May 162019

Black Middle Flower Stakes


Grade 2, Maryland

Track Conditions:  Fast Dirt

Distance: 9 Furlongs

Restrictions: 3 Year Old Fillies Only

Purse: $375,000

Post Time: Friday, May 17, 2019 at 2:20pm


It appears I have a lot of ground to cover this weekend with a couple of nice races to look at and preview.  The first of these will be the Black Middle Flower Stakes here in Maryland.  A nice full field of fourteen, 3 Year Old Fillies will be going 9 furlongs as they attempt to wrap themselves in a beautiful garland of yellow and black flowers in the winner’s circle.  This race is a premier race for the region and for these already well decorated fillies.  We have two prior Graded winning fillies in this field while the remaining twelve will be fighting for the wire first to add a Grade 2 badge to their trophy case.  The odds makers have set their morning line and post positions have been drawn.  I have finished my walk around the track and the barns so let us waste no more time in previewing the contenders here in Maryland for the running of the Black Middle Flower Stakes.



Horse/Odds                                                       Owner                                  Jockey


1.  My American Lady  13/1                          ddkstables1                       D Givins


The owner waste no time in contracting with his horse’s favorite jockey, D Givens from out of Kentucky.  This American Pharoah filly found a new badge in her last outing and put a SW badge in the trophy case when she ran on 03/29/2019 in Kentucky in the Chopping Hill Stakes at a distance of 9.5 furlongs with a speed rating of 99.  In her two prior races she made attempts in two G3 stakes races which were unsuccessful and of which are reflected by the odds makers today.


2.  Reel Ready  15/1                                        pullaway3                           J Caves


With some good race choices, this filly sired by Highland Reel is on a Hot Streak with four wins in her last four outings.  Her last race was on 04/26/2019 in a listed stakes in Norway, the Desert Dish Stakes at a distance of 9.5 furlongs.  She will come to the gate with another jockey from Kentucky up top in J Caves who will try and put his horse up front in this race if she performs as she has in her most recent trips around the track.  She has been running well since her switch in surface over to dirt and will be going for her fifth straight win in effort to keep her streak alive.


3.  Uncle No No  14/1                                     graywolf47                         C Ambrose


This Uncle Lino filly is a familiar horse which has shown some difficulty as of late in her Graded outings.  She has not hit the boards since back in December of last year when she ran in the Movieland Starlet of which she placed 2nd at the wire.  Jockey, C Ambrose who rode her in the Bluegrass Oaks will get the call to bring this filly around the track.  Their last outing together was unsuccessful and she will be looking to step up and fire here in Maryland.


4.  Swansea Ward  6/1                                   bristolred                            V Elliott


This filly is out of Swansea Triumph, a very decorated mare and sired by War Front.  Her owner waste no time in getting local jockey, V Elliott to take the ride with his filly, which should generate action at the betting window.  She will be representing the Empire Stake Racing (ESR) residency when she takes to the track here in Maryland.  In her last outing she ran successfully in Virginia in the Cupids Dead Stakes covering the same distance to pick up a nice win by 2 lengths.  The odds makers have made her one of the co-second choices in this field.


5.  Ragtime Melody  7/1                                cajunboy3                           La Ferguson


This Union Rags filly last ran in the Bluegrass Oaks where she showed up 7th and over 5 lengths back at the wire.  She has been racing as of late in some very tough Graded races against top tier competition.  She is the reigning Louisana Oaks winner and has proved she can run in Graded company with that G2 win on her resume.  She will be representing the European Union Racing Organization residency when she takes to the track.


6.  Bode Girl  8/1                                              iamprofit                             J Hernandez


This filly sired by Creator stepped it up in her last race running in the Bluegrass Oaks when she hit the boards in 3rd at the wire.  This Grey filly will get J Hernandez from Ontario to take the ride with her here in Maryland as she enters this race representing the East-West Connection (EWC) residency.  She has yet to win her first Graded race, but she will be having her eye on the wire as she heads for home.  She tends to run just off the lead, which is where I think we will see her today.


7.  OG Candy Front  6/1                                 baff2014i                             J Selden


The morning line odds makers will make this Candy Ride filly their other co-second choice in the field.  She has only one Graded start on her resume of which was met with disappointment in the G3, The SilverBulletBeer Stakes in Louisiana back in February of this year.  She has a very nice list of smaller stakes runs which she has proven she can compete well.  She comes to prove she is ready to step back up in Class with jockey, J Selden flying in from Brazil to help her meet her objective.  She will be getting much support here today in representing the All-Star Racing residency as hits the stretch heading for the wire.


