Fillies Fight for the Flowers in Black-Eyed Susan

Fillies Fight for the Flowers in Black-Eyed Susan
Photo: Benoit
Yearly Report, favored in Friday's Black-Eyed Susan.
Although a colt or gelding will wear a garland of black-eyed Susans on Saturday, a group of eight fillies are scheduled to battle it out in the race of the same name the day before. Three-year-old fillies will go nine furlongs in Friday's $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) at Pimlico.

Favored for the race is Betty Mabee's homebred Yearly Report, who comes to Maryland with two straight stakes victories to her credit. The product of stakes winners General Meeting and Fiscal Report (by Half a Year), Yearly Report won the Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) in January and the Melair Stakes in April. Yearly Report is trained by Bob Baffert.

John Servis will send out Smarty Jones in Saturday's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), but he also has an entry for Fox Hill Farms in the Black-Eyed Susan. Pilfer will be making her second start in stakes company in the race. She and America America are the longshots on the morning line at 30-1.

America America was born in Kentucky, but started her racing career in England for owner Cameron Express. The filly has nine placings and one win in stakes company in Germany, England, Canada, and the United States.

The dam of Black-Eyed Susan entrant Rare Gift, Rare Blend, won the 1997 Pimlico Distaff Handicap (gr. III), so perhaps her daughter will share her affinity for the Maryland track. John Kimmel will send out Rare Gift for a partnership comprised of George Bolton, David DiPietro, and Roger Honour. The owners paid $330,000 for this filly as a yearling. She finished third to Last Song and Society Selection in the Bonnie Miss Stakes (gr. II) in her only previous attempt at added-money company. At 6-1, she is the third choice on the morning line.

Pawyne Princess prepped for the Black-Eyed Susan by racing against the boys. In her last start the daughter of Saint Ballado ran second to longshot Preakness contender Water Cannon in the April 17 Federico Tesio Stakes. John Robb trains Pawyne Princess for Michael Gill, who bought the filly last year for $250,000. The Black-Eyed Susan will be just her fifth lifetime start.

The Black-Eyed Susan is Pimlico's 10th race on Friday. The full field from the rail out:

Horse, Jockey (Weight), Trainer, Morning line
1--Pilfer, Stewart Elliott (115), John Servis, 30-1
2--Pawyne Princess, Ramon Dominguez (115), John Robb, 5-2
3--America America, Corey Nakatani (122), Frank Mourier, 30-1
4--Song Track, Robby Albarado (117), Neil Howard, 8-1
5--Rare Gift, Edgar Prado (115), John Kimmel, 6-1
6--Yearly Report, Jerry Bailey (122), Bob Baffert, 4-5
7--Native Annie, Victor Espinoza (117), Mike Stidham, 20-1
8--Menifeeque, Cornelio Velasquez (115), Bill Mott, 12-1

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