Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Trainer Todd Pletcher has entered two of the top three favorites for Friday's $500,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.
The 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies is the sister event to Saturday's 139th Preakness Stakes.
The 7-2 morning-line favorite is Stopchargingmaria, who will be ridden by Javier Castellano from post 4. Stablemate Sloane Square is the 5-1 third choice and will be ridden by Joel Rosario from post 8. Rosario won last year's Black-Eyed Susan aboard Fiftyshadesofhay.
Stopchargingmaria, owned by Michael Repole, is coming off a fourth-place finish in the April 5 Fantasy Stakes at Oaklawn Park after beginning 2014 with a fifth in the Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park. The filly won the Tempted and Demoiselle at Aqueduct as a 2-year-old and was third in her debut in the Frizette at Belmont Park.
"I think like a lot of horses, her running style didn't suit the way Gulfstream was playing at that time of the season," Pletcher said. "We shipped her to Oaklawn and she ran a little better, although I didn't think she ran to her full capabilities. Now she seems to have moved forward and has been training very enthusiastically, indicating to us that she's back in form. Hopefully, that turns out to be the case."
Sloane Square began her career on Jan. 19 with a two-length maiden win at Gulfstream. She followed with an allowance victory at Calder and was second in the Bourbonette at Turfway Park on March 22. Owned by Michael Tabor, the filly has earned $61,480.
"Sloane Square has run well in all three of her starts and I thought she fought hard in the race at Turfway," Pletcher said. "She tries hard every time. She has stepped up in class and distance each time and has run well. She's a filly that's always very businesslike and trains very professionally, so we're hoping she can step up to that next level."
The 4-1 second pick in the 11-horse field is Euphrosyne, trained by Steve Asmussen. The filly will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. from post 5.
Euphrosyne registered her first stakes win when she was elevated to first in the Honeybee Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 9. She was forced to check by Sugar Shock down the stretch and finished a neck behind before the order of finished was changed.
The filly also was second in Oaklawn's Martha Washington and third in the track's Fantasy Stakes. She has banked $206,200 in seven career starts.
Here is the Black-Eyed Susan field from the rail out: Joint Return, Kendrick Carmouche, 15-1; America, John Velazquez, 8-1; Shanon Nicole, Mike Smith, 6-1; Stopchargingmaria, Javier Castellano, 7-2; Euphrosyne, Ricardo Santana Jr., 4-1; Arethusa, Rosie Napravnik, 8-1; La Mejor Fiesta, Jose Espinoza, 20-1; Sloane Square, Joel Rosario, 5-1; Fortune Pearl, Trevor McCarthy, 12-1; Vero Amore, Frankie Pennington, 15-1; Image of Anna, Luis Saez, 20-1.
Post time for the Black-Eyed Susan will be approximately 4:47 p.m. ET.