The GQ Approach – Pimlico May 17

by | May 17, 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: $5,289
  • Super High 5: none
  • Late Pick 5: none

Multi-race wagers

  • Race 1 – $2 Double 2, 7, 8 w/ 3, 9 ($12)
  • Race 3 – 50 cent Pick-4  1, 8 w/ 1, 2, 9 w/ 2, 4, 11 w/ 2, 5, 7 ($27)
  • Race 7 – 50 cent Pick-5 3, 9 w/ 5, 6, 11 w/ 3, 5, 7 w/ 6, 13 w/ 2, 6, 8 ($54)
  • Race 13 – $2 Double 2, 5, 6 w/ 4, 11 ($12)

Best Bet of the Day

  • Race 3: #1 – China Cat (4-1)

Longshot Play of the Day

  • Race 10: #6 – Cordmaker (12-1)


  • Weather: Partly Cloudy; highs in the 70s
  • Scheduled turf races: 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, 12th, 14th
  • Projected track conditions: Main – FAST / Turf – GOOD

First Race Post Time 11:30am EDT

Race 1

  1. #8 – Eifs (5-1): Blinkers go on for fifth career start after a meltdown when 5-2 in a field 4 of four and was eased v. $25kMCL; takes appropriate class drop; good sign to see Toledo returns to ride      
  2. #2 – Midnight Mass (5-1): Might want to say a novena or two as well considering Charles “Snake” Frock is 0 for 10 with “2nd off the claim” runners of late but fear not, he drops this one back to the bottom maiden level after a distant third v. $25kMCL going one-mile; like the cut back and second start with blinkers
  3. #7 – Cyclical (3-1): 3-year-old exits a dull two-turn turf try and first v. elders at much higher level; barn has grown impatient after 6 starts, dropping to her to the bottom to cut bait; could graduate here if she runs to that 74 Brisnet# at Pen three races back 

Race 2 is ON THE TURF

  1. #3 – Jo’s Bold Cat (10-1): Ugh! 1 for 24 and the one came against NY-breds during the Obama Administration but makes just second start for trainer K. Rubley; had a rough go in first outing at this level; field is loaded with early speed which will serve this late runner just fine; owns best career turf Brisnet# (88) for this distance of this bunch
  2. #9 – Rumson Rally (4-1): Can boast best last race combo of E2-LP numbers as it was very quick early and he took advantage late which could be the case in here; second start with blinkers
  3. #1 – Can’t Pass It Up (20-1): Jock H. Karamanos off #5 (15-1) makes this one making second start with blinkers an interesting first-time turfer; note the workouts on Fai “tr.t” (aka synthetic) are much better than on dirt; might be a stretch but the price will be as his name suggests

Race 3

  1. #1 – China Cat (4-1): *** BEST BET *** Away since last Nov. when runner-up as PT favorite and was out of training until end of March; fired a trio of bullet works of the bat while last two have been less aggressive; breaking from rail no prize but will likely stalk a quick pace
  2. #8– Fleeterthan (3-1): Has yet to race on a fast track while showing early foot at this distance; if the track is kind to early speed this one could earn diploma 
  3. #6 – Tobago (10-1): First Lasix in second start which comes in 8-months after ugly off the turf debut (9th by 28 going 1 1/16); trainer G. Motion calling an audible, switching to sprinting on dirt when this gal appears to have taken a liking to it in the A.M. (see last 3 works) 

Race 4 is ON THE TURF

  1. #2 – Kukulkan (6-1): Worth a shot at a price as he cuts back to shortest distance of 0 for 18 career; his Achilles Heel has been going beyond 5 furlongs (today’s distance); Panamanian HOF rider A. Cortez has no problem getting his mounts to a clear lead and just might hold him together to the wire
  2. #1 – Love Me Thrice (7-2): FTS by Paddy O’Prado out of the Not For Love mare Love Me Twice whose offspring include nice turf runners (Phlash Phelps, Tempt Me Twice) and Moonlight Shadow who won at first asking albeit 6f on dirt last year
  3. #9 – Time Flies By (8-5): This 4-year-old gelding should be poster boy for “Second-itis”, runner-up in 5 of 8 career starts, beaten favorite in 3 of those; seems to find trouble exiting the gate which doesn’t bode well in 5f events

