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Fillies square off in Black-Eyed Susan

BALTIMORE (AP) - A Hall of Fame trainer and the winning jockey in the Kentucky Derby will join forces Friday in the Black-Eyed Susan, a Grade 2 race for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico Race Course.

Bob Baffert will saddle Fiftyshadesofhay, who's lost two straight Grade 1 races since capturing the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel in January.

Baffert, who will enter Govenor Charlie in Saturday's Preakness, will vie for his third career victory in the Black-Eyed Susan. Joel Rosario will be aboard Fiftyshadesofhay for the first time; he replaces Rafael Bejarano, who won four times in eight tries on the horse.

Although the horse hasn't been in a race since April 6, she had a strong workout at Churchill Downs on May 10 and is the second-favorite at 2-1.

``We shipped her to Kentucky, but she really didn't ship well. Now, she's doing really well,'' Baffert said. ``She's had a couple of works. Her last work was nice, so we decided to take a shot at it.''

Baffert isn't the only Hall of Fame trainer in the race. Bill Mott will oversee Emollient, who has won two of three starts this year - including the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland last month. Emollient is the 9-5 morning line favorite.

The race will have a local flavor with Walkwithapurpose, who was foaled at Sagamore Farm in Glyndon, Md. In 2007, the farm was purchased by Under Armour chief executive officer Kevin Plank, a native of Maryland.

Winning this race, said trainer Ignacio Correas, ``would be a dream come true for all of us. For Kevin, he's a big fan of Maryland, so it would be an honor. For us, it's a very big race. This is only the second crop that we bred. The fact that we are there already makes the farm proud, and being there with a shot. Winning would be a cherry on the top.''

Walkwithapurpose is a 5-1 choice in the 1 1/8-mile, $500,000 race. Nine horses have been entered.

Also on Friday, Last Gunfighter will seek his sixth straight win in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special. He will be challenged by Richard's Kid, an 8-year-old trained by Doug O'Neill.

The $300,000 Pimilco Special is the same 1 3/16-mile distance as the Grade 1, $1 million Preakness.

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Mike Dempsey Mike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders' Cup.
The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes.

Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick.

Mike also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively.

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Jerry Sessa Jerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins.
Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.

In the 2015 Belmont Stakes Jerry dominated races 8-11 by hitting a $4,400 Pick 4, 3 Daily Doubles, 2 Pick 3's and calling American Pharoah as the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years.

Jerry is always looking to repeat his 2012 Triple Crown success, when he selected the winning horses for The Preakness and The Belmont Stakes.

Jerry looks forward to working with everyone and making money for anyone who invests in his picks on a daily basis.

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