05/20/2011 2:48PM

Playing the Black Eyed Susan Pick-5


2:45 pm: A five-filly field in the Black-Eyed Susan and a pair of towering favorites in two other stakes give the Pick-5 sequence at Pimlico today the look of a potential chalkfest -- unless you can beat Final Mesa in the Miss Preakness Stakes and Rose Catherine in the The Very One.

The sequence begins at 4:08 pm ET with the 9th of today's 13 races, the Miss Preakness at six furlongs for 3-year-old fillies. Final Mesa has been off since January 5th, when she came off a five-month layoff to win the G3 Old Hat over Pomeroy's Pistol. She obviously has her issues, with just one start since last August, but a repeat of her Old Hat performance would towrope this field. She has run well fresh before and she's been working bullets at Keeneland.

The second leg is the Black-Eyed Susan, which is down to a field of five after the scratch of longshot Coax Liberty. Even so, a case can be made for any of the three favorites: Wyomia comes off a strong second in the Ashland, Hot Summer could get loose in a paceless field, and Royal Delta could well have the most talent of them all.

Rose Catherine has lost her last three starts after going 6-for-6 against filly turf sprinters, but two of those defeats were against males (including the BC Turf Sprint) and the other was an off-the-turfer. Anything remotely resembling her best races should win The Very One. The last two legs lack a short-priced favorite, but appear to have only three or four strong win candidates.

Here's my cheat-sheet for the sequence with preliminary grades. I'll play for the action, but I can't see getting too heavily involved:


 The Black-Eyed Susan, scheduled to go at 4:46 pm ET, will be shown on a one-hour telecast on NBC-owned Versus from 4 to 5 pm.


4:15 pm: As discussed in the comments below, NYRA Rewards is not offering the 50-cent Pimlico bets at less than a $1 minimum today. That development, and my not wanting to get heavily involved, reduced me to one caveman ticket that fortunately included Miss Preakness winner R Holiday Mood along with Final Mesa, who tired late to finish 4th at 4-5. 

The $288 play: 9,10/1,2,4/6,7,9/1,3,4,9/2,3,5,7

Half an hour until the five-horse Black-Eyed Susan, which is shrinking in importance with each passing year. Not a single Kentucky Oaks starter is running back. Pimlico may want to consider making a reinstated Pimlico Special -- a better use of its funds than the inane Magna 5.5 Bonus -- as the centerpiece of its day-before-Preakness program. 


5:00 pm: Royal Delta is still growing into her frame and learning how to run, but the very promising 3-year-old filly took another step forward winning her first stakes in the Black-Eyed Susan. The daughter of Empire Maker sat a perfect trip in fourth as Wyomia surprisingly pushed Hot Summer through solid fractions. Royal Delta slipped through at the rail on the stretch turn, loafed a little when she made the lead, then finished well to pull away from Buster's Ready. She paid $5.60 as a slight faborite over 9-5 Wyomia and 2-1 Hot Summer.


5:15 pm: In a post-race interview, trainer Bill Mott said the June 11 Acorn was a little too soon for Royal Delta's next start and that he would probably wait for the Mother Goose, which is only two weeks later this year on June 25. Just as there is now little connection between Kentucky Oaks and Black-Eyed Susan, the first two legs of the "old" filly triple crown, there's also less and less between the first two legs of what used to be the New York filly triple crown of the Acorn, Mother Goose and CCA Oaks. Three of those races are still called the NY filly triple tiara, but I have no idea which three and that seems to change from year to year based on sponsorships.


5:42 pm: Pimlico was living dangerously when it carded six grass races for today and six more for tomorrow but it appears the rain that soaked it Thursday night is done and the forecast is clear for Preakness Day. Still, the course is playing very slowly: A maiden race for fillies early on the card went in 1:52.87 -- for a mile and a sixteenth -- or nearly 13 seconds over the course record. In the The Very One, last year's runner-up, Suzzona, scored in 1:00.41 -- more than five seconds off the course record. Last year sge was beaten a neck in 56.56.


6:30 pm: Excited ($5.60) romped as the favorite in the Hilltop Stakes to complete a $1,404.00 (for $1) pick-5 and provide a little more ammo for Preakness Day. Don't forget: First post tomorrow is 10:30 a.m. The early pick-4, guaranteed at $250k, begins with the 5th race at 12:53 pm ET.