Race 5

  1. #4 – Majestic Reason (7-2): 11-months ago made a smashing debut when earned a 93 Brisnet# but never ran back to that even though she continued to do well in minor stakes; got the winter off to mature and hasn’t missed a beat in training which leads perfectly for her return here
  2. #2 – Final Forum (3-1): 3 for 3 on a fast track; third start after layoff; a pair of 90+ Brisnet#s in last two; defying pedigree built for turf and two-turns
  3. #11 – Disclude (5-1): High profile outfit loves the big days so it’s time to reintroduce this Overanalyze gal who breezed in her debut 13-months ago and hasn’t been seen in a race since; her work tab is filled breezes every 6-7 days for last 3+ months 

Race 6 is ON THE TURF

  1. #7 – Seeking the Sunset (6-1): Owns career best turf Brisnet# (96) of these assembled runners; didn’t disappoint in ’19 debut against much weaker than less but nonetheless, remains perfect (2 for 2) at this distance
  2. #5 – Largent (5-2): Snot too many well-meant Todd Pletcher first-timers go off at 8-1 but this 3-year-old did in a gate-to-wire victory that saw the third-place finisher come back to break his maiden in next outing 
  3. #2 – Hard Fought (8-1): Import from the left coast lands in trainer D. Dilodovico barn who gets runners to Winners Circle at a 27% clip 1st time sending postward and 23% with local jock H. Karamanos; controlling speed in here unless trainer A. Delacour uses #16 as a rabbit for #8

Race 7 is the Skipat Stakes

  1. #3 – Chalon (6-5): Only multiple graded stakes placed gal in this event; in fact none of her foes today have even started in a graded stakes… yep, she’s as close to a Free Space for you horizontal wagers as it gets; only concern would be this is her first race since last Nov., but she did win off-the-bench last year
  2. #9 – Estilo Femenino (9-2): Third race after layoff; winner in latest v. OC62k competition but in 9-race career has started in similar stakes events, a bridesmaid in both so she can hang with this crowd
  3. #8 – Majestic Won (15-1): If you’re willing to overlook her last start which was her first in ’19, you might be rewarded with a juicy payoff; she’s very quick but ran into another speedball in Ms Locust Point who ripped her heart out early, so the jock wisely saved her for another day; works since are good and there are no others in here who will push her, so a gate-to wire upset is possible

Race 8 is the G3 Miss Preakness

  1.  #6 – Never Enough Time (6-1): With just two races/wins under her belt, she’s still a bit green but when you run away from your competition as she has done, you tend to lollygag; hoping trainer M. Trombetta has given her a few lessons in the A.M. and she’ll be more focused as she won’t be alone entering the stretch today
  2.  #5 – Congrats Gal (8-1): Turned back early challengers in last two impressive winning efforts to end 2-year-old campaign; this race has been the plan for her 3-year-old coming out party
  3.  #11 – Fighting Mad (4-1): Appropriately named filly for Gary West owner of Maximum Security who was DQ’d from KY Derby (as if you hadn’t heard); strangely this undefeated gal has same sire (New Year’s Day); let’s hope the result of this race doesn’t end up in federal court

Race 9 is the Hilltop Stakes ON THE TURF

  1. #5 – Dogtag (9-2): Broke maiden in second start in a $100k stakes at The Spa in turf debut then ran behind best 2-year-old turf filly (Newspaperofrecord) in next start, her most recent which came last Sept,; impressive worktab, note that times at Pmm on turf in Apr. are identical to ML favorite stablemate (#2-Nova Sol)… of course they were, right yeah right Chad 
  2. #3 – Fashion Faux Pas (6-1): Best Brisnet turf number in this contest albeit was in a 6f sprint but has the pedigree to stretch out another couple furlongs; counting on him to be on or near the lead and get a breather on the far turn to have the energy to finish well and hold off late-comers
  3. #7 – Ebullient (10-1): Regular GQA readers know that “second start with blinkers” is my favorite angle; though the speed figure of latest didn’t come back strong, she was game under Johhny V. who is first jock ever to ride her back in this her sixth career start 

