05/19/2011 5:06PM

Black-Eyed Susan


It's unfortunate, but the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes is generally considered an afterthought following the usual barn-burner that is the Kentucky Oaks. 

In a way, it's like the Derby Trial, a nice graded race for a good pot of money, but usually full of second-stringers that either weren't considered good enough to contest the Oaks, or didn't have the graded earnings to meet the Churchill starter. 

It wasn't always like that, however.  You don't have to go all the way back to the days of Vagrancy (1942), Twilight Tear (1944), Gallorette (1945), My Juliet (1975) and Davona Dale (1979) to find top-class horses that won the Black-Eyed Susan. 

After an unsuccessful bid in the Kentucky Derby, Serena's Song took the 1995 renewal  for jockey Gary Stevens.  Four years later, Stevens was again in the Pimlico winner's circle, this time with the classy Silverbulletday, who used the Black-Eyed Susan as a springboard to a try in the Belmont Stakes. 

I know that the "Filly Triple Crown" concept is dead and buried, but it was always a regionalized series, based in New York around the Acorn, Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks. 

At present, we have fillies prepping seriously for the Kentucky Oaks, giving that one the college try, and then being freshened for races like the Alabama at Saratoga over the summer. 

Perhaps a combination of the Kentucky Oaks, Black-Eyed Susan, and Mother Goose, all contested at nine furlongs, would make for an exciting Filly Triple that would keep the good sophomore ladies interested during the late spring. 

A little bonus money wouldn't hurt, either.

This year's Black-Eyed Susan features some promising runners although none have shown the world true star potential.  ROYAL DELTA is a logical choice based on her 12-length debut score for Bill Mott last fall at Belmont and her 90-Beyer triumph last time out over the Keeneland polytrack.  I've always wondered if she is truly a dirt filly at heart, however, and can't wait until Mott tries her on the turf down the road.  She should run well off a series of quick workouts, and has the tactical speed to find a good spot off the early leaders.  The main issue with Royal Delta is the extremely poor performance she gave in the Suncoast Stakes two back.  Perhaps it was simply a case of her not being fully cranked off the bench, but she never picked up her feet in a baffling effort.

WYOMIA, the morning line favorite, also figures tough as she makes the third start of the form cycle.  A Grade 3 winner on polytrack last year, she whipped Royal Delta on dirt two starts back before finishing second to longshot Lilacs and Lace in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland.  A late-running type, she should get a bit of pace to attack, but she just hasn't run a truly fast race this year.  She's solid, but not spectacular.

HOT SUMMER makes her first try around two turns after registering a perfect-trip win over a closer-friendly Aqueduct surface in the Grade 3 Comely.  She should be forwardly-placed under Ramon Dominguez and may get the jump on both Royal Delta and Wyomia turning for home.  She's not out of this, but I'm generally not a fan of playing horses coming back off good-trip wins.

COAX LIBERTY stretches out off a series of sprints and looms a pace challenger under Garrett Gomez.  By Successful Appeal out of a Housebuster mare, the nine-furlong distance is a question mark, and she was beaten almost 12 lengths in her prior route effort. 

BUSTER'S READY goes out for Pletcher and Velazquez following a one-turn stakes win over muddy going at Aqueduct.  A converted maiden claimer, she has succeeded around two turns in the past, but needs a Beyer boost to seriously contend.

The more I look at the race, the more I'm intrigued by LOVE THEWAY YOUARE, a Southern California-based filly stepping up in class and distance following two late-running wins.  She's going to need some pace help up front, but she inhaled the leaders last time out over the Hollywood cushion track and she is proven over dirt.  I'm not concerned about the distance, and she may be the value play in a contentious Black-Eyed Susan. 

In multi-race wagers, I'd use Royal Delta, Hot Summer, and Love Theway Youare.

More importantly, who do you like in the Black-Eyed Susan?  I want to know.

Back early Saturday morning with Preakness card opinions.


This week's HandiGambling event is the Preakness Stakes on Saturday at Pimlico.


Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan." Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified. Please post your plays and analysis to the blog. In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. One entry per person please. I reserve the right to approve or deny any entries.

