The GQ Approach – Pimlico May 19

by | May 19, 2018 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland, MD Racing

Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing edged Classic Empire to win the 2017 Preakness. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

The GQ Approach features full-card selections from Pimlico for the live spring racing meet, Post Time 1:10pm EDT including a daily Best Bet, Longshot Play, and multi-race wagers — including the 20 cent Rainbow Pick-6, 50 cent Early and Late Pick-5s, as well as Pick-4s and rolling Doubles, Pick-3s and the Super High-5.

[su_box title=”Today’s Carryovers” style=”glass” box_color=”#66ADCC”]
  • Rainbow Pick 6: $29,406.02
  • Super High 5: $6,254.98
  • Late Pick 5: none[/su_box]
[su_box title=”GQ’s Handicapping Tip of the Day” style=”glass” box_color=”#66ADCC”][stray-random][/su_box]
[su_box title=”Best Bet of the Day” style=”glass” box_color=”#66ADCC”]Race 12 / #2 – Pony Up (7-2)[/su_box]
[su_box title=”Longshot Play of the Day” style=”glass” box_color=”#66ADCC”] Race 4 / #11 – American Sailor (10-1)[/su_box]
[su_box title=”Multi-race Wagers” style=”glass” box_color=”#66ADCC”]
    • Race 1 – $2 Double  4, 7  w/ 10 ($4)
    • Race 3 – 50 cent Pick-3  6, 7, 8 w/ 6, 8, 11 w/ 1, 4, 7 ($13.50)
    • Race 9 – 50 cent Pick-5  6, 8 w/ 4, 5, 7 w/ 7, 11, 13 w/ 2, 8 w/ 5, 6, 7 ($54)

[su_heading size=”21″ align=”left”]Analysis[/su_heading]

  • Weather: Mostly Cloudy with rain til mid-afternoon; highs in the low-60s
  • Scheduled turf races: All are OFF except the 9th
  • Projected track conditions: Main – SLOPPY / Turf – SLOW

First Race Post Time 10:30am EDT

Race 1

  1. #4– Flash Attack (2-1): Well-traveled 4-year-old makes races at 8th different venue in 12th career race; BRIS#s have been on the rise since transferred to M. Stidham barn
  2. #7 – Hill Shadow (9-2): Lightly raced 6-year-old gray gelding has never failed to pick up a check (11:1-4-3-1) with a win and runner-up finish in two starts on a sloppy track; makes second start of ‘18     
  3. #5 – Wildcatpleasures (20-1): Exits tougher Alw7500s; Closer has a shot at getting a minor share as he’s 2 for 7 on an “off” track 

Race 2 is OFF THE TURF

  1. #10 – Conjecture (7-2): The best of the two MTO entries who draw is 2 for 3 on an “off” track, which her last victory was at Lrl on the mud, beating #2 by nearly 8-lengths that day
  2. #11 – Clare’s Dowery (12-1): Will go for the Hat Trick but this one will not be on the turf; this will be her third race in 21 days
  3. #2 – Bring Me Answers (12-1): Second of the MTO entries has been able to sneak into the Trifecta versus weaker foes lesser when the track is sloppy or muddy

Race 3

  1. #6 – Happy Farm (7-2): Sagamore Farm runner who made a winning ’18 debut following a 7-month layoff can use his tactical speed to draft behind a quartet of those with early foot 
  2. #7 – Forge (8-5): Has made amazing improvement since NY-based trainer R. Rodriguez claimed him 3 races back at Aqu; makes first start in the Free State; been part of Trifecta every time racing at this distance (5:2-1-2)
  3. #8 – Pop Keenan (5-2): Trainer J. Servis only ships his trainees when he believes they have a shot; no stretch here as he’s program second-choice; won latest by 8+ lengths but that was 4-months ago  

