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HRN Original Blog:
A New York State of Racing

Todd Pletcher loves the Black-Eyed Susan

Stopchargingmaria Black-Eyed Susan 615 X 400
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
 
With Stopchargingmaria’s win in the Black-Eyed Susan Todd Pletcher got his fourth victory and tied his former boss, D. Wayne Lukas, for the most wins in this stake for three year-old fillies. Pletcher previously won this race in 2012 with In Lingerie, Party Raid in 2007, and in 2005 with Sugar Spun.


A field of eleven went into the starting gate for the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) on a racetrack that was pounded by nearly two inches of rain over night. By post time, late in the afternoon, the track had dried enough to be classified as GOOD.


Mike Repole’s Stopchargingmaria was made the second betting choice at 7-2 behind her stable mate, Sloane Square, who was the 3-1 favorite. In what turned out to be an important factor, these two Pletcher fillies had recently been training together in Saratoga. 


Stopchargingmaria was sent to Saratoga after two lackluster performances at Gulfstream Park. On the Oklahoma Training Track she has able to regain her best form.  In the fall she won the Tempted and Demoiselle, two graded stakes in November at Aqueduct.


Stopchargingmaria ran into some trouble at the start of the Black-Eyed Susan and Pletcher’s plan to have her forwardly placed went out the window. A slow early pace was set by two long shots, Image of Anna and Vero Amore. Image of Anna was on the lead and Vero Amore sat a length behind after a half-mile in :48.90. As Image of Anna started to fade Vero Amore kept right on going. At the same time Javier Castellano had moved Stopchargingmaria into position to make her move.


Let’s hear how Pletcher described the race, “It was a terrific performance. We actually got shuffled back going a little bit into the first turn. We were hoping to be a little bit closer. Javier was able to move her to the outside and get in a good position and she closed determinedly. Once she got to the outside you could tell by the far turn she was starting to make her move. Everything was going smoothly at that point.”


As Vero Amore entered the stretch, Stopchargingmaria came up to her outside. The two of them battled head to head all the way down the stretch with Stopchargingmaria edging out to a neck victory by the time they hit the wire 1:51.79.
 
 
The Black-Eyed Susan was the fourth victory for Stopchargingmaria in eight career starts. She paid $9.60 to win and earned Repole Stable $300,000. It was Javier Castellano’s first win in this Pimlico stake.


 

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A Vero Amore win would have made my day ... almost!

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 Meet Matt Shifman 
 
 

Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing.

 

Matt’s articles and tweets frequently appear in the America’s Best Racing weekly Notebook. In 2012 he became a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

 

The best way to get to know Matt is to check out some of his favorite articles from the past couple years.

   

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