The GQ Approach – Pimlico May 16

by | May 16, 2019 | 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.

Today’s carryovers

  • Rainbow Pick 6: $2,305
  • Super High 5: none
  • Late Pick 5: none

Multi-race wagers

  • Race 1 – $2 Double 1, 2, 9 w/ 4, 6 ($12)
  • Race 5 – 50 cent Pick-5  1, 8 w/ 1, 3, 5 w/ 7, 9, 10 w/ 1, 3, 6 w/ 1, 5 ($54)
  • Race 8 – $2 Double 3, 6 w/ 1, 5 ($8)

Best Bet of the Day

  • Race 6: #1 – Torch the Truth (2-1)

Longshot Play of the Day

  • Race 8: #6 – Close the Deal (5-1)


  • Weather: Partly Cloudy; highs in the 70s
  • Scheduled turf races: 1st, 5th, 7th are ON but 3rd and 9th are OFF
  • Projected track conditions: Main – FAST / Turf – GOOD

First Race Post Time 1:10pm EDT

Race 1 is ON THE TURF

  1. #9 – Souper Courage (4-1): Accompanied stablemate Win Win Win to CD for Derby Week to be his workmate during the well-publicized “work hook-up” with Tacitus and Country House; if he can work with this kind of company, his mindset will help him handle these $25kMCL; second start with blinkers 
  2. #1 – Elevated Forever (9-2): Blinkers come off for fourth career outing, second on turf; gave good account of himself in turf debut in first race after trainer R. Garrido $10k claim; attracts T. McCarthy this time 
  3. #2 – Jimmy Idontknowya (3-1): Only entry on card for Prx-based trainer J. Vasquez; beaten favorite in latest (14th start) on dirt when runner-up at Lrl on drop from $50kMCL; makes just second turf start… finished 4-lengths behind winner in MSW at Prx when very wide 

Race 2

  1. #6 – Rapid Route (7-2): First time stretching out to two turns but with Tiznow on the dam side taking a gamble she can carry her speed that far; concerned about being pushed by #2 early but that ones early fractions are slow at CT; drops one class level here, faced tougher at Tam
  2. #4 – Dear Charlotte (7-2): Not sure what is more amazing… that she finally won for second time in her 30th start OR she was claimed out of that race by trainer D. Capuano OR I somehow think she can win in here?! Did make a nice run in first race v. N3L (and first after claim) 
  3. #1 – Natasha Fatale (9-5): This gal is like a hot potato, in fifth different barn over her last 7 starts; even trainer C. Gonzalez couldn’t work his magic (runners win at 30%+ clip first start w/him); too many yellow flags to endorse on top but tough to completely take a stand against on steep drop

Race 3 is OFF THE TURF

  1. #14 – Friesing Waters (9-5): Sneaks in off the Also-Eligible list in this off the turf event; beaten favorite in latest when sprinting on turf; has the ealry speed on dirt to go gate-to-wire 
  2. #6 – My Lily Rose (3-1): FTS by Orientate out of a Belng to Me mare was entered with intention of making debut on grass but has shown she can handle natural dirt just fine based on works at Fair Hill
  3. #9 – Docs Way (9-2): Pen-based trainer-jock combo in just for this event; made first start at Sar last Summer v. NY-bred in MSW sprinting on turf but stays in to test the Pim fast track which she could be prominent early and hold on late to graduate

Race 4

  1. #5 – Junction (2-1): Just missed paydirt v. $8kn1y foes in first start after trainer A. Farrior $5k claim; his 3 for 39 record gives one pause to play on top while being an 11-time runner-up, he seems to wait on foes when getting lead in the stretch based on running lines; let’s hope A. Cruz can time move late enough to correct that nasty habit
  2. #10 – To the Hilt (8-1): Exits key race where top two came back to win when he was just 1-3 lengths behind going 5 1/2f; gets 6f today, his best distance (7:3-1-1) for trainer B. Feliciano, Jr.
  3. #1 – Free to Trump (3-1): Easy gate-to-wire winner in latest over N3L; cuts back to sprint distance where he conquered $12,500N2L three races back