Race 4 is OFF THE TURF

  1. #11 – American Sailor (10-1): $$$ LONGSHOT $$$ Last trip to Winners’ Circle came six races back coincidently sprinting on a muddy Lrl surface in an “off the turf” contest for this same condition 
  2. #6 – Big Bella Brown (20-1): Turf debut will have to wait another day but connections won’t be shedding any tears based on “off” track record (4:3-0-1); seventh career start is firsts one against his elders
  3. #8 –   Williwaw (20-1): Won’t be these odds on the main track as he carries his early speed well on an “off” track (7:2-2-2); won’t be alone at the first call though 
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Race 5 is the $100k James Murphy OFF THE TURF

  1.  #4 – Black Stetson (9-2): Distance stretch might pose an issue, but should have the lead and was solid last time out in first turf try in the Bridgetown Stakes 
  2.  #7 – Threes Over Deuces (6-1): Has a tough time winning for trainer Gary Capuano especially with stretch of optional claimers, but may see improvement with surface change and has shown good consistency
  3.  #1 – Takedown (15-1): Adds blinkers and gets a plus in an off track scenario, only question is whether there’s enough speed left in the race for him to catch late

Race 6

  1. #6 – Belfour (5-1): Seeks the natural Hat Trick while stretching out to two-turns for the first time; BRIS#s have been slowly going in the right direction; appears a nice stalking trip would get it done
  2. #7 – Uncle Mojo (6-5): Can boast top BRIS Prime Power number but this T. Pletcher trainee has failed in last two outings as Post Time favorite after blinkers came off
  3. #1 – Hollywood Strike (9-2): Lightbulb Theory could be in play here as this five-year-old gelding finally broke his maiden in fourteenth try

Race 7 is the $250k G2 Dixie OFF THE TURF

  1.  #6 – Just Howard (12-1): Will need to be a bit more forwardly placed by Jose Ortiz has there is no speed left in this field, but this colt for Graham Motion can win this race with efforts similar to a win in the Commonwealth Derby back in September 
  2.  #2 – Unbridled Juan (10-1): First start of ’18, stays in and why not… never been OTB on an “off” track (4:1-2-1)   
  3.  #3 – O Dionysus (20-1): Local gelding won turf debut just 9 days ago but will get main track today having to compete against a trio of foes    

Race 8 is the $200k Chick Lang

  1.  #5 – Mitole (3-5): Can’t ignore back to back strong wins of seven and nine lengths respectively, and only real knock would be other pace challengers and weaker effort over sloppy surface
  2.  #7 – Curly’s Rocket (6-1): Never want to see a colt lose Baffert as trainer, but has some solid speed to contest with Mitole and has won twice at this distance; continuing to improve for Albert Stall gives this three-year-old a chance at the wire 
  3.  #6 – Run Away (12-1): Last effort was a bit disconcerting in November, but assuming this colt is in good health means he should run in the money similar to his effort in the Delmar Futurity in September as the post time favorite over winner Bolt D’Oro 

Race 9 is the $150k G3 Galorette ON THE TURF

  1.  #8 – Elysea’s World (9-5): Running better than Cambodia as of late, and will win this race with either a decent amount of pace, or a stalking trip close to the leader; issue here could be the pace with many wanting to come from mid pack 
  2.  #6 – Blessed Silence (12-1): Has run on softer surfaces overseas, giving an edge over competition, distance might have shown to be a tad too far last time out, however
  3.  #4 – Stallion Heiress (10-1): Has exclusively run on turf or synthetic in all seven career outings showing early speed as well… has a chance to steal it on the front-end 

Race 10 is the $150k G3 Maryland Sprint

  1.  #4 – Lewisfield (7-2): Four for five at the distance; should get away clean to front with a few other challengers and win as long as Laki and Switzerland don’t apply too much pressure
  2.  #7 – Laki (15-1): What this gelding lacks in class he makes up for with an impressive front-end win last month at Laurel; hopes for a speed battle in the mud with Switzerland
  3.  #5 – Switzerland (5-2): Solid race breaking maiden in February, followed by two other wins show this four-year-old colt finally starting to hit his stride being undefeated this year   