Jeff T. More than 1 year ago
Todd Saunders and Steve Crist... I have always felt that the only way for patrons to get the correct wagering minimums ($.50 cent Pick 4's or Pick 5's or $.10 cent Superfecta's vs. $1.00 Super's) was to file a law suit regarding a unfair gaming scenarios. When you think about it, it is patently unfair to have to compete (using a $1.00 versus a $.10 dime in a Superfecta or; having to spend $1.00 versus $.50 cents in a Pick 4 or Pick 5). A jury of our peers would be an easy victory.
art More than 1 year ago
Steve, I was thinking.......As the reverend has predicted the end of the world just prior to the Preakness Stakes( if he is correct) will my multi-race wagers be refunded.....
Unitas More than 1 year ago
What an absolute disgrace that today's running of The Black Eyed Susan Stakes only drew a field of 5 after a late scratch. Another black eye for the Maryland thoroughbred industry. On their(Md.) absolute biggest and busiest weekend of the year, they are only able to get 5 fillies in the gate for their second biggest race of the year(since The Pimlico Special is still on hiatus). The long term outlook as far as Maryland racing goes is bleak at best, and with the Maryland legislature again vetoing a bill that would have made slots legal in Md., The end is growing nearer with each passing day. The overall quality of horse flesh @ Pimlico is and has been sub-par for a great number of years, and the relative small purse structure compared with neighboring states who purses have increased greatly due to the inclusion of slots to the tracks bottom lines, leaves a product who bettors are avoiding, and a racing venue who has lost most if not all of the big stables who used to call Maryland it's racing home for the fact that these stables/barns, take short trips to racing venues in nearby jurisdictions who purses are doubled, and most of the time larger than that, rather than stay in Maryland were the purses, handle and attendance are in a continuing downward spiral. Only thing basically left to do is decide at which track will The Preakness be calling "Home" in the near future.
SamG More than 1 year ago
Oh well Steve,at least when they make you pay twice as much you win twice as much,when you win.I'm not feeling too brilliant leaving off R Holiday Mood but I won about as much as I'd have made if I'd worked today and I'm alive to a few in the double.Looking forward to tomorrow.
Ryan More than 1 year ago
Steve - How does a "major" race meet (well major for 2 days) publicize that 50 cent P5 and NEVER SHOW THE WILLPAYS! Unreal. I am alive to the 2. Have no idea what it will pay. Hope I get to find out :)
bobm toga More than 1 year ago
hi steve, put together several pk 5's and pk 4's prior to double checking nyra rewards. i should know better. anyhows, hit nice with suzzona at 7/2 rose catherine just not the same horse. looking at dance city tomorrow. hooking up with animal kingdom and mucho....
ChrisLT More than 1 year ago
steve, shocked? :) in my experience nyra rewards has NEVER offered the correct minimum when it is under a buck with the exception of the monmouth pick 5. and when you bet nyra rewards by phone (actually a pretty good interface truth be told) you can't bet their own pick 4s for .50!
Eric Kozlowski More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve, I wanted to throw out a suggestion about the advance bet and the chance to encompass all three Triple Crown races. Instead of win betting, I think people would wager more and have more interest if the bet was called, The Triple Crown Show Up! A simple show bet that would be eligible for payoff in all three races. Using the intial pool from this year, wagers would encompass all three Triple Crown races, the pool would be split in thirds and payoff just like a show pool. Your horse would be eligible for all three legs and afford those who skip the derby, fail to qualify, or whose trainer would wait for the second or third leg. In the second pool, void of a field, $300k pool would afford around $100k to each leg, Mucho Macho Man would have been the lone winner during the Derby and have another chance tomorrow! The field bet could be offered in the initial pool but not the second and third fields. You might get some big bets that would enhance the payoffs should three hit the board not as a part of the field. The field might turn into a win bet during a small Belmont, lots of angles and potential for a lone entrant taking the show pool for a specific race. I think bigger bettors would like it. The show bet opens it up to the problem of a horse, who after betting closed, must wait for the subsequent legs or opt to skip the Derby. Lastly, market the bet to the first time bettor - what a way to get some needed attention to the races and with a bit of luck, the payoffs could be actually good. If you connect the right horse, you could cash each race and maybe be part of the lone horse that shows during a specific leg. Just a thought but the Triple Crown needs a spark! if any readers wanted to run some numbers, I think it could be a fun bet to help get new "shooters," in the game. Thanks
Real1Quiet More than 1 year ago
Could not agree more on Magna bringing back the Pimlico Special instead of the Magna 5.5 bonus... Santa Anita Handicap & Pimlico Special bonus would make more sense than the silly pre-triple crown/Preakness bonuses.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
I get to do this about once a year, so forgive me... How in the world did I end up being one of the few who went heavy on the very obvious: A) Mott #1/over/Pletcher #5 & Leparoux #4 [main bet, exacta] & B) a Mott-Leparoux-Pletcher boxed (#1/#4/#5) exacta (hedge bet) - In such a microscopic field in such a high-profile race, the Black Eyed Susan? The $34.20 exacta – A Mott-Pletcher 1-2! – Mystifying! "Ain't nobaadee herd of dese guys before?" (Sound Effects: Knuckles cracking.) Time to go and lose the money won. I always do.