Race 5 is ON THE TURF

  1. #8 – Benandjoe (7-5): Not exactly bred for turf but when G. Motion is your conditioner and trains you on the tapeta at Fair Hill and you fire a couple bullets, then maybe you’re destined to succeed on the turf; short ML reflects the competition in here more than his prowess
  2. #1 – Payneful (15-1): Connections must have been high on this gelded son of Paynter out of a Mr. Greeley mare from the start as he made first career start in VA-bred grass stakes… only problem was it was off the turf that day (Sept. 28); unable to get back in turf since but best showing in 5 starts came on sloppy surface going this distance
  3. #3 – Snidely (3-1): Need to respect any trainer J. Englehart runner (3:1-1-0 at meet; 22% in ‘19); every one of four career starts for this late running Alternation colt has been in $40kMCL dirt events, finishing fourth in last 3; needs to get out of first gear early than in the stretch

Race 6

  1. #1 – Torch the Truth (2-1): *** BEST BET *** This race is one that was cancelled last Friday due to severe weather conditions, though not all re-entered and a few new ones surfaced. That day, J. Toledo chose this one over two others, one looked stronger on paper but did not re-enter here, the other is #4 (6-1); 3 for 3 in ’19 as runner-up, all in this same condition; nice works since last outing
  2. #6 – Baptize the Boy (10-1): Appears to prefer an “off” track based on past performances but don’t be fooled because in both fast track efforts he encountered multiple issues in each
  3. #5 – Royal Hussar (8-1): There’s enough early speed signed on in here to give this 5-year-old gelding a shot to get a minor share in first start in over 13-months; likes to let others win while still trying his best (20:2-8-1) 

Race 7 is ON THE TURF

  1. #10 – Quality Step (3-1): Moving to third trainer after just 5 career starts was the charm and all it took was a change in surface from dirt-to-turf; has 2 wins in 4 turf starts since as PT favorite in all four
  2. #9 – Taxable Goods (6-1): Both wins have come on the grass though he didn’t take the winter off and was able to pay the barn bill earning minor shares on dirt; trainer L. Ashby (1 for 15 in ’19) gives go-to rider J. Garcia (7% in ’19) a leg-up as they are 38% (9 for 24) over the past year 
  3. #7 – Elementary (6-1): 2 for 2 at this distance lighting up the toteboard at 69-1 in maiden win and 38-1 versus similar last year when 3-years-old facing elders; makes ’19 debut after plenty of official workouts over the past two months  

Race 8

  1. #6 – Close the Deal (5-1): $$$ LONGSHOT $$$ Away since last October but won off the bench last year with a furious late rally after a troubled start to nab the ML favorite in here (#3) in a 3-way photo; 5 lb. bug J. Correa gets the call who has won with trainer W. Komlo runners in 3 of 5 mounts
  2. #3 – Hot Friesia (2-1): Broke her maiden in lone previous try here at Old Hilltop; dances every dance but only other win came v. restricted (MD-bred) company, which this event is not; both wins have come at this 6f distance
  3. #1 – Mrs. Crews (3-1): NY-based trainer M. Nevin who had 1 win with 3 starters last year at Pim sneaks this 3-time winning 3-year-old to face (N3L) elders for the first time; fast track Bris#s are better than off track ones

Race 9 is OFF THE TURF

  1. #5 – Gringo Star (10-1): This ATM on four legs keeps his connections happy as he’s hit the board in all 6 starts this year in non-winers of 3 races events; Brisnet#s continue to ascend and with R. Montanez in the irons, he could make every pole a winning one today     
  2. #5 – Belmont Ride (2-1): MTO entry draws in a perfect spot for first start after traier D, Dilodovico $16k claim as he’s just out of claiming jail to compete at same level where he was thir just behind top pick 
  3. #8 – Lead Astray (10-1): Second start with blinkers; makes MD racing circuit debut via $10k claim at OP; was in over his head v. $30kN3L while “in jail” at Hot Springs; fits here but will likely run out of real estate as he normally come running late going 6-8 furlongs      


  • On Sunday May 12th at Pimlico had 6 winners from the 8-race card (3 Top Selections; payoff in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.60 (1st race), $3.00 (4th), $2.40 (5th), 17.60 (6th), 13.60 (7th) and $4.80 (8th). Of the suggested multi-race wagers hit the R4-R8 50 Pick-5 for $302.05 (cost: $54).
  • BEST BET of the Day: Bandito (4th race: 4-1 M/L; 5-2 PT) vied early then cleared, set the pace in the three-path, was joined nearing the three-eighths, dueled past the five-sixteenths, stayed willing until mid-stretch then faded to finish third of four starters, thus no SHOW wagering.
  • LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day: Over Exposed (5th race: 6-1 M/L; 1-5 PT) Due to off the turf and large number of scratches, this one turned out to be far from a value play but proved to be the best in this event, winning by five-lengths and returned $2.40 to WIN and $2.10 to PLACE.