful in deeper exotics.

Black-Eyed Susan Race 10 Picks

  • Win: Happy Soul (5-2)
  • Place: Saucy Lady T (8-1)
  • Show: Lady Scarlet (6-1)

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Black-Eyed Susan Race 12 Prediction

  • Distance: 1 3/8 miles
  • Name: Pimlico Special Stakes - Grade III
  • Age: 3-year-olds and up
  • Surface: Dirt

An intriguing race from the standpoint of distance and pace. Several horses in the field are stretching out to a new distance for the first time, which always adds in an element of the unknown. Expect Working on a Dream (12-1) and Excellorator (15-1) to be leading the group early, but neither horse is any threat to wire the field. Behind them will be the duo of Todd Pletcher-trained horses in Vindictive (2-1) and Untreated (7-2). Vindictive makes a lot of sense in this field given how strong he looked in his four-year-old debut last time out after a significant layoff. He has enough tactical speed early that he can make sure he gets his preferred position but plenty of speed late to suggest that he will enjoy the extra distance. He's held his own against some of the better older dirt horses like Miles D and Speaker's Corner. His stablemate, Untreated, has comparable speed figures but seems to be a step below and does not display the sort of late speed to suggest that he will like getting stretched out to 10.5 furlongs.

The horse I really like at a price is Capocostello (8-1) who is running in his third race in North America after winning 11 of his 15 career races in Panama. Central American imports are uncommon, but he's shown that he belongs. Last time out he ran second in the Grade III Ghostzapper and going back to his form in Panama, he's accustomed to running longer distances. Additionally, he gets Flavien Prat aboard for the ride. Prat is in such a good place now as a jockey that he typically gets his choice of ride and for him to end up on Capocostello is intriguing. I'm not sure he wins, but I would include him on my vertical wagers to add some value.

Finally, I don't think First Captain (5-1) will like the stretch out in distance and his most recent bullet works seem a bit sluggish. Hard-knocking Forewarned (12-1) is not reliable enough for me to trust, even underneath, but I do think Working on a Dream has a chance to hold onto a piece of the board if he can ensure he does not get too aggressive early.

Black-Eyed Susan Race 12 Picks

  • Win: Vindictive (2-1)
  • Place: Capocostello (8-1)
  • Show: Working on a Dream (12-1)

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Black-Eyed Susan Prediction Race 13

  • Distance: 1 1/8 miles
  • Name: Black-Eyed Susan - Grade II
  • Age: 3-year-old fillies
  • Surface: Dirt

The headlining race feels completely wide open and I think you could make a compelling case for as many as seven fillies to win. I think pace will determine where you end up going in this race. Expect for Adare Manor (5-2), Beguine (12-1), and Missy Greer (20-1) to all be forwardly placed, which could lead to a strong pace. Morning line favorite, Adare Manor (5-2), is coming off a loss in the Grade II Santa Anita Oaks to Desert Dawn. Prior to that effort she had won her previous two races by 25 lengths. However, the Santa Anita Oaks was her first time going over a mile and I am not convinced she will like the extra distance, particularly if she's being pressed. Of the early speed horse, I actually prefer Beguine as she has shown solid progression while running at Oaklawn and came up just short at the Grade III Fantasy last time out.

However, I am going to look at the group of horses sitting behind that pace. First, Distinctlypossible (6-1) is a Chad Brown-trained filly who only has three career races and just broke her maiden last time out but appears to have all the talent needed to win in this spot. She ran second to Juju's Map in the Grade I Darley Alcibiades as a two-year-old and then took six months off before breaking her maiden against fellow Black-Eyed Susan runner Miss Yearwood (20-1). She needs to progress, but distance should not be a factor and the race sets up nicely for her. The other off-the-pace horse is Favor (8-1) who will probably get bet down but showed a ton of class running behind Echo Zulu and Hidden Connection last time out at the Grade II Fair Ground Oaks. The Todd Pletcher filly has gotten faster each time out and another step forward could vault her into the winner's circle.

If the pace gets too hot, two horses to consider using underneath are Morning Matcha (20-1) and Miss Yearwood (20-1). Morning Matcha has run again strong competition in the Pennsylvania and New York and shown the ability to come from well off the pace. If the early fractions are too aggressive, she feels like a prime candidate to capitalize and make a late run. Miss Yearwood is coming off her maiden victory at 10 furlongs so distance is not an issue for her. Again, if things break down late, she feels like a logical filly who will have stayed off the pace and can keep running when other horses get fatigued.

The final horse I'll mention is a personal favorite, Luna Belle (9-2). I live in Northern Virginia and regularly visit Laurel Park where I have gotten to see this filly run multiple times. I absolutely fell in love with her as a juvenile and after a jockey change, she has reeled off five consecutive stakes victories and is the clear class of her crop in the Mid-Atlantic. Additionally, the race should set up well for her as she comes from off the pace and then makes up the ground around the far turn before using the long homestretch at Laurel Park to unleash her top-end speed. She's the most experienced filly in the field with 11 career races and has faced adversity while showing versatility. She may not have the national profile or the big-name connections as many of the other horses in this race, but I love her effort and think she runs big on Friday.

Black-Eyed Susan Race 13 Picks

  • Win: Distinctlypossible (6-1)
  • Place: Luna Belle (9-2)
  • Show: Favor (8-1)

Come back tomorrow for my picks and analysis for all of the graded stakes races on Saturday's Preakness card.

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Article Author

Horse Racing

Matthew DeSantis is a horse racing handicapper with a fondness for lightly raced horses with improving speed figures. You can find him at the track playing surface changes and second off the layoff.


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