The Black-Eyed Susan Free Picks, Predictions and Preview (5/20/22)
According to numberFire Racing's analysis, these are the best bets and plays to make on TVG on Friday, May 20th.
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Race 12 – Pimlico Special (Gr 3)
1 - Vindicative: A two-time winner last year. Signed off 2021 with a career-best speed figure when third in stakes company at Aqueduct, with subsequent Grade 1 scorer Speaker’s Corner in second. Made a winning return in March and hasn’t been seen since but is in very good hands.
2 - Shoogar Ray Too: Does most of his racing around Parx, landing a starter allowance contest over 1m in January before finishing fourth in an allowance optional claimer last time. Has more on his plate here.
3 - Untreated: From the same barn as Vindictive. Found graded company a bit too hot on previous attempts but has won three of his seven starts. Beaten a head in the Excelsior at Aqueduct last time, finishing just over 6 lengths clear of yet another stablemate who went on to win a stakes race earlier this month. Certainly isn’t one to write off.
4 - Workin On a Dream: Has plenty of experience, including a battling success round here in an allowance optional claimer last year. He’s a pace angle but is also likely to find a couple too good.
5 - Forewarned: Making his fiftieth career start. Has eleven wins on his record, though has failed to muster a great deal in the last two renewals of this contest. Easy enough to look elsewhere.
6 - Capocostello: A multiple Grade 1 winner in Panama. Stepped up on US debut fourth, the winner of that race subsequently completed a hat-trick in graded events, when runner-up in Grade 3 Ghostzapper at Gulfstream last time. Hails from the barn of Letruska. Not one to discount at a price.
7 - Excellorator: Won last three starts, including both this year on wet tracks after a 12-month absence. Clearly remains in great heart but has a bit to find on the speed figures.
8 - First Captain: A $1.5m purchase as a yearling and winner of four of his six starts. Won the Grade 3 Dwyer at Belmont last summer before missing the rest of the season after one more run. Returned with a narrow success but was tailed off in the Carter Handicap next time. Has the blinkers applied.
9 - Treasure Trove: Claimed by Anthony Farrior towards the end of last year and won twice in 2022. The barn is going well but this looks a step too far.
10 - Mischief Afoot: A hold-up performer who won here last season.Has struggled beyond allowance company and likely to struggle here.
11 - Mohaafeth: Not out of the first three after unplaced on first two starts. Won allowance at Laurel on penultimate outing before a good second in stakes race last time. Has gradually improved with racing and a career best will be required.
Todd Pletcher holds a good hand, and Vindictive is the tentative selection in an open-looking race on paper. Lightly raced and back after a short break, he holds fine claims of landing a graded race success at the first time of asking. Capocostello seems to be gradually finding his feet in the US and can run a big race, whilst Untreated can see out the 1-2-3.
Race 13 – Black-Eyed Susan (Gr 2)
1 - Divine Huntress: A maiden special weight winner at the second time of asking for Rick Buckley as a two-year-old. Subsequently joined Graham Motion and landed an allowance optional claimer at Parx by 12¾ lengths. Found a couple of races on the Kentucky Oaks trail a bit too hot and is likely to find more of the same here.
2 - Missy Greer: A half-sister to Belmont runner-up Gronkowski, ran twice on turf as a juvenile before winning a maiden special weight at Gulfstream on her second dirt start in March. Takes a big step up in class.
3 - Miss Yearwood: Got off the mark at the fourth time of asking by 7¼ lengths in a maiden special weight at Churchill Downs at the end of April. The pace should suit but she’s pitched straight into graded company.
4 - Midnight Stroll: Won both her starts this year down at Tampa Bay, the latest a stakes contest in March. She set steady early fractions in both and it would be a surprise if she can pull that off in this field.
5 - Beguine: Only began her career at the turn of the year, doing her racing exclusively at Oaklawn. Shed the maiden tag on her third start before running Kentucky Oaks also-ran Yuugiri to a neck in the Fantasy. Not out of the run for minor money.
6 - Luna Belle: Has made a name for herself by winning five consecutive stakes races at Laurel, each in clear-cut style. Stretched out in distance the last twice no problem and thoroughly deserves her place in this contest.
7 - Distinctlypossible: Runner-up on debut last year behind subsequent stakes-winner Gerrymander (who also hails from Chad Brown yard), she was pitched straight into the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland, where she finished second to Juju’s Map. Beat Miss Yearwood in a maiden special weight on return, form of that race has worked out well, and certainly isn’t out of place contention.
8 - Candy Light: A maiden special weight winner at Laurel earlier in the year before finding Luna Belle too good in a stakes contest there last time. Off the track for two months and easy enough to look elsewhere.
9 - Interstatedaydream: Won allowance optional claimer at Oaklawn on seasonal debut by 8¼ lengths. Was strong in the betting next time out in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland but was comfortably put in her place behind Kentucky Oaks runner-up Nest. Place contender if back at her best.
10 - Adare Manor: Couldn’t have been more impressive when winning a maiden special weight and Grade 3 Las Virgenes at Santa Anita early this year. Was upset by Desert Dawn when beaten a neck in the Santa Anita Oaks last month on sole start for Tim Yakteen, the pair were clear of the rest and that form since boosted when her rival finished third in the Kentucky Oaks. Has switched to Sean McCarthy, Velazquez keeps the ride and is the standout pick on form.
11 - Radio Days: Won both juvenile starts before returning this season with a respectable second in the Grade 3 Forward Gal at Gulfstream. Made the frame twice since but has been comfortably beaten and has a bit to prove now.
12 - Favor: Cosily landed the odds in two races at Gulfstream at the beginning of the year. Then ran a fine third behind Echo Zulu in the Grade 2 Fair Grounds Oaks in March. Off since but is progressive and certainly not one to take lightly for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher.
13 - Morning Matcha: More exposed than most. Landed all her three successes at Parx. Found her first taste of graded racing too much in the Gazelle at Aqueduct last time and can expect more of the same here.
A good-looking contest featuring plenty of lightly raced fillies. Adare Manor stands out on all that’s been achieved by them so far and gets the verdict to quickly regain the winning thread. Favor is going the right way and can chase the selection home. Interstatedaydream can fill the places if taking a step back in the right direction.