I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but let's remember why we began the HandiGambling races in the first place. The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses, and why we're betting them the way we are. I'm not asking for a novel, but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles, and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.

Best of luck to all.

HGPreak.pdf344.28 KB
vicstu More than 1 year ago
Flashpoint broke his maiden going 6f in 1:09-3/5 at Aq. in Jan of this year. He got a 91 Beyer and (somehow) an 83 Brisnet Speed Fig. I cannot figure out how the horse did not get a 95 minimum from each service. He was almost a second faster than good older sprinters that day and 2 full seconds faster than other allowance horses at that same distance... Here is the lowdown on that day: There were 5 6f races that day in the snow. 3 were older allowance horses (including 1 good allowance race with stakes winners) 1 other was a maiden. Flashpoint in race 3 went 1:09-3/5. He was not the favorite. He won by over 6. Race 4 went in 1:12-3/5 (3 full seconds slower than Flashpoint's maiden win) Race 5 (the good handicap allowance) went in 1:10-2/5 ( almost 1 second slower) Race 6 went in 1:11-3/5 (2 full seconds slower than Flashpoint's maiden) Race 9 went in 1:11-3/5 (2 full seconds slower than Flashpoint's maiden) There was a minor stakes race with Arson Squad and some other horses in race 8 at 8.5 furlongs. They went 6f in 1:16 flat. To say that Flashpoint was impressive at that track against those horses is putting it lightly. He then came back and went 4 furlongs in 44 flat and then pulled away to win the 7f grade 2 Huchensen by almost 8 lengths. He kept galloping out strongly after that race. The horse he beat (TM) came back to win in a graded stakes easily his next time out. Flashpoint received a 108 Brisnet Speed Fig for his Hutchensen, by far the fastest dirt figure of any horse in this field. He received a 102 Beyer for that same race. The key point here is, how far can he carry his speed, and how does he shape up against two solid speed horses in Shack and Dance City? He ran his first two races like a horse that was begging for more ground. He simply kicked it into another gear at the top of the stretch and it was see you later, gator. So, we all know Animal Kingdom has to best 2 turn Beyer here...and that MMM and Dialed In seem to be the logical next horses. I like a few new shooters and possibly MI here as well. But, against this field, if I toss Flashpoint's FL Derby (and he was sore in that race), he moves up. Way up. Based on what I saw his first two races, which he won by a combined 15 plus lengths, faster fractions are not going to be his undoing. If he does not last 9.5 it will be the pedigree for sure. However, if you go 2 and 3 back in his pedigree, Flashpoint has come from stamina. There is no doubt his sire was a miler-sprinter, and his sire sired Big Brown. His grandsire's damsire was Damascus, his 2nd dam is out of Secretariat. His damsire is the Mr Prospector progeny Two Punch. So, at the top of the lane, is it Two Punch or Big Brown? Boundary or Danzig? Secretariat or more speed underneath? When you get a very fast and talented horse you are never supposed to assume anything. He could be any kind. The wise handicapper needs to play the odds and the probabilities (for example: 70-30 he can not carry his speed more than 8.5 f), and assume NOTHING. And then, take it from there. And, like James Mc said, IF he goes he could be dangerous because a horse with this much talent and speed is always dangerous against a tepid group of 3 year olds like this. I probably will like others for the win...but I have a feeling about this horse if they let him go and he stays within himself. He broke so sharply in his first two races that he was several strides ahead of the other sprinters out of the gate. Something was just not right in the FL Derby. This guy looks strong on the front end, like a horse that just may get 9 furlongs, or, given a perfect trip, a little more...Who really knows for sure? We do not, since very good racehorses often outrun their pedigree and milers are dangerous in American route races because no one wants the lead. If they rate FP, he will be lucky to finish 4th. So, I am still figuring this guy out. He certainly can run and run fast. Any horse that can go 44 flat at GP in a G2 and win by over 7 in a 7 furlong race against a top flight sprinter is a serious racehorse. His post helps. They really have to go with him with Shack and DC to his outside. I would like to win money, so you need more than speed for me to back you. I may see it in this PGH. I will post later on all the horses...It is not that easy for me to isolate my fourth over and under here...still going through them all!
