BALTIMORE, 05-10-10---Two fillies who have hooked up before top the field for the 86th running of the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, the headliner on a 13-race program Friday at Pimlico Race Course.
The card also features six additional stakes races, the second annual jockey challenge and a six-furlong event entitled Legend's For The Cure, an eight-starter field restricted to retired female jockeys.
In the $175,000 Black-Eyed Susan, D. Wayne Lukas-trained Tidal Pool tangles again with Delaware Park-based No Such Word, conditioned by Cindy Jones.
When they last met in the Grade 2 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park on April 2, Tidal Pool got the best of it, finishing second to Blind Luck, who went on to beat her again two weeks ago in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks. No Such Word finished third in the Fantasy, 6 1/2 lengths behind Tidal Pool while falling back in the stretch after stalking the pace early.
As a result, Tidal Pool has been posted as the 8-to-5 overnight favorite for Lukas, who has assigned Kentucky Derby winner Calvin Borel to ride. The Hall of Fame trainer captured the Black-Eyed Susan with Serena's Song in 1995.
"She ran a great race in the Oaks,” Borel said. “One thing about Pimlico is that speed carries, which I think will help her out. I worked her before the Oaks and she is doing super good."
No Such Word is listed at 7-to-2 odds for Jones, wife of retired trainer Larry Jones, who saddled Payton d'Oro to last year's Black-Eyed Susan victory.
She will have the benefit of a six-week break, but spots Tidal Pool six pounds. Regular rider Terry Thompson will be aboard.
Harissa, a daughter of 2005 Preakness winner Afleet Alex, was impressive in her latest, a 3 1/2-length score at Sunland Park, and Seeking the Title is working up well to the 1 1/8 mile distance and gets Kent Desormeaux in the irons.
Not to be overlooked is Diva Delite, the leading money-winner in the nine-horse lineup and 8-for-16 lifetime with 15 top three finishes. She has a strong late kick and should be a factor from the outside post.
$175,000 BLACK-EYED SUSAN STAKES (GRADE 2)
|1||No Such Word||Cindy Jones||Terry Thompson||7-2|
|2||Seeking the Title||Dallas Stewart||Kent Desormeaux||5-1|
|3||Khancord Kid||John Kimmel||Rajiv Maragh||12-1|
|4||Acting Happy||Rick Dutrow||Jose Lezcano||10-1|
|5||Harissa||David Hofmans||Tyler Baze||5-1|
|6||Tidal Pool||D. Wayne Lukas||Calvin Borel||8-5|
|7||Patriot Miss||Rodney Jenkins||Travis Dunkelberger||30-1|
|8||C C’s Pal||Derek Ryan||Eibar Coa||20-1|
|9||Diva Delite||Ian Wilkes||Julien Leparoux||8-1|
Five companion stakes races carry $70,000 purses with three of them scheduled for the grass course.
The Very One, a turf sprint for females, has drawn a full 14-horse field including Starfish Bay out of the Todd Pletcher barn, listed as the 8-to-5 betting choice and Canadian Ballet, a 5-year-old mare with more than half a million in career earnings. The latter is trained by Linda Rice, who has also entered Ahvee's Destiny, the second highest money-winner in the field.
The race for the male counterparts, the Jim McKay Turf Sprint, appears a wide-open affair and includes Heros Reward, a local favorite and million-dollar winner who disappointed in the same race last year, finishing fifth. The lukewarm choice is Smart Enough, who is 12-for-22 lifetime.
Tony-Dutrow trained Cuff Me is a prohibitive overnight favorite in the Ms. Pink Warrior Preakness Stakes, the second dirt race for 3-year old fillies while the speedy Sweet Goodbye, locally trained by Chris Grove, is rated a solid contender for the Skipat for older females. Her task won't be easy with the likes of Lights Off Annie, defending champion All Giving and Rightly So challenging.
The final race on the card, the Hilltop, a distance race on turf for 3-year-old fillies, has Joharmony on a three-race winning streak, Graham Motion-trained Smart Seattle, and Potosina among the top picks. But they'll have to beat Worstcasescenario, whose credentials include a Grade 2 win at Saratoga.
The card also includes the $25,000 Kattegat’s Pride Starter Handicap for fillies and mares.
Kent Desormeax will defend his title in the Jockey Challenge, which encompasses the third, fifth, seventh and 10th races. Other star riders competing are Javier Castellano, Ramon Dominguez, Garrett Gomez, Julien Leparoux, Rosie Napravnik, Jeremy Rose and John Velazquez.
The Lady Legends For the Cure Race, the first ever pari-mutuel race featuring retired champion female jockeys, will be the fourth race. It will be filmed as the climatic ending to the feature length documentary titled, JOCK, that tells the story of the first generation of female jockeys. The field includes the only two who have ridden in the Preakness Stakes: Patricia (P.J.) Cooksey (Tajawa-1985) and Andrea Seefeldt (Looming-1994) as well as Barbara Jo Rubin, who made history as the first woman to win in a pari-mutuel race in the United States when she guided Cohesion to victory at Charles Town on Feb. 22, 1969.
Detailed advances of the Jockey Challenge and Lady Legends for the Cure race will be produced prior to Friday.