Jeff Siegel: Pimlico Black-Eyed Susan Friday Full-Card Picks | What You Need to Know

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “What You Need to Know” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.

The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.).  For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

Grade Descriptions:  Grade A=Highest degree of confidence; Grade B=Solid Play.  Grade C=Least preferred or pass; Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play.

RACE 1:  Post:  11:30 ET Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 3-Castle Island
Backups/savers: 1-Under the Radar; 7-Irish Warlock.

Forecast: Castle Island missed as the 9/5 favorite when second in a similar two-turn allowance event last month but was nearly four lengths clear of the rest while earning a career top speed figure.  He’s got further improvement in him for high percentage connections and projects to be on or near the lead throughout.  He’s a solid top pick at 2-1 on the morning line.  

RACE 2:  Post: 12:01 ET Grade: C+
Main Ticket: 7-Tidewater.
Backups/savers: 12-Fun Notion; 10-One Whirlwind Ride.  

Forecast: Tidewater was below his top form when a non-threatening fourth as the favorite in a similar grass dash at Laurel last month but it’s possible he needed the race in his first outing since early December.  He’s a perfect one-for-one over the local lawn and should produce a forward move and be heard from late.  In a race in which the usual suspects take turns, rolling exotic players can take a stand and use him as a single, spread deeply, or simply sit it out.  

RACE 3:  Post: 12:32 ET Grade: C+
Main Ticket: 9-Car Ride; 5-Nielson; 8-Kake’s Arrow
Backups/savers: 2-Irish Hero.

Forecast: Car Ride lacks tactical speed but in two stats has shown he can produce a decent late kick, and in a race begging to be won from behind the son of Candy Ride looks well-spotted to graduate. Nielson was a washout in California for B. Baffert but will find this bunch considerably easier.  If he can run at all, the son of Curlin should be able to show it against this modest bunch.  Kake’s Arrow is a fit on figures with room to improve.  He’ll be forwardly placed and may be first over if and when the faint-hearted Irish Hero goes into his fading act.  

RACE 4:  Post: 1:02 ET Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 1-Swill; 3-Childers.
Backups/savers: 5-Dr. Oseran.  

Forecast: Swill is a first-off-the-claim play for J. Ness (33%) and almost certainly will produce a forward move for his new connections.  He’s fast on figures, is guaranteed a ground-saving trip from the rail and is making his first start on grass (should like it).  The son of Munnings seems pretty solid.  Childers has plenty of early speed when he’s permitted to use it but actually might be most comfortable when held up a bit in the early stages.  He was a solid runner-up in a similar grass dash at Laurel Park last month in an effort that produced a career top speed figure.  

RACE 5:  Post: 1:33 ET Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 5-Point Dume; 10-Golden Candy.
Backups/savers: none.,  

Forecast: Point Dume is a first-time gelding for a high percentage outfit, turns back to a sprint and makes a significant drop in class.  The son of Into Mischief earned a career top speed figure in his most recent sprint three runs back in a performance that is good enough to beat this field.  Golden Candy, a pro’s pro, returns to his win (and claim) level and always has been thoroughly genuine and consistent (11 wins, 12 seconds, in 39 career starts). He's a perfect one-for-one over the Pimlico main track and is drawn comfortably outside, where his second flight, stalking style can be most effective.  

RACE 6:  Post: 2:04 ET Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 10-Cinder Block; 14-Mr. Flowers.
Backups/savers: 1-Forceful; 2-Cobblestone Bridge.  

Forecast: Cinder Block was given a run in his debut when finishing a non-threatening third at Keeneland and today should get serious with that bit of experience behind him.  The G. Motion barn has solid stats with the second time starter angle, and with a healthy work tab since raced the son of Blame can be expected to step forward big time.  The one to fear most is another second timer, Mr Flowers, who changed hands for $75,000 about a year ago in New York and finally makes it back to the races while being protected in maiden special weight company for trainer H. De Paz.  The gelded son of Nyquist was a solid runner-up in his debut while earning a number that makes him a major player, his extreme outside draw notwithstanding,  

RACE 7:  Post: 2:34 ET Grade: B+
Main Ticket: 6-Paper Mansion
Backups/savers: 4-Surya.

Forecast: Paper Mansion seeks her seventh consecutive win with solid numbers for the level for her high percentage barn and seems set for another major effort.  Effective at any distance or surface but primarily a need-the-lead type, the veteran mare shortens to a mile but catches a field without much early zip, so we’re expecting the J. Ness-trained 5-year-old to continue her winning ways at odds somewhat shorter than her generous morning line of 5/2.  

RACE 8:  Post: 3:05 PT Grade: B+
Main ticket: 8-Shotgun Hottie
Backups/savers: 1-Julia Shining; 4-Musical Mischief.

