Preview and betting tips for the Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Stakes
It’s the premier dates of horse racing in Maryland, with Friday's Black-Eyed Susan and Saturday’s 148th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. The latter, the second jewel of the Triple Crown, is undeniably light in status this time around, however.
The odd-distance (1 3/16-mile) Preakness, with its $1.5 million purse, attracted only Kentucky Derby champ Mage among those who raced at Churchill. It’s the shortest of the races which comprise the Crown.
Here's a look, before both the Susan (3-year-old fillies) and Preakness. Horse racing bettors should be on the lookout for the Pimlico Special/Preakness Stakes Double, featuring big payouts for nailing both of these races.
Black-Eyed Susan Preview
Highlight of the undercard, albeit a day before the Preakness, is the $300,000 (George E. Mitchell) Black-Eyed Susan. This race is restricted to the (3-year-old) fillies and the 2023 version attracted a dozen entrants.
Faiza (Flavien Prat, post No. 9) is the solid 7-5 (+140) early choice on the strength of her perfect (5-of-5) career resume, including 3-of-3 this season. She's never competed outside of California, winning the Santa Anita Oaks last out. Bob Baffert trains Faiza, who is a career winner of $642,000.
Merlazza (Florent Geroux, post No. 4, 6-1, [+600]) and Balpool (Manny Franco, post No. 8, 8-1, [+800]) are the other young ladies under double figures on the morning line.
Here's the complete field ahead of the race, according to Black-Eyed Susan odds.
|Post Position||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Morning Line Odds|
|1||Sacred Wish||George Weaver||John Velazquez||10-1|
|2||Pate||Michael Maker||Jeiron Barbosa||20-1|
|3||Hoosier Philly||Thomas Amoss||Edgar Morales||10-1|
|4||Merlazza||Brad Cox||Florent Geroux||6-1|
|5||Frosty O Toole||Todd Pletcher||Joel Rosario||15-1|
|6||Miracle||Todd Pletcher||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||10-1|
|7||Comparative||Brad Cox||Luis Saez||12-1|
|8||Balpool||Rob Atras||Manuel Franco||8-1|
|9||Faiza||Bob Baffert||Flavien Prat||7-5|
|10||Taxed||Randy Morse||Rafael Bejarano||15-1|
|11||Cats Inthe Timber||Brittany Russell||Jevian Toledo||30-1|
|12||Towhead||Michael Maker||Tyler Gaffalione||20-1|
The nine-furlong (1⅛-mile) Black-Eyed Susan goes as the 13th race (of 14), with a post time of 5:44 PM ET. First post is 11:30 AM ET.
Preakness Stakes Preview
Mage never has been a favorite in the wagering in any of his four starts. That is going to change here, as the colt who won the Kentucky Derby at odds of 15-1 is the 8-5 [+160] early selection in Baltimore. Javier Castellano, fresh off his first win in the Derby, eyes a third success in the Preakness with this son of Good Magic. The tandem landed post position No. 3 in the compact field of eight.
Gustavo Delgado, a Venezuelan as is Castellano, trains Mage, twice a winner in four career starts (earnings in excess of $2.1 million).
First Mission (Luis Saez, post No. 8) is the 5-2 [+250] second choice, while National Treasure (John Velazquez, post No. 1) is at 4-1 [+400].
First Mission, a son of Street Sense trained by Brad Cox, enters off a win in the Lexington at Keeneland. He broke his maiden in his previous try.
National Treasure, a Quality Road colt, is just 1-of-5 in his career, but is getting attention due to human connections (jockey Velazquez, trainer Baffert). That he’s the early third choice despite this rather ordinary resume is sort of an indictment of the rest of a watered-down octet.
The remainder of the Preakness field:
Chase the Chaos (Sheldon Russell, post No. 2, 50-1 [+5000])
Coffeewithchris (Jaime Rodriguez, post No. 4, 20-1 [+2000])
Red Route One (Joel Rosario, post No. 5, 10-1, [+1000])
Perform (Feargal Lynch, post No. 6, 15-1, [+1500])
Blazing Sevens (Irad Ortiz Jr., post No. 7, 6-1 [+600])
Preakness post time (race 13 of 14) is 7:01 PM ET. First post is 10:30 AM ET.
Crown to Mage?
Mage is obviously the only horse eligible to win the Crown this time around. If you think he’s worth a shot, he’s at +600 to annex the Preakness and Belmont, as per Triple Crown odds.