Lukas looks for record Black-Eyed Susan win with Lemon Muffin

Following an eighth-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Lemon Muffin wheels back on two weeks rest in an attempt to give 88-year-old trainer D. Wayne Lukas a record fifth victory – and first since 1995 – in Friday’s $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) at Pimlico Race Course.

Lemon Muffin. Coady Photo

Field of eight set for Friday’s 100th Black-Eyed Susan  Stakes

The leading money-earner in the field of eight 3-year-old fillies, Lemon Muffin is 1-for-4 this year, her lone victory coming at 28-1 odds in the Honeybee Stakes (G3) on Feb. 24 at Oaklawn Park, which also marked her maiden win after three straight runner-up finishes.

Following the Honeybee, Lemon Muffin ran seventh in the Fantasy Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn and before the Kentucky Oaks after breaking a step slow and racing near the back of a 14-horse field before improving her position late.

“She has her days when she’s up and down and everything. On her best day, she’s a very, very nice filly,” Lukas said of Lemon Muffin. “But she doesn’t always show up every time, so we’re hoping that we get one of those days when she does.”

Lemon Muffin (4-1) will break from post 3 under Flavien Prat.

The 1 1/8-mile Black-Eyed Susan tops the 14-race card at Pimlico on Friday, the day before the $2 million Preakness. Friday’s card also features a pair of Grade 2 races, the Miss Preakness (G3) and the Pimlico Special.

Post time for the Black-Eyed Susan is 5:44 p.m. ET.

Black-Eyed Susan Stakes: Corposo and Call Another Play Among Top Contenders

Trainer Peter Eurton ships in from California, with 5-2 favorite Corposo, making her second graded stakes start, having finished third in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) on April 6. Owned by Madaket Stables and Slam Dunk Racing, she will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione from post 7.

Among the leading contender in the 100th edition of the Black-Eyed Susan could be Call Another Play (8-1), most recently a 3½-length winner in the Weber City Miss on April 20 at Laurel Park, her third consecutive win.

Uncle Heavy

“I was very happy with her,” said trainer Mike Trombetta, who has named Jaime Rodriguez to ride from post 4. “She’s going to have to step up her game, it’s just a matter of how much.”

Finishing second behind Call Another Play in the Weber City Miss was Jeanne Marie, who has two wins and two seconds in four starts.

Trained by Butch Reid, who conditions Preakness entrant Uncle Heavy, the 20-1 shot won the Main Line Stakes at her home track and a maiden sprint last summer.

Jeanne Marie and jockey Mychel Sanchez will leave from the rail.

Ringy Dingy (10-1), who will be ridden by Katie Davis from post 2, will be making her sophomore debut in the Black-Eyed Susan for trainer Danny Gargan, having finished seventh in the Demoiselle (G2) on Dec. 2 at Aqueduct.

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen goes in search of his first Black-Eyed Susan win with Recharge, whose three-race win streak was snapped when she finished fifth in the Fantasy on March 30.

Winner of the Sunland Park Oaks on Feb. 18, Recharge (7-2), will be ridden by newly elected Hall of Famer Josel Rosario from post 8.

Completing the field are Gun Song, fourth in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) on March 30, and Whocouldaskformo, a $450,000 daughter of champion Uncle Mo trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey.

Picks: 1 Corpos 2 Lemon Muffin 3 Call Another Play



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