Go Maggie Go wins Black-Eyed Susan for trainer Dale Romans

BALTIMORE -- Trainer Dale Romans has been in a bit of pain the last two weeks, the result of injuries suffered in a car accident the night of the Kentucky Derby.

The pain was nothing that a Black-Eyed Susan win couldn't cure.

Rebounding from a troubled-trip fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks two weeks ago, Go Maggie Go broke sharply Friday, sparred on the lead with Kinsley Kisses, then drew away from that rival to win the Grade 2, $250,000 Black Eyed Susan by 2-1/2 lengths.

Making it even better for Romans was his other filly in the race, Ma Can Do It, a 50-1 longshot, got up for second by a head over Kinsley Kisses. She was followed, in order, by Dothraki Queen, Mom's On Strike, Land Over Sea, She's a Warrior, Downdraft, Flora Dora, Midnight On Oconee, A P Majetstic, and Double Entendre. In the Navy Now and CCed were scratched.

It was the second straight year Romans won the Black-Eyed Susan. Last year, he won it with 15-1 Keen Pauline.

Go Maggie Go has accomplished a lot in 10 weeks. Three weeks after winning a maiden race on March 13, she won the Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks. In the Kentucky Oaks, she broke slowly, was seventh early, and made a good run to be fourth, beaten a head and neck for second.

"This is a special filly," Romans said. "This is something special and she's just going to get better. The plan was to break sharp. I didn't know she'd go right to the lead. She broke so awkwardly at the Oaks.

In the Black-Eyed Susan, Go Maggie Go broke better under Luis Saez and found herself on the lead entering the first turn. She basically dueled inside of Kinsley Kisses through a quarter in 23.49 seconds, a half-mile in 48.83, and six furlongs in 1:13.54.

Turning for home, Go Maggie Go spurted away from Kinsley Kisses, and though she drifted out in the stretch, she was well clear.

Go Maggie Go, a daughter of Ghostzapper owned and bred by Mike Tarp, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.13 and returned $5.60 as the second choice.

"In the Oaks we got bothered a little bit," Saez said. "Today she broke good and she was right there. I know when we came to the half-mile I had a little pressure outside, but I know I had horse. When we came to the stretch I just asked her and she kept going."

Romans said that Tarp, an owner who has been with him for 15 years, "is one of the best guys in Thoroughbred racing."

"He's had a little bout with illness," Romans said. "I'm sure this will help him feel better."

It certainly made Romans feel better. He suffered injured ribs in a serious car accident on May 7, and several of his passenger suffered more serious injuries.

"I wasn't doing good then, I wasn't doing good about an hour ago - I was having a lot pain," Romans said. "And for some reason it went away."

Romans will try to go for the Black-Eyed Susan-Preakness double on Saturday when he sends out longshot Cherry Wine against Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist.

Nyquist is trained by Doug O'Neill, who on Friday sent out Land Over Sea as the Black-Eyed Susan favorite. Land Over Sea was steadied by Mario Gutierrez into the first turn and never recovered, finishing sixth.

"Rough trip," O'Neill said. "Thank God it looks like her and Mario came back in one piece. That's all we can ask for. Tomorrow's a big day."