2021 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes Day Odds, Picks, Betting Preview: Best Bets, Exotics for 5 Races (Friday, May 14)
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The eyes of the sporting world will be cast upon Pimlico Race Course in beautiful Baltimore this weekend for the 146th running of the Preakness Stakes. The Second Jewel of horse racing's Triple Crown, this year's Preakness should have plenty of drama thanks to the saga that is unfolding around 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit.
While that will all take place on Saturday, there is a wide menu of sensational races on Friday as part of Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico. Let's take a look at the stakes races and see if we can't pad the bankroll ahead of Saturday's main event.
Black-Eyed Susan Day Picks
Post: 3:07 p.m. ET
The first stakes race of the day is the Grade 3 Allaire DuPont Distaff. This race is for fillies and mares three years old and up and will be run over the main track at a mile and an eighth.
After a long look at this race, I landed on No. 5 Horologist (3-1), who is the luke-warm, morning-line favorite, as my top choice.
Horologist's last time out was his first race of his 5-year-old season, where he wore down No. 6 Mrs. Danvers (4-1) in the deep stretch. I always like when a horse wins a touch race first off a long layoff and Bill Mott wins at a 21% clip second off the layoff. Mott also wins at a 23% rate with a winner last time out. Jockey Junior Alvarado retains the mount and he and Mott are winning at a 20% over the last year together.
The other two horses that caught my attention finished second and third to Horologist last time out, Mrs. Danvers and No. 8 Lucky Stride (6-1).
As I mentioned, Mrs. Danvers was passed late by Horologist, but fought on gamely. She gets Joel Rosario in the irons and could be an overlay, so keep an eye on her odds. Lucky Stride grinded out a third-place finish after a tough break, but now gets Irad Ortiz in the irons and he always knows how to work out a trip. Lucky Stride should get enough pace in here, and at the price, she's one that you have to include in your exotics.
Race 8 Bets
- Win: 5
- Exacta Key Box: 5/6,8
- Pick 3: 5,6,8/3,5,11/1,9
Post: 3:38 p.m. ET
Next up we have a non-graded stakes race going five furlongs on the turf for fillies and mares three years old and up.
The morning-line favorite is No. 11 Dixieincandyland (3-1) for trainer Eddie Kenneally. Dixieincandyland is coming in off a win at Keeneland against allowance company where she needed every bit of the five-and-a-half furlongs to get the job done. She still gets Joel Rosario in the saddle, but Kenneally is only winning at a 6% clip in stakes races this year. That said, Rosario and Kenneally have gone 4-for-9 over the last year when teaming up together.
My top pick for this race is No. 3 Caravel (7-2). She has four wins and two third-place finishes from six career starts and she is a perfect 2-for-2 going this distance on the turf, albeit against easier at Penn National last summer.
Caravel ran in a route race here last autumn on Black-Eyed Susan Day, finishing third. This will be her second start off the layoff, and in her time out she finished third in a non-graded stakes race at Belmont. She is cutting back from six furlongs to five and is getting a jockey upgrade with Florent Geroux slated to be in the saddle.
Do not leave No. 5 Victory Kingdom (6-1 off your tickets. There appears to be a decent amount of pace, in this field and that should set up perfectly for Victory Kingdom.
She finished a closing second last time out on a Gulfstream turf course that typically favors speed. She also gets one of the best turf jockeys in the country in Flavien Prat for this race.
Race 9 Bets:
- Exacta box: 3,5,11
- Pick 5: 3,5,11/1,2,9/2,5,6/2/1,5,9,10
Post: 4:09 p.m. ET
The 10th race of the day is the Grade 3 Miss Preakness for 3-year-old fillies, going six furlongs over the main track.
No. 1 Abrogate (7-2) is the morning-line favorite for trainer Steve Asmussen. She ran on Oaks day two weeks ago as a huge longshot in the Eight Belles, finishing fifth. This will be her third start in the last six weeks. Her early speed makes her dangerous, but I don’t love being in the No. 1 hole as I’m not sure she will be able to get the lead.
No. 2 Red Ghost (5-1) caught my attention for trainer Wesley Ward. He is so good with young sprinters, so I can’t leave Red Ghost off my tickets. She looks to have some of the best early speed in this race and made huge jump up in her speed figures from her 2-year-old season to her 3-year-old season. Red Ghost won last time out in her 3-year-old debut at Keeneland, and she looks to be dangerous here if she can take a step forward.
My top selection for this race is No. 9 Joyful Cadence (4-1). In her last start she finished second by a half-length to Abrogate, but her outside post position and the upgrade to Irad Oritz Jr. is enough to make her my preferred choice in this field.
