05/16/2012 12:53PM

Pimlico: Mamma Kimbo stands out in Black-Eyed Susan Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Mamma Kimbo will try to stay perfect in three starts in Friday's Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico.

BALTIMORE – All the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes did last year was produce the 3-year-old filly champion. Royal Delta rolled home by 2 1/2 lengths in the Preakness eve fixture for her first career stakes victory in a 2012 campaign that ended in a Breeders’ Cup win and a divisional Eclipse Award.

It would be unfair to expect any of the nine 3-year-old fillies entered Friday at Pimlico to use the 88th running of the Grade 2, $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan as a similar launching point, but there can be no denying that the 1 1/8-mile race is rife with potential. Mamma Kimbo, an eye-catching winner of her first two career starts, will be a solid favorite in a race that also includes Welcome Guest and the uncoupled Todd Pletcher duo of Disposablepleasure and In Lingerie as major threats.

Mamma Kimbo, owned by the Peachtree Stable and trained by Bob Baffert, earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure in winning her career debut in February at Santa Anita, then followed it up by getting a 94 in going wire to wire in the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park last month; both of those Beyers are higher than what any of the other Black-Eyed Susan fillies have ever earned. Baffert seriously considered the Kentucky Oaks for Mamma Kimbo, before deciding he wanted to give her another two weeks leading up to her third start.

Mike Smith has a return call on Mamma Kimbo, who was assigned post 4.

Lining up right alongside in post 3 will be Welcome Guest, a gray filly who chased home Broadway’s Alibi when second last month in the Comely Stakes at Aqueduct. Broadway’s Alibi came back to run a big second to Believe You Can in the May 4 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs.

[PIMLICO FRIDAY: Watch live – Black-Eyed Susan, Pimlico Special]

“I think our filly has a very bright future,” said Chad Brown, trainer of Welcome Guest. “We’ve given her time to develop, and she’s come along real well. All the contenders in this race are pretty much in the same boat in that they’re lightly raced but have shown a lot of ability. The good thing about our filly is that she’s very tactical. She’s never been around two turns, but she’s shown in both the mornings and afternoons that she’s very manageable mentally. She’ll do whatever you need her to do.”

Ramon Dominguez, a former Maryland kingpin, will be back aboard Welcome Guest.

Pletcher, who trains Broadway’s Alibi, also considered In Lingerie for the Oaks before bypassing it for this spot. He said both of his Black-Eyed Susan fillies have trained well in recent weeks and that he believes Disposablepleasure, a Grade 2 winner, can rebound off two so-so efforts.

“I think the mile and an eighth will suit her well,” Pletcher said. “We’re optimistic that she’ll show up and run her ‘A’ race.”

Disposablepleasure gets Javier Castellano from post 2, and In Lingerie will have John Velazquez aboard in post 7.

Rounding out the Black-Eyed Susan lineup are Glinda the Good, Oaks Lily, Plum, Wildcat’s Smile, and Zucchini Flower. Of those, Glinda the Good might rate the best upset shot, having won two ungraded stakes for the Stonestreet Stables and trainer Steve Asmussen of Curlin and Rachel Alexandra fame.

Historic as it is, the Black-Eyed Susan once was known as the middle leg of an unofficial Filly Triple Crown, surrounded by the Oaks and the Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont Park. But that concept has been long abandoned in favor of New York’s own Triple Tiara linking the Acorn, Mother Goose, and CCA Oaks.

The Black-Eyed Susan goes as the 10th of 13 Friday races, with post time set for 4:46 p.m. Eastern.

Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2), Post Time: 4:46 ET Friday

Purse: $300,000; 1 1/8 miles





ML Odds


Glinda The Good

S. Asmussen

C. Nakatani




T. Pletcher

J. Castellano



Welcome Guest

C. Brown

R. Dominguez



Mamma Kimbo

B. Baffert

M. Smith



Oaks Lily

T. Hills

J. Leparoux




R. Jenkins

A. Castellano, Jr.



In Lingerie

T. Pletcher

J. Velazquez



Wildcat's Smile

D. Galluscio

R. Napravnik



Zucchini Flower

H. Motion

S. Russell