Black-Eyed Susan Stakes 2021: Post Positions, Field and Race Preview

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2021

Black-Eyed Susan entrant Beautiful Gift works out during a training session ahead of the Preakness Stakes horse race at Pimlico Race Course, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

The 2021 George E. Mitchell Black-Eyed Susan Stakes sees the race return to its traditional Friday slot on Preakness weekend. 

The event will get the dirt track at Pimlico Race Course warmed up the day before the Preakness as the 10-horse field competes for the $250,000 purse. The race is slightly shorter at 1⅛ miles but promises excitement from an intriguing set of entries. 

The race features four graded stakes winners and some of the top trainers in the sport. That includes Bob Baffert, who has come under fire after Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a drug test following his victory at Churchill Downs two weeks ago. 

The legendary trainer has been cleared to enter his horses at Pimlico this weekend under the added stipulation they will be under extra scrutiny and additional drug tests, and one of those entries will be Black-Eyed Susans favorite Beautiful Gift. 

Here's a breakdown of the field that will challenge the filly in the graded stakes race on Friday. 


2021 Black-Eyed Susans Stakes 

Date: Friday, May 14

Post Time: 5:44 p.m. ET


Post Positions and Odds

1. Army Wife 8-1

2. Willful Woman 12-1

3. Spritz 20-1

4. Forever Boss 15-1

5. Lady Traveler 12-1

6. Iced Latte 8-1

7. Miss Leslie 15-1

8. The Grass is Blue 6-1

9. Adventuring 4-1

10. Beautiful Gift 9-5

Odds via Oddschecker

Julio Cortez/Associated Press


As with the Preakness itself, Baffert is the man to beat on Friday with Beautiful Gift. She's been lightly raced this season with just two starts on the year but turned in strong appearances with a win at the Santa Ysabel Stakes and second place in the Santa Anita Oaks. 

The filly stalks the pace which could be a problem in a shorter race. If the overall pace is slow, it could leave her with little time to make her move at the end. 

Getting a clean break and finding the pace while starting from the outside position will be critical. 

Adventuring, who will start just inside of the favorite, figures to be one of her biggest challengers. The Brad H. Cox-trained filly is coming off back-to-back wins and is also a closer who won't mind letting others set the pace. 

Starting alongside the favorite should give jockey Florent Geroux an early idea of where his horse needs to be to have a good trip. 

Iced Latte stands out as a strong contender with slightly wider odds. Todd Pletcher is one of the best trainers in the business and that helps with credibility as she has one of the shallower resumes in the field after making just three starts in her career. 

Joining her among the horses whose front-running style may bode well on Friday is The Grass is Blue. She also has good connections with trainer Chad Brown and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who is the winningest rider in 2021. 

Army Wife fits the bill as well. Coming in at the same odds as Iced Latte, she has a more proven track record against talented horses. She came third at the Gazelle Stakes in a field that included Kentucky Oaks runner-up Search Results, but she beat The Grass is Blue, who comes in with better odds on Friday. 

It's a perfect example of how difficult it will be to predict what should be a competitive race. The best horses in this field are closers, but the Pimlico track favors the early pacesetters.