Updated on 05/16/2013 2:32PM

Pimlico: Black-Eyed Susan to point way for Emollient; scratches leave field of 7

Barbara D. Livingston
Emollient comes into the Black-Eyed Susan off a nine-length victory in the Ashland over the Polytrack at Keeneland.

BALTIMORE - With one eye on a big prize and the other on the future, trainer Bill Mott returns Emollient to dirt in Friday’s Grade 2, $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico.

Emollient, a daughter of Empire Maker, comes into the Black-Eyed Susan off a dynamic nine-length victory in the Grade 1 Ashland, a race run over the synthetic surface at Keeneland. But before Mott commits Emollient to synthetics or even the turf for the remainder of her 3-year-old season, the Hall of Fame trainer wants to give the filly one more shot on the dirt.

“I’m looking for something to give me some direction on what I’m going to do the rest of the year,” Mott said. “Obviously, she’s run well on the dirt, but she never wowed me the way she wowed me when she ran at Keeneland. If she comes back and runs that well on the dirt I’ll be pretty impressed, but I wouldn’t be so confident that’s going to happen.”

A field of nine was entered for the Black-Eyed Susan, but the race lost two 3-year-old fillies on Thursday when the connections of Walkwithapurpose and Manuka Honey said they would be scratching.

Walkwithapurpose, a three-time listed stakes winner, was diagnosed with a bruised foot, according to a statement released by her owner, the Sagamore Farm. Manuka Honey, winner of the Suncoast Stakes and runner-up in the Grade 3 Fantasy, will scratch after coming out of her most recent workout “a little flat,” according to trainer John Terranova.

Those scratches remove some speed out of the race, and moves Emollient from post 7 to post 5.

[BLACK-EYED SUSAN: Live updates and live video from Pimlico]

Emollient has solid dirt form. She has two wins and two seconds on dirt, including a second in the Grade 2 Demoiselle at 1 1/8 miles last fall. Her one head-scratching performance on dirt came in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks when she was beaten 30 lengths by Dreaming of Julia. The race was such a non-effort for Emollient that Mott wheeled her back in a week in the Ashland in which she galloped by nine lengths in gate to wire fashion.

Two years ago, Mott won the Black-Eyed Susan with Royal Delta, who had a head-scratching performance in the Suncoast Stakes on dirt at Tampa before bouncing back with an allowance win at Keeneland prior to the Black-Eyed Susan.

“It’d be nice to have another Royal Delta,” said Mott, referring to the two-time champion who remains in training.

Mike Smith will ride Emollient from post 7.

Trainer Bob Baffert seeks his third Black-Eyed Susan with Fiftyshadesofhay, winner of the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel in January and runner-up to Beholder in the Grade 1 Las Virgenes in March.

Baffert had considered the Kentucky Oaks for Fiftyshadesofhay, but the filly missed four days of training after becoming colicky upon arriving in Louisville.

Baffert will equip Fiftyshadesofhay with blinkers, equipment she wore in the first three races of her career without a win.

“Last time,” Baffert said, referring to a third-place finish in the Santa Anita Oaks, jockey Rafael Bejarano “had to get after her to keep up and keep her in the bridle.”

Baffert said that Rosie Napravnik had been working Fiftyshadesofhay in Louisville, but Joel Rosario will ride on Friday.

Maracuya is an interesting filly in this field. She is a half-sister to Payton d’Oro, the 2009 Black-Eyed Susan winner and has won her first two starts at Gulfstream. Both of those races were run around one turn, but trainer Ralph Nicks is looking forward to stretching her out around two turns.

“She’s trained like she’s wanted it from Day One,” Nicks said. “It may be a little ambitious, on the other hand, it’s a pretty good spot for $500,000. The filly is doing outstanding and it’s a good place to take a shot.”

John Velazquez rides Maracuya from post 6.

Lady Banks, a stakes-winning sprinter, Petit Trianon, a winner of three straight including a turf allowance race, Toasting, and Marathon Lady complete the field.

The Black-Eyed Susan goes as race 10 on a 13-race card that begins at noon Eastern and includes six other stakes, including the Grade 3, $300,000 Pimlico Special. The Black-Eyed Susan is the second leg of an all-stakes pick-four that will have a guaranteed pool of $250,000.

The Black-Eyed Susan will be shown live on the NBC Sports Network during a one-hour broadcast from 4-5 p.m. Eastern.

Jack Matthews More than 1 year ago
"Roy Hobbs" More than 1 year ago
That's more of a screaming request for other people to help you make money than it is a comment on the race.
Dave Schuler More than 1 year ago
It Will Be Tough BUT I Think Baffert Will Get The Susan @ the Preakness-RosarioTo M. Garcia Isnt Out Of Reach----Maybe---Orb-Is Tough-LOLK_-DS
matthew_melton More than 1 year ago
This is a weak overall field with a potential star in it. If Mott's filly is a dirt filly (or 90% as effective on dirt as Synth), it is over.
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
NBC sports network a part of basic satelittle TV pac from Dish.
Greg Rouch More than 1 year ago
No, it isn't! I have Dish basic, and it does NOT include NBC Sports!
Robynrokn More than 1 year ago
Direct TV so much superior to DISH.
B More than 1 year ago
NBC Sports is not part of either's basic TV package. I have Comcast, which costs a small fortune), but after much research into Dish & Direct TV, both will be just as expensive as Comcast after the promos are over & I don't like the two contract. At least Comcast has no contract & has On Demand, which I like a lot. The one advantage of Dish, as every on on here knows, is that it is the only one of these three that show HRTV, but TVG is showing replays of the major stakes races shown on HRTV and I can live with that. I've dealt with Dish on the phone numerous times and I am always treated rudely. I want to get rid of Comcast, but I'll stick with it until an alternative idea to these three comes along in my area.
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
Look for Vasquez to win a nice race good price.
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Do you mean John Velazquez?
Advance Plumbing More than 1 year ago
Keeneland form to any dirt track is not good. Emollient should wipe out this field otherwise.
Robynrokn More than 1 year ago
Emollient ran well at BEL, SAR, and AQU, dirt not the problem.
hialeah More than 1 year ago
On Cigar Mile Day - you know - the day that Orb broke his maiden over Freedom Child and Revolutionary, and Overanalyze beat Normandy Invasion a nose in the Remsen; and Stay Thirsty beat Groupie Doll a nose in the feature; and, well, it was a pretty good day of racing all around. I'm pretty sure that for the Demoiselle, which was won by Unlimited Budget, Emollient was wearing "pads" - never a good sign - and then she broke bad to boot. The Juddmonte home-bred was always well meant.
Greggory Kowalkowski More than 1 year ago
Fleur de Lis I at CD I heard Christina.
ChristinaA More than 1 year ago
Kind of unrelated, but does anyone know where (or when) Mott is planning on running Royal Delta next?
Lawrence More than 1 year ago
In the Fleur De Lis on June 15 at Churchill
ChristinaA More than 1 year ago
Thank you!
Susan Huart More than 1 year ago
Bill Mott, Mike Smith and Empire Maker. That's a nice trifecta to run with and Emollient ran a great race last time out under Mike. No real competition, IMO!
Chris Jones More than 1 year ago
If she is to win, Emolient will do it from MUCH farther back than she has ever been, and she showed in the GP Oaks that she does not like to chase. She prefers to be on the pace, and there are a few quicker than her. I will use her in my pick-4 and pick-5, but at low odds and a style she does not like, she is a definite bet-against.
Eric More than 1 year ago
I think what she showed in the GP Oaks was that she didn't like chasing a horse running a 114 BSF.