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Dan Fitch

Bettors seeking Black Eyed Susan picks need look no further. This Grade II American thoroughbred horse race is run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore and acts as a precursor to the Preakness Stakes. Read on to discover everything that you need to know about the Black Eyed Susan Stakes.

What is the Black Eyed Susan Stakes?

Black Eyed Susan picks

To give it its full race title, the George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes is considered the Middle Jewel in the Fillies’ Triple Tiara. This mirrors the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Horse Racing of Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes held at the same racetrack at the Black Eyed Susan, and Belmont Stakes.

The other legs of the Triple Tiara are the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs and Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park, although this year the latter will be run at Saratoga while its home track gets renovated. Although only holding Grade II status, the Black Eyed Susan over nine furlongs on dirt is becoming more and more prestigious with every passing year.

Held the day before but very much a key part of the Preakness Stakes schedule, this is a race on the up. Only three-year-old fillies can take part.

Who are the Favorites for the Black Eyed Susan Horse Race?

With the entries and runners in the Black Eyed Susan Stakes released, betting on the event soon follows. A total of eight fillies are in this year’s field with more on the main contenders below:

  1. Jeanne Marie (118lbs)
  2. Ringy Dingy (118lb)
  3. Lemon Muffin (124lbs)
  4. Call Another Play (120lbs)
  5. Gun Song (118lbs)
  6. Whocouldaskformo (118lbs)
  7. Corposo (118lbs)
  8. Recharge (122lbs)

Lemon Muffin

Carries a penalty for Grade III Honeybee Stakes win at Oaklawn Park in February. Struggled to make an impact at a higher level since, but this easier than when seventh in the Fantasy Stakes behind Recharge (in fifth spot) and eighth in Kentucky Oaks latest. Hails from barn of joint-winningest trainer, but D Wayne Lukas hasn’t saddled a Black Eyed Susan heroine since 1995.


Won her first three starts culminating in Sunland Park Oaks success. Tried to give weight to subsequent Kentucky Oaks star Thorpedo Anna when fifth in the Fantasy Stakes in this grade the last day. Barn has never won the Black Eyed Susan Stakes, but this edition looks less competitive than the filly’s latest outing. Joel Rosario seeks a third win in this race in the saddle.

Gun Song

Beaten just a length by subsequent Grade I scorer Leslie’s Rose in January. Added a second minor win to resume after that and not disgraced when fourth in the Gulfstream Park Oaks up in class to this level. Three fillies home in front of her have all finished in the top seven of the Kentucky Oaks, so form franked. Another of the Black Eyed Susan runners with prospects with joint winningest jockey John Velazquez taking the ride.


Unraced away from Santa Anita Park, but made the show in the Grade II Oaks there latest. Narrowly missed second place and well worth another crack at this level. Has to prove she can travel with the Black Eyed Susan Stakes held down America’s other coast. Tyler Gaffalione takes over the in the saddle.

Call Another Play

Maryland-bred local runner who made it three wins on the bounce at Laurel Park with black type victory latest. Others have form at a level above the Weber City Miss Stakes, but this a filly in form and none of the other Black Eyed Susan runners arrive on a sequence. Jaime Rodriguez rides again.

Black Eyed Susan Expert Picks from our Handicappers

Check below where reveal our Black Eyed Susan picks for the 2024 edition of the race. Read on to find out who we favor to win the race, finish in the top three and thus place or show, and the longshots that our expert handicappers think have a chance.

Black Eyed Susan Picks to Win

The most common bet that is placed on the Black Eyed Susan Stakes is for a particular runner to win. You are simply tasked with predicting which horse will reach the finish line first.

Taxed was the winner in 2023 and was a relative outsider, priced at 15/1 on the morning line odds. The third-favorite Interstatedaydream won at 6/1 in 2022, while the 2021 winner was Army Wife at 8/1.

As you can see from these recent results, it has been possible to pick a winner at relatively big odds. Here are the main picks for the Black Eyed Susan Stakes from our handicappers:

Gun Song

The value play at the weights this year is Gun Song. Fourth in a deeper race for the grade at Gulfstream Park in March, each of those three fillies ahead of her got in the first seven of the Kentucky Oaks. Before that, Gun Song placed behind Leslie’s Rose, who won the Grade I Ashland Stakes at Keeneland. If turning up in such form at Pimlico, she looks the one to beat getting weight from some of her rivals.

Top 3 Finish Black Eyed Susan Horse Picks

If you’re looking for an easier type of bet than predicting the winner on Black Eyed Susan and Preakness Stakes betting sites, then it makes sense to go with either a place or show. If you go for a place, then your bet is for the horse finishing in the top two positions in the race. With a show, meanwhile, it’s a top three finish that you’re looking for.

The payouts are obviously smaller than with a win bet, but should the Black Eyed Susan victor come in at big odds, than they can still be sizeable. An option that many bettors like to go for is an Across the Board wager, which is where you have bets on a selection to win, place and show, at three times the unit stake.

These are our picks for place and show finishes in the Black Eyed Susan this year:

Place Bet – Recharge

After outrunning her odds when fifth in the Fantasy Stakes last time out, Recharge could easily take a step forward in an easier looking race for the grade. She already has black type for the Steven Asmussen barn with an earlier victory in the Sunland Park Oaks. Recharge conceded weight to Thorpedo Anna, which was asking too much, and has already finished ahead of Lemon Muffin off level terms. She should confirm form off 4lb better.

