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Army Wife cruises to Black-Eyed Susan victory

May 14, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Army Wife with jockey Joel Rosario wins the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Army Wife, forced to sit patiently around the final turn waiting for running room, responded strongly when daylight opened up and rolled through the stretch to capture the Grade 2, $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes on Friday at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Trainer Mike Maker was happy to see Army Wife finally find some good fortune.

“She had been a hard-luck horse,” he said. “Her whole career it seems like always something happens. But today, it worked out great.”

Maker also trains Pimlico Special winner Last Judgment, making Friday a very big day.

“The Pimlico Special and this race were something I always wanted to win since I was a kid,” Maker said following the Black-Eyed Susan. “(I’m) very fortunate.”

Jockey Joel Rosario knew he had a talented filly in Army Wife.

“She’s a really nice horse — it seemed like she was getting really good over the track,” he said. “One point she looked around a little bit, but she was really great after that.”

The 9-2 third choice, Army Wife ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.63, paid $11 to win and was followed across the line by Willful Woman, 2 3/4 lengths back, and Lady Traveler.

The post-time favorite, Bob Baffert-trained Beautiful Gift, was seventh.

–Field Level Media