8.  No Street Lady  16/1                                 ddkstables25                     L Radzinski


Jockey, L Radzinski from Washington gets the mount up top of this No Nay Never filly and the second entry of the ddkstables.  In her last outing on 03/02/2019 in Florida going a distance of 9 furlongs she earned her GP badge in the G2, The Miss Bonnie when she closed strong coming up just short by ¾ lengths and denied a Graded win.  She is a nice looking Bay filly that may need to show a little more leg here today and prove she can step into contention against the rough and tumble field.


9.  Blame The Run  14/1                 babies2                                                Ma Blades


Another local jockey in Ma Blades will take the ride around the track with this Runhappy filly.  She had a disappointing last outing in her last race, the G2 Mellow Breeze Handicap where she placed 9th at the wire when she failed to fire covering a distance of 8 furlongs.  Her race prior to that was the G2, Louisana Oaks where she put up a strong showing to place 2nd just missing by a neck.  She will need the support from the Universal Racing Club residency to encourage her to fire as she heads down the stretch for the wire.


10. Fragments Of Past  11/1                         plano12                                O Selby


This Bay filly sired by Shamardal was met with heartbreak in her last race in Oregon when she took on the boys that gave her little courtesy in the Kid Vegas Stakes.  She crossed the wire 10th and over 7 lengths back at the wire in this listed stakes outing.  Prior to that race she ran in another small stakes race in Idaho going 9.5 furlongs in the Oblivious S. Stakes where she best the field that day winning by ¼ length as she chased down the leaders.  She is moving up in Class and will find herself facing many top contenders that she has never met up with before.  She will need to find some extra gas in her tank to chase down the front runners in this field of fillies.


11. Lady Danger  12/1                                     spqr                                       M McClendon


This Bay filly sired by Curlin gets the call by her owner to come out and represent the Universal Racing Club residency today.  Her owner also secures a local jockey in M McClendon to take the ride with his horse.  She is coming off a nice Listed Stakes win in her last outing in Argentina when on 03/29/2019 she ran in the Edge Hopper Stakes at a distance of 9 furlongs with a nice 104 speed rating.  She will need that speed as she takes a step up in Class for the first time to run against Graded company.


12. Hannahgate  26/1                                     james405                             E Walsh


This scratch bred filly ARROGATE x SMART STRIKE x ALYDAR will find she may have taken on a little more than she is ready for as the odds makers took note and made her the longest choice in the field at the betting window.  She has never traveled the distance of 9 furlongs before and has never broken into the 90’s for a speed rating.  In her last outing she ran 6 furlongs in Louisiana in a $48,700 NW2x Allowance which she won going gate to wire.  She looks to find a lot of extra to contend in this field.


13. I See It Run  20/1                                       wyndaway2                        G Giant


This Hurricane Run filly only has four career starts, but her last two starts she has came away successful.  Her last outing was in a Listed Stakes in Washington when she went 9 furlongs in the Banshii Starlet when she closed nicely to win by a head at the wire.  She will have local jockey G Giant to take the ride with her today as she goes out to represent the ESR residency.  She takes a step up in Class today to run in a big race and against Graded company for the first time.


14. Barbara Bites Back  9/2                           zbarb8                                  B F Abman


This scratch bred Roan filly MEDAGLIA D’ORO x CAPOTE x FORTY NINER is the top ranking filly in the field today.  She is coming off a nice win in the G1, Bluegrass Oaks.  She captures the eye of the odds makers today and they will make her their favorite in this field and show support for her polished resume.  She tends to close late and thus I don’t see a big issue in her draw of the far outside gate.  Her owner nails down jockey, B F Abman from Kentucky to take the trip with her and get her into a place she can contend coming out of the gate.


Good luck to all horses and all owners of this race.  Most importantly have fun!!!



Skippy’s Picks


1. Barbara Bites Back:  Coming off a nice G1 win in the Bluegrass Oaks. She looks to put another prestigious race on her resume.


2. Bode Girl: Looks to hit the boards again coming off a nice run in the Bluegrass Oaks.


3. Swansea Ward: She keeps improving.  Let’s give her a shot to improve again as she steps up in Class.



Tarton’s Long Shot


Lady Danger, a modest long shot in the field will get on my exotic tickets today.  If she can make a graceful step up in Class she could be a horse to watch.





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  One Response to “Black Middle Flower Stakes in Maryland draws in Bluegrass Oaks winner Barbara Bites Back”

  1. Thank you for the write-up – I’m pleased Lady Danger got the live long shot tag. She is well rested and I liked her chances prior to this field coming up so tough. I really didn’t expect the BG Oaks winner to be in here. If I run around my previous 104 I’ll be pleased regardless of where she finishes. Wow, really tough field. :(