May 19, 2024

Taxed springs 11-1 upset in Black-Eyed Susan

Taxed rolled to a new career high in the Black-Eyed Susan (Photo by Jim Duley/Maryland Jockey Club)

Jockey Rafael Bejarano arrived at Pimlico in the nick of time Friday afternoon to fulfill his riding obligation on Taxed in the $300,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2). In contrast, Taxed hit the front in the stretch with plenty of time to spare, rolling to a 3 3/4-length upset win at 11-1 in the nine-furlong test for three-year-old fillies.

Exiting a solid second-place effort to Wet Paint in the April1 1 Fantasy (G3) at Oaklawn Park, Taxed tracked in sixth as Hoosier Philly carved out a pace of :23.44, :47.24, and 1:11.28, with odds-on favorite Faiza chasing from a three-deep position.

“When they headed up the backside, I loved her spot. She was behind horses and clear,” said Randy Morse, who was training his first graded stakes winner since Moonshine Mullin captured the 2014 Stephen Foster H. (G1). “I said to myself, ‘If you can’t do it from here, you don’t have any excuse.'”

Making a wide rally into contention around the far turn and into the stretch, Taxed left Faiza behind and easily wore down Hoosier Philly inside the final furlong to win in a time of 1:49.45 over a fast track.

Owned by Richard Bahde, Taxed returned $24. Hoosier Philly finished 2 3/4 lengths ahead of 3-5 favorite Faiza, who was 2 1/2 lengths ahead of Balpool. Completing the order of finish were Merlazza, Cats Inthe Timber, Towhead, Comparative, and Sacred Wish.

Bahde and Morse claimed Taxed from her only previous win, in a $50,000 maiden claimer at Churchill Downs, last November.

“She’s a real nice-looking filly, and I’d seen her train,” Morse said. “Just one of those deals where we got lucky – got her in a shake.”

After being haltered in her third career start, Taxed has competed exclusively in stakes. Stabled at Oaklawn throughout the winter, she preceded her second in the Fantasy with a fourth in the Year’s End S., a second to Wet Paint in the Martha Washington S., and a ninth in the Honeybee (G3), also won by Wet Paint. Morse decided to remove the blinkers after the Honeybee.

“She was just always pulling, too rank. Because every time she ran, she looked like she was going to win, and she just didn’t have any finish,” he said. “As you see now that she’s relaxing behind horses and settling. It’s made a huge difference.”

Taxed has now bankrolled $379,644 from a record of 8-2-2-0. Bred by former Kentucky governor Brereton Jones in the Bluegrass State, Taxed is by Collected and out of the multiple stakes-placed Yankee Union, by Yankee Gentleman.