The Preakness isn't the only big race at Pimlico Race Course this weekend.
A heavy schedule of supporting stakes will be run, beginning today with the 68th edition of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
The $250,000 event carries a Grade II status and has attracted eight, included graded stakes winners Spinning Round and Preach.
Spinning Round, owned by George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stud, enters after finishing second to Prospectors Delight in the Grade I Ashland Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., on April 18.
Trainer James Baker decided to bypass the Grade I Kentucky Oaks to prepare for the Black-Eyed Susan, and his horse has been training here for nearly two weeks.
In her final workout Tuesday, Spinning Round went a half-mile in 49 3/5 seconds and galloped out five furlongs, just what Baker wanted. "She didn't need too much. She did it easy," he said.
Her most recent stakes victory was in the Grade II Forward Gal at Gulfstream on Feb. 5. Craig Perret gets the mount.
Preach is an inconsistent filly who can baffle her handlers. She was 19 1/4 lengths behind the winner and last in the Ashland, but won the Grade I Frizette at Belmont and the Bourbonette at Turfway Park.
She has career earnings of $227,400, second in the field to Spinning Round's $348,905.
The chief competition is expected from Miss Legality, who scorched through a half-mile in 45 4/5 Sunday.
Trainer Sonny Hine said the horse "went a little faster than I wanted. She doesn't usually work that fast alone."
The Pimlico clocker timed Miss Legality's final furlong in 11 3/5.
Another who has worked well is Pleasant Baby, who was being guided by local trainer Buddy Delp until Bert Sonnier arrived.
She ran four furlongs in 47 1/5 in her final move.
Local interests will be well-represented with Diamond Duo, trained by Bill Donovan; Known Feminist, Francis Campitelli; and His Ginger, Ron Benshoff.
Pacific Hideway, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, was denied entry into the race because she had not been verified for use of Lasix.
"Rules are rules," Lukas said.
Wide Country won the 1991 Black-Eyed Susan, and Lucky Lucky Lucky set the stakes record for 1 1/16 miles with 1:41 1/5 in 1984. The race was changed to 1 1/8 miles three years ago.