Race 11 is the $100k The Very One OFF THE TURF

  1.   #7 – Girls Know Best (3-1): With so many surface changes and unknowns in this race, this filly is a safe bet to be there early and late; has an advantage with a middle post over the outside favorites
  2.  #11 – Smiling Causeway (7-2): Showed ability to close even at short distance last time out; versatility will prove vital if this filly doesn’t get pushed wide at the break 
  3.  #13 – Keep Your Distance (20-1): Another one on the outside who looks to break early and needs to be up front, but if she is able to get to the lead, a repeat of her last race can put her in the winners circle

Race 12 
is the $100k LARC Sir Barton

  1.   #2 – Pony Up (7-2): *** BEST BET *** Best case for this colt is a pace duel, as he has shown the ability to close but will need a good trip and timing from Velazquez to put it all together 
  2.  #8 – Ax Man (8-5): Hard to go against Baffert and Smith here especially with this field; repeat of second race will allow for upset as could a bad reaction to a muddy track
  3. #11 – Title Ready (5-1): Taken a good amount of money over his career; needs to return to form three back; wants less distance and just slightly slower than the top contenders          

Race 13 is the $1.5 million G1 Preakness

  1.  #7 – Justify (1-2): Convincingly won the KY Derby a by two-and-one-half-lengths after racing just off a very quick opening half-mile (45.77), has yet to taste defeat (4 for 4) and is the only runner in this field to have earned four (4) triple-digit Brisnet speed figures. Prior to this year, his trainer’s four (4) previous KY Derby winners, Silver Charm, Real Quiet, War Emblem and American Pharoah – have all won the Preakness.
  2. #2 – Lone Sailor (15-1): Finished eighth in the KY Derby after being runner-up in the Louisiana Derby (G2) in which he took a huge (18 point) leap in his Brisnet speed figure. Therefore, he could have “bounced” (aka regression in form) in the Derby. Troubled trip in the KY Derby per the chart caller comments, “…was stymied in traffic from the seven-sixteenths to inside the three-furlong marker, got through and stayed on the rail to the stretch, shifted out late and kept on to the wire” Connections are leaving no stone unturned as they get the 2017 winningest jockey and 2018 current leader (146 wins) to ride.                
  3. #1 – Quip (12-1): Might be peaking as the Preakness will be his third start of the year, first winning the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) followed by a runner-up finish in the Arkansas Derby (G2). He was eligible to run in the KY Derby but his trainer felt he needed more time between races, so he was pointed to run in the Preakness saying, “We have a horse that will come back fresh. He worked very good last week, and I wouldn’t trade my place.”

Race 14

  1. #3 – Phil’s Cocktail (5-1): Claimed for $7,500 three races back and has paid immediate dividends with a win and runner-up effort a couple levels higher
  2. #9 – Sky Chaparral (6-1): A real Cash Cow as he’s hit the board in his last twelve races; sic-time winner from 26 career efforts yet 0 for 12 at this distance but has been facing better since last win  
  3. #7 – Appealing Future (6-1): PA-bred rolls down I-95 from Prx where he’s enjoyed success against fellow state breds at the Allowance-level; loves this distance (7:4-1-1)     


  • On Friday May 18th at Pimlico had 8 winners from the 14-race card (2 Top Selections; payoff in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $14.80 (1st race), $7.80 (2nd), $4.40 (3rd), $4.40 (5th), $12.80 (6th) $10.40 (7th), $3.60 (10th) and $7.80 (11th). Top Selections are 159 for 567 (28.04%). In 2017, Top Selections went 340 for 1,197 (28.40%).
  • BEST BET of the Day (60:15-14-8; in 2017 119: 39-25-19) Good Move (7th race: 3-1 M/L; 2-1 PT) a forward factor four deep entering the turn, weakened and finish sixth.
  • LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day (57:6-13-8; in 2017 107: 18-13-15) Rated R Superstar (9th race: 8-1 M/L; 5-1 PT) well back for seven furlongs, swung to the seven-path turning for home, failed to be a menace and finished fifth.