Forecast: Shotgun Hottie exits a series of much tougher graded stakes events and should find this class drop into listed company well to her liking.  She projects to enjoy a cozy, stalking trip from her outside draw and then have every chance to regain her winning form with anything close to her best effort.  She’ll be the main push in the various rolling exotics and in the win pool, as well.  

RACE 9:  Post: 3:36 ET Grade: B+
Main ticket: She Feels Pretty
Backups/savers:  4-Waves of Mischief; 2-Royal Wintour.  

Forecast: She Feels Pretty makes her sophomore debut in this listed middle distance turf event for fillies and with a Grade-1 win (Natalma S.) and a narrow third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1 last fall the daughter of Karakontie should simply outclass this field.  The barn has powerful stats with comebackers and the work tab looks sufficient to have her fit and ready, so her 7/5 morning line looks well-deserved.  

RACE 10:  Post: 4:07 ET Grade: B
Main ticket: 4-Launch; 1-Mystic Lake
Backups/savers: 3-Youalmosthadme.

Forecast: Launch arrives from South Florida with an excellent winter resume (three wins and a second in four starts including a score in the recent Any Limit S.) and she really won’t need much more to continue her sharp form in this year’s renewal of the Miss Preakness S.-G3.  The daughter of Omaha Beach is tough on the lead or from a stalking position, so L. Saez can play the break and choose his strategy.  She wasn’t all that much in Ireland last year but clearly has vastly improved.  Mystic Lake must leave cleanly from the rail to have her best chance but if she does the daughter of Mo Town will have a reasonable look, especially if she can shake loose early.  

RACE 11:  Post: 4:38 ET Grade: B-
Main ticket: 1-Queen of the Mud (Ire); 8-All That Magic; 4-Kaufymaker.
Backups/savers: none.

Forecast: Queen of the Mud (Ire) is lightly raced and untested against a seasoned group like this, but she’s pretty fast on figures and has shown the ability to win on the lead or with a second flight, stalking trip.  Away since last October, the daughter Irish-bred filly is being ambitiously placed in this year’s renewal of The Very One S. in what we’ll take as a sign of confidence from a trainer who doesn’t make a habit of overmatching his stock.  She must be doing extremely well. All That Magic is a genuine and consistent turf sprinter and can be effective on the front end or from a pressing position.  She’s won six of 11 career starts and is fast enough on figures to be a major player in this highly contentious affair in her first start since November.  The work tab is brief but sharp, so we’ll assume she’s cranked and ready.  Kaufymaker is yet another comebacker with strong credentials to win off the bench.  The W. Ward-trained mare has run well fresh in the past, is fast enough on figs to win, and sports a work tab that should have her tight enough.  

RACE 12:  Post: 5:10 ET Grade: A-
Main ticket: 2-Kingsbarns
Backups/savers: 5-Red Route One.  

Forecast: Kingsbarns is perfect in two starts with rising speed figures in 2024 and five-for-seven overall.  A convincing winner of the Ben Ali-S.-G3 at Keeneland last month, the son of Uncle Mo appears set to produce another career top performance in this year’s edition of the Pimlico Special over the same mile and three-sixteenths distance that he just won at.  The T. Pletcher-trained colt catches a field without much speed, so he projects to be comfortably placed on or near the front end throughout.  

RACE 13:  Post: 5:44 ET Grade: B+
Main ticket: 7-Corposo; 5-Gun Song.
Backups/savers: none.  

Forecast: California shipper Corposo finished a distant third in a strong edition of the Santa Anita Oaks-G1 last month and invades Maryland for trainer P. Eurton with an excellent chance to regain her winning form in the Black-Eyed Susan S.-G2 that quite frankly didn’t come up particularly strong.  The daughter of. Vino Rosso is bred on both sides to handle this nine furlong trip and in a race that projects to have moderate early splits she should be within striking range throughout, ready to pounce.  Gun Song earned a big figure when winning an allowance race impressively two races back but then pressed the pace before fading in the subsequent Gulfstream Park Oaks-G2 in what we’d call a backward move.  The daughter of Gun Runner will have every chance to bounce back, and if she does the M. Hennig-trained sophomore will be a strong factor throughout,.  

RACE 14:  Post: 6:23 ET Grade: B+
Main ticket: 4-Wonderful Justice (GB); 10-The Addison Pour.
Backups/savers: none.  

Forecast: Wonderful Justice (GB) is fast on figures, retains F. Prat, and has enough tactical speed to settle in the second flight and then have dead aim when asked for his best at the head of the lane in this second level allowance turf miler for older horses.  He’s a four-year-old son of Justify with just seven career starts, so there’s plenty of room for improvement and development for trainer B. Cox.  The Addison Pour was somewhat unlucky to have drawn the extreme outside post, but as one who is best described as a devout deep closer the son of Tonalist likely will simply drop back early, lag, and then try to pick up the pieces from the quarter pole home.  It won’t be an easy task, but the veteran gelding knows where the wire is and with some help up from could produce a dangerous late kick.