Black-Eyed Susan Stakes 2017: Actress Holds off Lights of Medina to Break Maiden

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMay 19, 2017

Actress with Nik Juarez atop, fourth from from right, wins the Black-Eyed Susan horse race at Pimlico race course as Lights of Medina with Feargal Lynch aboard, second from left, takes second place, Friday, May 19, 2017, in Baltimore. The 142nd Preakness Stakes horse race runs Saturday. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

Actress clinched the first win of her career in style on Friday, as she was a narrow winner in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. 

In an appetizer for Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, the filly surged into a strong position from Post 10 and eventually held on to break her maiden in style; Lights of Medina was the runner-up, with Corporate Queen taking third position. 

As we can see courtesy of NBCSN, the 12-1 shot’s margin of victory could not have been tighter:

The win means the Jason Servis-trained champion will take the $250,000 prize for this victory over the nine-furlong distance. Here are the odds of the winners, the race result and reminder of how Actress clinched her first and, potentially most memorable, win of her career.


The Black-Eyed Susan Stakes has a reputation for being unpredictable and the inclement weather that engulfed the Baltimore circuit ahead of the start provided the horses with more challenges. The rain tipped down at Pimlico as the race neared, while storms could be heard rumbling not far away.

It meant the 11 involved in this race had a sloppy track to contend with. It also meant, in another wide-open field in this prestigious Grade 2 event, it was tough to pick a clear winner.

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 19: Actress ridden by Nik Juarez (L) leads ahead of Torrent ridden by Jose L. Ortiz (R) to win the 93rd running of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 19, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Imag
Rob Carr/Getty Images

And as the horses rounded the final bend into the home straight that remained the case, as a collection of fillies were in contention. Actress powering her way through to the head of the race was a big surprise given just how far down she was in the betting, though.

After being urged on by jockey Nik Juarez, she quickly put daylight between herself and the rest of the field.

At one stage, it looked as though Actress had gone a little too early, as Lights of Medina was eating up the ground with the post in sight. However, the outsider was able to clinch the prize on a bob.

Joe Nevills of Daily Racing Form felt as though the influence of the jockey was crucial in Servis’ horse securing this memorable victory:

It was a remarkable effort from a horse making just her third career start, although Actress does come from good stock. She is the daughter of Tapit, regarded as the primary sire in the United States between 2014 and 2016.

Lights of Medina was well fancied ahead of the race, although the Todd Pletcher-trained filly ultimately came up just short despite a brilliant late rally. She was two lengths clear of Corporate Queen, who recovered from a slow start to grasp third.