By US Racing Team
Taxed had an easy time of it in the $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico Race Course on Friday, cruising past Hoosier Philly in the stretch for a 3 ¾-length victory with odds-on favorite Faiza third.
Sent off at 11-1 in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies the day before the $1.65 million Preakness (G1), Taxed bided her time in mid-pack under Rafael Bejarano, with Hoosier Philly setting the pace and Merlazza and Faiza close behind.
As the field headed into the stretch, Bejarano asked his gray filly to go and Taxed took off, sailing past Hoosier Philly in mid-stretch for her first stakes victory.
Faiza, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, failed to produce a finishing kick, and was beaten for the first time in six starts, including four stakes wins. Faiza was the 3-5 favorite.
Taxed, trained by Randy Morse, came into the Black-Eyed Susan off a strong workout at Churchill Downs on May 10 – 5 furlongs in 59 seconds — and was considered a top contender despite her odds.
Taxed ran second in the Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn Park at Oaklawn Park on April 10, losing to highly regarded Wet Paint by 2 ½ lengths, Taxed was one spot away from qualifying for the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 5, so the trip to Baltimore was penciled in as the next stop.
A good call as owner Richard Bahde’s filly earned $180,000, nearly doubling her career earnings. Taxed had won a maiden race in seven starts before the Black-Eyed Susan.
Winning time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:49.45 over a fast Pimlico racing trip on a bright sunny day. Taxed returned $24 for a $2 win bet.
Balpool was fourth, followed by Merlazza, Cats inthe Timber, Towhead, Comparative, and Sacred Wish.
“That was pretty special, I tell you,’’ Morse, a Midwest-based trainer, said. “I’ve been kind of dreaming that she might run that way.” The filly was claimed for $50,000 last fall. “She’s a real nice-looking filly, and I’d seen her train. Just one of those deals where we got lucky – got her in a shake.”
Bejarano said: “I had a very good trip. I put her in the position the way that I wanted and went from there. I followed the favorite (Faiza), came to the stretch, and let her out. My horse responded really good, and she finished really well. She has improved a lot and was better than the last time.”
Rattle N Roll win Pimlico Special
Earlier on the card, Kenny McPeek-trained Rattle N Roll ($4.20) powered through the stretch on the far outside and nosed out Speed Bias at the wire for a victory in the $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3).
Ridden by Flavien Prat, the 5-year-old colt was ahead of only one horse early one but began picking off rivals on the far turn of the 1 3/16-mile race. With Speed Bias trying to hang on, Rattle N Roll caught the pacesetter at the wire and won after a photo finish.
Winning time was 1:54.72. Clapton was third in the seven-horse field.
The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.