Gun Song wins the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico, beating Corposo by 3 1/4 lengths

BALTIMORE (AP) — John Velazquez has now won the Black-Eyed Susan a record five times.

It took him over a decade to secure victory No. 5, but when it happened, Gun Song made it look pretty easy down the stretch.

Velazquez rode Gun Song to a 3 1/4-length win Friday at Pimlico Race Course, taking the Black-Eyed Susan for the first time since 2012 with In Lingerie. He also won in 2005, 2003 and 1998.

Longshot Jeanne Marie showed early speed and was still challenging for the lead around the second turn, but after she finally weakened, nobody else provided much of a challenge for Gun Song toward the end of the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, which takes place the day before the Preakness Stakes.

“She's a horse that kind of waits, and I wanted to make sure to keep her mind running, and she actually opened up,” Velazquez said. “I didn't know she was going to open up that much, but she did it nicely. I thought it was going to be a much faster pace, but it didn't show up.”

Corposo and Call Another Play finished second and third, respectively.

There was no prohibitive favorite in the race, which was the 100th running of the Black-Eyed Susan. The morning line had Corposo (5-2) with the shortest odds, followed by Recharge (7-2), D. Wayne Lukas-trained Lemon Muffin (4-1) and Gun Song (9-2). By the time the race began, Gun Song was favored, followed by Corposo.

Recharge, trained by Steven Asmussen, finished last after bumping with Corposo early.

“I am very proud of her,” said Peter Eurton, Corposo's trainer. “I thought she was done inside the quarter pole. She got a little more focused. She tends to look around and check things out. We are thinking she can build off this one.”

Gun Song, trained by Mark Hennig, paid $6.60, $3.80 and $2.80. She won in 1 minute, 51.39 seconds. Gun Song hadn't raced since a fourth-place showing in the Gulfstream Park Oaks — her stakes debut — on March 30.

“Turning for home I could see she was pretty strong,” Hennig said. “Other than her last race, she always finishes very well. In my heart, I felt she was a good horse.”

Gun Song is the chestnut daughter of Gun Runner, the 2017 Horse of the Year who was elected to the Hall of Fame last month.

Other stakes winners Friday at Pimlico included Shotgun Hottie in the Allaire Dupont Distaff, She Feels Pretty in the Hilltop and Mystic Lake in the Miss Preakness. Future Is Now took the The Very One Stakes, and Pyrenees prevailed in the Pimlico Special.


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