She has tactical speed and Irad will be able to work out the trip he wants. I don’t think we are going to get 4-1 at post time so watch the odds as I wouldn’t make a win bet with odds below 2-1.
Race 10 Bets
- Win: 9
- Exacta box: 1,5,9
Post: 4:40 p.m. ET
The last stakes race on the grass is the non-graded Hilltop for 3-year-old fillies going a mile.
Let’s start with the morning-line favorite No. 5 Bubbles on Ice (7-2) for trainer Christophe Clement. She made her US debut last time out at Aqueduct, winning a non-graded stakes event. Clement’s barn has really caught fire this spring and Bubbles on Ice boasts one of the best late pace figures in the field, which is one of my favorite angles in route races on the turf.
Clement is winning at 20% on the year, 20% in the second race off the layoff and 20% first time with lasix. She’s my top pick.
Just to her outside is No. 6 Mia Martina (5-1), who is coming off a race where she was eased out of the contest. It’s important to note that, while she was eased and did not finish the race, that was her first try on the dirt and prior to that she had two wins from three starts on the turf.
Mia Martina was coming late in the Grade III Florida Oaks at Tampa back in March where she faced a tough field and had to deal with a number of other horses that have come back to win since.
Mia Martina has been training well since her last race and gets Irad Ortiz Jr. in the irons, so she will be dangerous at a nice price. She's one that you must include.
The other horse that caught my attention in here is No. 2 Seasons (8-1). She broke her maiden at first asking last summer at Saratoga and then stepped up to face graded stakes competition at Woodbine, where she ran third behind No. 3 Aida (5-1).
This will be Seasons 3-year-old debut and she will be getting lasix for the first time, which an angle I like.
Similar to Mia Martina, Seasons also has great late pace figures and gets a jockey upgrade with Jose Ortiz. Seasons is worth including at this price.
Race 11 Bets
- Exacta box: 2,5,6
Post: 5:12 p.m. ET
Next up is the Grade III Pimlico Special for 3-year-olds and up, run over the main track at a mile and three sixteenth. If you’re a horizontal exotics player, here is your single with No. 2 Fearless (9-5).
After a disappointing finish to his 4-year-old campaign, Fearless has come back looking better than ever as a 5-year-old. He won his first start this year in the Grade II Gulfstream Park Mile and just missed in last time out, finishing second by a half length, in the Grade II Oaklawn Handicap. That was his first start off a seven-week layout and newly inducted hall-of-fame trainer Todd Pletcher wins at a 23% clip in his second race off a layoff. Additionally, Irad Oritz Jr. and Pletcher have won at a 31% clip over the last year.
Race 12 Bets
- Win: 12
Race 13: The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes
Post: 5:44 p.m. ET
Friday's feature race is the Grade II Black Eyed Susan for 3-year-old fillies. This contest will be run over the main track at a mile and an eighth.
The morning-line favorite is No. 10 Gift Box (9-5) for trainer Bob Baffert. She has two wins, one second and one third from four career starts. While she’s the class of the race, she was hung last time out and couldn’t get by in the stretch, finishing second. Since she's such a short price I'll look elsewhere for value, but you should include her in your exotics.
My top pick is No. 9 Adventuring (4-1) for trainer Brad Cox. While it took her three tries to break her maiden, Adventuring did so in a big way winning by six-and-a-half lengths. She followed that up with a non-graded stakes win at Turfway Park last time out.
If Adventuring continues to move forward, as she has throughout her four career starts, she will be dangerous. Adventuring has been training well leading up to this spot and Cox is winning at 30% in graded stakes races, 29% with last-out winners and 27% off the short layoff.
Other horses that interested me were No. 5 Lady Traveler (12-1) and No. 1 Army Wife (8-1). Lady Traveler was a distant fourth last out in the Grade III Beaumont, but that was at 7 furlongs and she may like the added distance here. Two back they tried her on the turf, but I’m tossing that race out. Before that, she finished second to Zajeel in the Grade II Forward Gal at Gulfstream. If she can run back to that form, she will be dangerous at a big price. Trainer Dale Romans isn’t known for working his horses very fast in the mornings, yet she’s worked very nicely since the Beaumont, firing a bullet last time out.
Army Wife is coming in off a third-place finish in the Grade III Gazelle. Search Results won that contest and came back to run a huge race in the Oaks, just getting beat by a neck. Army Wife won’t have to worry about her in here and she has never missed the board on a fast dirt track. with two wins, one second and one third from four tries.
She has tactical speed, so look for Joel Rosario to work out a trip from the rail to give her a big shot in here at a nice price.
Race 13 Bets
- Win: 9
- Exacta: 1,9/1,5,9,10