Golden Eagle Farm's Yearly Report rated just off a very soft pace, made her move on the far turn and drew away to win the $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II), the co-featured event May 14 at Pimlico Race Course.
With Jerry Bailey in the irons, California-bred Yearly Report, by General Meeting
, was dispatched as the odds-on choice of seven in the 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-old fillies. The Black-Eyed Susan marked the third stakes win for Bob Baffert-trained Yearly Report, who also won the state-bred Melair Stakes and the open Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Baffert and Bailey expressed some concern afterward about the condition of the track.
"The track's pretty deep," Baffert said. "It might have affected her a little bit.
"It wasn't easy, but she doesn't know how to quit. This wasn't the Preakness, but we will take it. There is no question she likes to respond to a challenge. They can run up to her, but it's not easy to go by."
Bailey added, "It's got plenty of water in it, but it's just a lot of soil. It's very tiring. Nothing held in front all day long."
In the Black-Eyed Susan, America America and Rare Gift dueled through an opening quarter-mile in :25.21 and a half-mile in :49.71. Yearly Report was right behind in third, followed by Native Annie and Pawyne Princess. Bailey asked Yearly Report for more near the top of the stretch, and the filly got past a stubborn Rare Gift to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Pawyne Princess, who edged Rare Gift by a neck.
The pace was slow throughout, with six furlongs in 1:13.97 and a mile in 1:39.49. The final time on the fast track was 1:52.65, well off the track record of 1:47.20 set by Private Terms in 1989.
"I don't think you'll ever see as slow a first half or three-quarters in the Black-Eyed Susan as today because everybody was acutely aware of how deep and tiring the track was, and nobody was in a hurry," Bailey said. "I thought she was on paper the better filly and if she didn't wear herself out and got the trip she would win. I would have been happy if they had outrun me a length or a length and a half (early) but I didn't want to take her out of her rhythm. She just went on to win."
Pawyne Princess, ridden by Ramon Dominguez, was bottled up inside for most of the trip but found room in the lane and just got up to nip Rare Gift for second. Owned by Michael Gill and trained by Mark Shuman, Pawyne Princess finished only a neck behind victorious Water Cannon, a Preakness Stakes (gr. I) entrant, in the April 17 Federico Tesio Stakes at Pimlico.
"She had no excuse today," Dominguez said. "She saddled nicely and gave everything she had. She was second best today. We made a good run laying off a slow pace and closed nicely. The winner was just a little bit better."
Bolton, Dipietro, and Honour's Rare Gift was third, with Stonerside Stable's Native Annie fourth. Menifeeque, Song Track and America America completed the order. Pilfer was an early scratch.
Yearly Report paid $3, $2.20 and $2.10 to win. She now has earned $378,400 for owner and breeder Mrs. John Mabee's Golden Eagle Farm in only five starts.
"It was too bad Mrs. Mabee couldn't be here," Baffert said. "She loves to see her California breds win races like this."
Pawyne Princess returned $2.60 and $2.10 and Rare Gift's show was $2.10.