Show Bet – Corposo

She does need to prove herself outside of the California sunshine at Santa Anita Park, but Corposo ran a fine third in the Grade II Oaks there the when last in action. As she fought out second spot with a red-hot favourite behind a smart Bob Baffert filly in Nothing Like You, that looks like decent form. Corposo has only had three starts and is thus open to plenty of improvement. She can make the show again.

Longshots for the Black Eyed Susan

As we mentioned earlier, the 2023 Black Eyed Susan Stakes winner was a relative outsider, available at morning line odds of 15/1.

This was by no means a one-off. Miss Marissa was a 12/1 winner in 2020, Actress was the same price in 2017 and Keen Pauline was a 15/1 shot in 2015. This is the longshot we like most for the Black Eyes Susan Stakes of 2024:

Call Another Play

While she doesn’t have graded stakes form like the market principals, Call Another Play doesn’t have transcontinental or interstate travel to worry about it. A regular at the Maryland Jockey Club’s other main racetrack, Laurel Park, she has quickly strung three consecutive wins together there. Black type success in the Weber City Miss Stakes punched her ticket to this tougher assignment, but Call Another Play is without a doubt a filly in form.

Exotic Black Eyed Susan Stakes Picks

Exotic bets are always a popular choice. In this section we’re going to detail our Black Eyed Susan picks for those looking to place the most exotic wagers of an exacta and trifecta.

Exacta Picks

With an exacta, you have to select the horses that will finish first and second in the Black Eyed Susan Stakes, in the correct order. Another option is the quinella, which allows your two picks to finish in any order.

With this being a difficult bet to pull off, the payouts can be large, especially if one or more unfancied runners finish in the top two. In 2023, Taxed won ahead of Hoosier Philly, which generated an exacta payout of $94.80, based on a $1 bet. These are our exacta picks for this year’s race:

Exacta Bet – 5 & 8

Our expert handicappers favor two Gun Runner fillies, Gun Song (gate 5) and Recharge (8), fighting out the finish. Both have run well in deeper races for the grade before. They receive weight from Lemon Muffin, who has it all to do off topweight. There are form markers which suggests both Gun Song and Recharge are capable of improving on past runs now heading for Baltimore.

Trifecta Picks

A trifecta tasks you with predicting the horses that will finish first, second and third, in the correct order. There is also the option of a boxed trifecta, which covers all six permutations of finish from your three selections.

This is clearly more difficult still and in 2023, a successful trifecta bet paid $270.70, based on a $1 stake. These are our trifecta picks for the Black Eyed Susan Stakes.

Trifecta Bet – 5, 8 & 7

Joining Gun Song (5) and Recharge (8) in the trifecta bet this year is Santa Anita Oaks third Corposo (7). All three fillies avoid larger penalties for past victories and have shaped as though making the show in a Grade II is within them. Corposo actually managed that the last day, albeit when she was no match for a smart one from the Bob Baffert barn.

What Trends & Stats Go in to Our Black Eyed Susan Picks?

When making our picks for the Black Eyed Susan there were all sorts of factors that we considered. Here are some of the more important ones.

Jockeys & Trainers

Does the jockey or trainer have a strong record in the Black Eyes Susan Stakes? John Velazquez has ridden the winner a joint-record four times, while Javier Castellano delivered in the saddle in 2014, 2015 and 2019. Amongst trainers, Dale Romans enjoyed wins in 2015 and 2016, while Todd Pletcher has had four victories since 2005.

Post Positions

Post position can be an important factor when picking a winner for the Black Eyed Susan Stakes. The horses that are closer to the inside rail have less of a distance to run than those on the outside. That is not to say that the horses drawn wide don’t have a chance. The ones on the fence can get boxed in and there have been winners from wider post positions in recent years.

Prep Races & Trials

There are a series of prep races and trials for fillies ahead of the Black Eyed Susan, which can serve as good indicators. The most obvious example is the Kentucky Oaks, a Grade I race held two weeks before the action at Pimlico.

Speed Figures

Pimlico is a track that rewards fast horses. You won’t get a dawdling pace here. As such, speed figures – which demonstrate the top speed that horses have hit in previous races – can be a valuable resource.

Past performances at Pimlico are definitely worth taking into account as well if the fillies have raced there before. Hot pace figures suggest you could have picked the winner in this race for decent fillies.

How Our Handicappers Make Their Black Eyed Susan Race Picks

Making picks for any horse race requires our handicappers to consider several factors. There is not one indicator that pinpoints a winner, but a marriage of a number of them can point your and our pros in the right directions. Here are some of the things that our handicappers think about:

Class Tells

The pedigree of a horse can be an indicator of success. If the mother (dam) and father (sire) were successful during their racing days and/or have produced other winning horses, then that is certainly something to consider.

Yet it is not more important than the previous results of the horse in question, especially in high-class fields. The records of the trainers and jockeys involved is another aspect that must be thought about.

Analysis of Field

Picking a winner can be made easier by eliminating the horses that you consider to not stand a chance. If a horse doesn’t have at least one of the factors discussed above going for it, then it will be a risk to back it.

Handicappers will also take Black Eyed Susa and Preakness Stakes odds into account. A horse they may fancy to do well, will not necessarily be their pick if they consider the price to be too short. The opposite is true, with handicappers taking a chance on an outsider, if they think that the odds provide value.

External Factors

Just looking at the qualities of the horses involved in the Black Eyed Susan Stakes, is not enough. There are all sorts of external factors that must also be assessed. The weather and the resulting track condition, can radically change the thinking of handicappers. Potential injuries and post positions, are other factors that can result in some last-minute thinking.


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Dan Fitch
Dan Fitch