LOOKING AHEAD: TODAY’S RACING
- A group of modestly-bred juveniles is set to contest the first race at Pimlico this spring, a $40,000 maiden special weight test going 4 1/2 furlongs. Two of them — Lethal Shot (3-1) and Full Quest (4-1) — already have a start under their belts, having finished third and seventh on debut, respectively. Jerry Robb trainee Boys From Boston (5-2) gets the nod as the morning line favorite. The Pure Prize colt cost $15,000 at last summer’s Ocala Breeders’ Sales yearling sale and has been training forwardly for a trainer who’s known to be adept with youngsters.
- Colonel Sharp (4-5) wowed ’em in his debut April 22 at Penn National. He was bet down from a 4-1 morning line that day to a staggering 1-5 at post time, and he ran to those odds, romping to a 13-length win while earning a Beyer speed figure of 90. The three-year-old Colonel John gelding makes his second career start in today’s eighth at Pimlico, a $42,000 allowance test going six furlongs. Trainer Todd Beattie brings jockey William Otero, who rode the horse on debut, along. But others may have something to say about the outcome, too: Linda Rice trainee Joy Drive (5-1), who won at first asking before finishing second in an allowance, both at Aqueduct; Just Jack (6-1), a Hamilton Smith trainee who won nicely at first asking at Laurel last month; and Zen Papa (6-1), one of the horses Rudy Rodriguez shipped to Laurel as part of his new local string.
- Pennsylvania-bred Dark Nile (3-2) headlines Penn National’s third race, a 1 mile 70 yard allowance test for state-breds. The Arnaud Delacour trainee was first and third in two tries at Tampa this winter and catches a field he should beat if he’s going to live up to early promise. A pair of Sweets — Jonathan Sheppard trainee Sweeter Surprise (7-2) and Sweetest Yet (3-1), trained by Cal Lynch — likely pose the biggest threats to Dark Nile, who will have Carol Cedeno in the irons.
- A short but solid group of hard-hitters goes postward in Penn National’s fifth, a $30,400 allowance/optional claiming affair. From the “on the way up” contingent, Tom Morley trainee Mongolian King (3-1) arrives with two wins, one locally, from his last three starts and has been out of the money just once in his last six, since moving into Morley’s barn. He won his last over the strip by a half-dozen lengths with Forest Boyce up, but He’ll have Kali Francois in the irons this evening. And from the “hard knocking” division, Mike Trombetta runner A. P. Cino (5-2) — an 11-time winner who’s earned more than $335,000 — heads the list. The son of Indy Wind, who’ll have Dana Whitney up, has been worse than second in just one of nine Penn National starts and owns six wins over the strip.
- There was no live racing in the region yesterday.
- Monmouth Park opens on Saturday.
- Check out our Triple Crown Trail page to follow the list of possible Preakness runners.