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
Steve T. Nice score on that $24 winner!! You still find time to pick those nice priced winners. Where are all of the Horse's in Cali??? Still short field's. No excuse for that. Terrible product. Any answer's??? Do you think my Boy MMM has a shot in "The Preak"??? Good luck... Whackymacky Out!!!
Yogi More than 1 year ago
Golly, Royal Delta looked just like her dam sire as she charged up the rail. I didn't even know what her bloodline was, but I was pretty sure the way she had that head down that she just might have a little A P Indy in her veins.
Whackymacky More than 1 year ago
Friday notes... Belmont Park They have scratched 26 runners today. They are OFF the Turf with the Main Track FAST. Pimlico They have scratched 28 runners today. In the Black-Eyed Susan, take out #3 Coax Liberty!!! Track is FAST and the Turf is YIELDING!!! Good Luck to all. Going to Load up on The Macho Man!!! Plaing 12 units to WIN on him!! Looking for 9/2. Whackymacky Out!!!
Vincent Mathews More than 1 year ago
I've loved Dialed In since his Holy Bull win, and will not count his Derby against him due to the pace (if it's a normal 46 and change, he probably gets up to at least 3rd, and would be 5-2 tomorrow). Truly think it's a two horse race between him and Animal Kingdom, but the world will be playing that combination, and I'm trying to win the contest! With that being said: $60 exacta 10-11 $20 exacta 10-3 $20 exacta 10-8 Good luck to all!
Calvin L. Carter More than 1 year ago
Handigambling: Preakness Here are the horses I like in Preakness Stakes 136: Animal Kingdom (11), Midnight Interlude (7), Mucho Macho Man (9), Astrology (1), Dialed In (10), King Congie (3). $2 Exacta: 11/ w 1, 7, 9 = $6 $2 Trifecta: 11, 7, 9 = $2 $4 Trifecta: 11/ w 1, 7, 9/ w 1, 7, 9, 10 = $36 $2 Superfecta: 11, 7, 9, 1 = $2 $2 Superfecta: 11/ w 1, 7, 9/ w 1, 7, 9, 10/ w 1, 3, 7, 9, 10, = $54 Total: $100
Calvin L. Carter More than 1 year ago
Calibob, Excellent post on Animal Kingdom. I'm thinking about using it in my Preakness blog writeup.
Dave K. More than 1 year ago
HG Preakness $1 tri box 1 7 9 10 11 $60.00 $.20 super 9 10 11/ 7 9 10 11/ 1 6 7 9 10 11/ 1 5 6 7 9 10 11 13 $36.00 $4.00 exacta 9 11 Nothing new to add - will stick with my derby picks on top less Soldat replaced by Dialed In. I am not sure why Baffert is bringing Midnight Interlude to this race after watching replays of the derby but he must see something positive and he surely can surprise from time to time.
SirsyFan More than 1 year ago
DSully, Both of your tri's are the same - maybe you meant one to be 11 - 8 - 10?
Hapless Okie More than 1 year ago
$10 Trifecta 11 with 1,8,9 with 1,8,9 $5 Trifecta 1,8,9 with 11 with 1,8,9 $10 Exacta 11 with 1
vicstu More than 1 year ago
shamrock bend, You posted: "once again ,VICSTU, GREAT series of posts on different styles and approaches, and on unresearched commentary....bettors beware......" Thanks. I enjoyed your post. Glad we both are off of Soldat... That one was my 3rd choice on top to win the Derby. Shack is a nice horse. Your angle is legit IMO. I just hope he does not suffer the Preakness letdown. Horses that set the pace in the Derby rarely win the Preakness. The last was War Emblem, and he did not set the pace in the Preakness--he pressed it. No, Curt V, I am not going to say the name of the last horse that set the pace in the Derby, finished 2nd, then finished 3rd in the Preakness. And do not forget what a big race Lion Heart ran trying to wire the Derby field, only to fade in the Preakness stretch.