Grade 1 Winner Dancing Rags Tops 31 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) Nominees

Moana Gallops Wednesday Morning at Pimlico for $250,000 Stakes
Black-Eyed Susan Day Marks Return of Ultimate Girls Day Out
 
BALTIMORE – Chadds Ford Stable’s Grade 1 winner Dancing Rags, based in Maryland with trainer Graham Motion, heads a list of 31 sophomore fillies nominated to the 93rd running of the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) May 19 at historic Pimlico Race Course.
 
In addition to a program of championship racing that offers seven stakes, four of them graded, worth $1.15 million in purses, Black-Eyed Susan Day will also feature the return of the Ultimate Girls Day Out, an entire afternoon dedicated to the spirit and strength of women.
 
Dancing Rags, a bay daughter of Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Union Rags, made her seasonal debut April 9 at Keeneland where she finished sixth after a troubled start in the seven-furlong Beaumont (G3). She has since worked twice at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton, Md.
 
Last year Dancing Rags broke her maiden in her second career start going a mile at Laurel Park in mid-September. She was a one-length winner of the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland three weeks later and ended her juvenile campaign finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
 
Bridlewood Farm and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Moana is one of seven fillies nominated by trainer Todd Pletcher. The bay daughter of Uncle Mo was the first Black-Eyed Susan contender on the grounds, having arrived with Kentucky Derby (G1)-winning stablemate Always Dreaming on Tuesday.
 
Moana will be making just her third career start and stakes debut in the Black-Eyed Susan. She got her first look at Pimlico with a 1 1/8-mile gallop over the main track early Wednesday morning.
 
“She just had a regular gallop, just to check out the track and look around a little bit,” Pletcher assistant Ginny DePasquale said. She galloped her normal self. She drags the rider around the track; she’s tough to gallop. She was on her toes.”
 
DePasquale said it didn’t take long to settle in for Moana, a maiden winner going 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland last time out April 14. The filly didn’t make her career debut until March, finishing second as the favorite in a one-mile, 40-yard maiden event at Tampa Bay Downs.
 
“She shipped very well, ate well, looks bright and happy,” DePasquale said. “A lot of the thoroughbreds we get, from the time they’re yearlings or even weanlings they’re used to getting on vans or plans or whatever and traveling across the country. It’s rarely a new experience to be traveling like this.”
 
Among Pletcher’s other nominees are Lights of Medina, a winner of two straight who earned an automatic berth in the Black-Eyed Susan for her victory in the Weber City Miss April 22 at Laurel; undefeated stakes-winning sprinter My Miss Tapit; and Nonna Bella, also nominated to the $150,000 Adena Springs Miss Preakness (G3) at six furlongs on the undercard.
 
Other Black-Eyed Susan nominees include undefeated Jenda’s Agenda, unraced since the Caesar’s Wish March 18 at Laurel; Grade 2 winners Salty and Tequilita, fifth and seventh, respectively, in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) May 6; graded stakes-placed Elate, Full House and Summer Luck; and Nikki My Darling and Shimmering Aspen, each riding three-race win streaks.