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John Velazquez aboard Gun Song after winning the Black-Eyed Susan

2024 Black-Eyed Susan Day Results

Date: 05/17/2024

The filly counterpart to the Preakness is the $300,000 George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2) held on the Friday before Preakness day. Conditions were typical for mid May with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 70's, the main track fast and turf course good.

A field of 9 three-year-old fillies went to post for the 100th renewal of this 1 1/8 mile main track contest. Gun Song was sent off as the 9-4 favorite after finishing 4th in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2). In to challenge her included 3-1 second choice Corposo, 3rd in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) and 7-2 third choice Recharge, 5th in the Fantasy (G2) after winning the Sunland Oaks.

First time by in the Black-Eyed Susan with Gun Song in second.

Jockey Mychel Sanchez sent 18-1 Jeanne Marie to the lead first time by through fractions of 24.20, 49.47, and 1:13.66 while pressed by Gun Song and stalked by Corposo and 10-1 Call Another Play. Turning for home Jeanne Marie tired allowing Gun Song to inherit the lead through 1 mile in 1:38.80. Kept to task by John Velazquez, Gun Song drew off to win by 3 1/4 lengths over Corposo in 1:51.39. It was a neck back to Call Another Play third.

Pgm  Horse               Jockey         Win   Place   Show
 5   Gun Song            Velazquez     6.60    3.80   2.80
 7   Corposo             Gaffalione            4.00   3.20
 4   Call Another Play   Rodriguez                    4.40

Winning Time:  1:51.39

$1 Exacta 5-7                        10.70
$1 Trifecta 5-7-4                    68.90
$1 Superfecta 5-7-4-6               269.90
$1 Super Hi-5 5-7-4-6-3             451.80
Full results chart from DRF

Left: Gun Song gets her flower blanket before heading to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Mark Hennig said, "I was happy to see the way the pace unfolded," said Hennig. "After that last race when they went three-quarters in 1:15 and the speed stopped, maybe those riders checked their game plan and took back a little bit. I don't know, but I was anticipating more pressure from the outside."

Right: The connections celebrate with the trophies.

Left: Gun Song leaves the winner's circle. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "She got relaxed on the backstretch and we were going so slow, so that I was thinking that, hopefully, when I let her go I didn't choke her down. But once I put my hands down at the 3/8 pole, she was relaxed and when I asked her at the quarter pole, she responded nice to me. I think she just got tired last time out. And then I worked her last week, and I knew she was ready. I knew this time she was quite ready for it. She's a horse that kind of waits, and I wanted to make sure to keep her mind running."

Right: Gun Song leads down the stretch. Hennig added, "Turning for home I could see she was pretty strong. Other than her last race, she always finishes very well. In my heart, I felt she was a good horse. I didn't have any doubts she was a good horse. I had a little doubt about the distance after her last race. But I didn't have enough doubt not to try this."

Left: Second place finisher Corposo returns after the race. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione said, "I was really happy with the filly. She's still immature. The winner ran great today, but there's nothing to hang our heads about finishing second."

Right: Third place finisher Call Another Play returns after the race. Trainer Mike Trombetta said, "The race unfolded kind of the way that I would have expected. I would have thought she would be somewhere where she was sitting and to hopefully make a run at them, and she did. (Jockey Jaime Rodriguez) said she was in a little tight for a while. We would have liked to get to work a little sooner. It would have been nice (to get second) but we'll absolutely take third."


The co-feature on Friday is the $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3). A field of 7 older horses contested this historic 1 3/16 mile trip, with Ben Ali Stakes (G3) winner Kingbarns sent off as the 7-10 favorite. In to challenge him included 9-4 second choice Red Route One, third in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and 5-1 third choice Pyrenees off a 3 race win streak in allowances.

Jockey Paco Lopez sent 14-1 Harlocap to the lead first time by through fractions of 24.80, 50.26, and 1:15.57 while pressed by Kingsbarns and stalked by 17-1 Royal Ship and Pyrenees. Into the stretch Kingsbarns gained the lead through 1 mile in 1:39.79 but Pyrenees under Brian Hernandez Jr. came out for room and rallied to win by 3/4 length in 1:57.73. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to Harlocap third.

Full results chart from DRF

Left: Pyrenees heads to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Cherie DeVaux said, "He's been a horse that's been a challenge for us, and he faced a lot of adversity in that race," DeVaux said of the Pimlico Special. "Didn't have a clear trip, had to sit back, and then they were going so slow, for him to close into that was really special. The first time he ran, he double-barreled the jockey and sent him flying across the screen. He really trained like he knew he had a lot in him but always hung back. We were trying blinkers, then he had a pretty significant injury that caused the layoff. So, we just regrouped with him. Really that's all we did. He forced us to give him the time.

Right: Pyrenees in the post parade. Winning jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. said, "We were following the favorite. Of course, he looked like the horse to beat. He was 2 for 2 at 1 3/16. As slow as they were going, I got a little worried around the second turn, because it stayed bunched up and we were kind of in a pocket. We were just kind of waiting for something to kind of move. When Johnny's horse died off a bit straightening out for home and Kingsbarns didn't run away from him, he only opened up a like a length and a half on him, I was pretty confident in our horse being able to run him down."

Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Kingsbarns first time by. Jockey Luis Saez said, "We were going good. He was in a perfect spot. The pace was slow. Didn't matter. He ran down the lane. He just got caught by a good horse at the end."

Right: Third place finisher Harlocap in the post parade. The Steve Asmussen trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 11 starts, earning $276,633 for owners Harlo Stables and Villa Rosa Farm.



Kicking off the Friday stakes sextet was the $100,000 Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes featuring a field of 7 older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. 13-1 Lacie Be Good set the pace of 24.57 and 48.60 while pressed by 6-1 Musical Mischief and stalked by 4-5 favorite Shotgun Hottie. On the turn Musical Mischief gained the lead as Lacie Be Good tired through 3/4 in 1:12.22, but Shotgun Hottie took over 3 wide through 1 mile in 1:37.34. Kept to task by Paco Lopez, Shotgun Hottie drew off to win by 5 3/4 lengths in 1:49.60. It was another 3 1/4 lengths back to 10-1 Queen of Missoula third.

Full results chart from DRF

Left: Shotgun Hottie heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey Paco Lopez said, "She had plenty, that filly today. She ran a big one. Cherie has done so well with that filly."

Right: Shotgun Hottie in the post parade. Winning trainer Cherie DeVaux said, "In a couple of her races, she's had a hard time. She comes out of the gate, and she has a tendency to grab the bit and want to do too much coming to the first turn. She's a big filly and you can't stop her and get her going again. So, it's really important to get her to relax behind the speed or on the outside. Paco does a great job to do that. He has really good hands and sits quietly on horses."



A field of 10 older fillies and mares sprinted 5 furlongs on turf in the $100,000 The Very One Stakes. 22-1 Shoshanah set the pace of 22.00 while pressed by 13-1 Bosserati and stalked by 6-5 favorite Future is Now. Into the stretch Future Is Now gained the lead through 4f in 45.81. Kept to task by Paco Lopez, Future is Now drew off to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Shoshanah in 58.29. It was a neck back to 28-1 Hollywood Walk third.
Full results chart from DRF

Left: Future is Now heads to the winner's circle. Winning owner Larry Johnson said, "She kind of missed the break. She's been just go to the front. I was not expecting it. I was very worried about the ground. I had run two others today, and this ground is really soft. It's kind of nice to see that she could sit and run." Trainer Mike Trombetta added, "She was very fit, and seeing her come off the pace was very encouraging."

Right: Future is Now returns in the post parade. Winning jockey Paco Lopez said, "I had seen that filly make the lead. Today I asked Michael, 'What should I do?' and he left it up to me. I came from behind and had plenty of horse."


A field of 12 three-year-old fillies sprinted 6 furlongs in the $150,000 Miss Preakness Stakes (G3). Beaumont Stakes (G2) third place finisher Youalmosthadme was sent off as the 9-4 favorite over 7-2 second choice Launch, winner of the Any Limit at Gulfstream, and 5-1 third choice Lady Moscatom 6th in the Eight Belles (G2).

Jockey Flavien Prat sent 11-2 fourth choice Mystic Lake to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 23.09 and 46.44 while pressed by Launch and stalked by 40-1 Miss Harriett and favorite Youalmosthadme. Into the lane Mystic Lake drew off from the field, finishing up 4 1/2 lengths ahead of Youalmosthadme in 1:11.40. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to 14-1 Discreet Ops third.

Full results chart from DRF

Left: Mystic Lake in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Flavien Prat said, "She jumped very well and got an early good position, and she did the rest from there. She always runs forward, obviously. Here it was the 1-hole. You've got to break well, but she dirt, and it turned out well."

Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Youalmosthadme in the post parade. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione said, "My filly has never been the fastest out of the gate. She seems to get better starts from outside posts, but today we were in a good spot. She traveled really well throughout and at the top of the lane we had a chance to get the winner, but the winner kicked away."


The $100,000 Hilltop Stakes featured a field of 7 three-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the turf. Jockey Jaime Rodriguez sent 30-1 Roanan Goddess to the lead through fractions of 23.92 and 48.85 while pressed by 10-1 Just Better and stalked by 36-1 longest shot Turf Rocket. On the turn Just Better gained the lead through 3/4 in 1:14.61. 3-5 favorite She Feels Pretty, 5th early, came out for room to take over through 7f in 1:26.88, and drew off under John Velazquez to a 5 3/4 length win in 1:38.59. It was another 3 1/2 length back to 11-2 Waves of Mischief third.

Full results chart from DRF

Left: She Feels Pretty in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Cherie DeVaux said, "She had been training well and you hope they can come out fresh from (age) 2 to 3. There are a lot of unknowns coming out here (off layoff since Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly Turf). I was really impressed with her. It was obviously an easier race than the Breeders' Cup. You hope they come forward and now hope for an exciting year ahead. This race fit the calendar for her."

Right: She Feels Pretty in the post parade. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "She kind of squeezed through inside. But she won easy, though. Pretty easy. She's very nice. (DeVaux told me) I don't know if I have her 100 percent. But she sure did show up."

Photos courtesy of Amber Chalfin of Downthestretchphotos.com.

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