Race 10 
is the G3 Pimlico Special

  1. #6 – Cordmaker (12-1): $$$ LONGSHOT $$$  Been in love with this gelded son of Curlin since I first laid eyes on him as a yearling at the ’16 Timonium Sale; it took him a while to grow into his body and learn his craft but he’s peaking for the biggest race of his life; he should relish the Classic distance and get a honest pace to chase down in deep stretch
  2. #13 – You’re to Blame (5-1): One of two in for trainer T. Pletcher and though Johnny V. lands on the other (#2-Rally Cry 9-2), Jose Ortiz isn’t chopped liver; IMHO the pace scenario better suits this 5-year-old who got a nice freshener last month, his first outing of ‘19 
  3. #4 – Carlino (12-1): Will need a pace meltdown to be heard from very late as he typically lopes along in the rear, not getting out of first gear until the 5/16th pole; banking on trainer M. Henning’s decision to scratch out of the one-mile $200k Winchester at Bel on May 4th to go here turns out to be a wise one 

Race 11 is the G2 Black-Eyed Susan

  1.  #6 – Always Shopping (4-1): 1 of just 2 fillies in here who has raced at this 9 furlongs distance but she’s the only one to have won… twice; possesses tactical speed to get first run on the early speed and there is four who will help set a fast pace 
  2.  #2 – Off Topic (8-1): Brisnet speed figures have ascended in past third outings; has “grind it out” type of running style and pedigree to get the extra distance
  3.  #8 – Point of Honor (5-2): Regressed a tad in last/third start when fourth in G2 GP Oaks over a speed favoring surface following two brilliant 90+ Brisnet# victories 

Race 12 is the Jim McKay Turf Sprint

  1.  #1 – American Sailor (20-1): Don’t sleep on this longshot as he’s got speed along the hedge able to travel the shortest distance from gate-to-wire; unfortunately with the scratch of heavy ML favorite #3 Bound for Nowhere and two others, the price will be cut in half if not lower has she is now lone speed; local runner gets out-of-town jock R. Santana, Jr. 
  2.  #2 – Tricks to Doo (6-1): Got a freshener after a brief layoff failing to keep pace with foes (#1 , #6 and #9) who also come back to race in this one; expect change of rider to J. Castellano to pay dividends as he just might try to challenge top pick early; likely Post Time favorite due to the scratches of #3, #5 and #8      
  3.  #9 – Completed Pass (8-1): Went toe-to-toe early with top pick in $100k KTL stakes going 1/16th further than today; disposed of dueling rival late but couldn’t hold off Closer in final strides; might see a repeat but has a better chance to get to wire first today    

Race 13 is the G3 Allaire DuPont Distaff

  1.  #5 – Another Broad (7-2): This field is filled with early speed or those who want to be forwardly placed, a pace scenario perfect for this Closer; 4 of his 6 rivals have never raced this far whereas he comes off a win at this distance
  2. #2 – My Miss Lilly (7-2): Beaten favorite in latest over a muddy Aqu oval will try to turn tables on top pick; gets J. Castellano back in irons who was aboard for debut win 17-months ago
  3.  #6 – Mylady Curlin (5-2): Incredibly has been sent off favorite in 7 of 9 career starts, prevailing in 4 of those; doubtful she’ll be favorite as this is her first start in a (graded) stakes race 

Race 14 is ON THE TURF

  1.  #4 – Burak (8-1): Gets back on turf for first time since her first three starts in late 2017; dirt starts have been ugly but have faith that trainer E. Graham who does best work returning runners to turf (27% with +8.49 ROI)
  2.  #11 – Nevisian Sunset (7-2): Can boast best turf Brisnet# (86) of this group of gals; 11-time loser, 7 on grass have come at higher level than this $25kMCL; picks up capable turf rider in A. Cintron          
  3.  #7 – Wolverette (6-1): 0 for 18 with half of those efforts on the turf this 4-year-old daughter f Shanghai Bobby seems to always arrive on the scene to late regardless of the distance; has felt the grass on her hooves since last Sept. as she’s stayed in her last six which have been taken off the turf; third start since layoff… #TrustTrevor?!  


  • On Thursday May 16th at Pimlico had 6 winners from the 9-race card (2 Top Selections; payoff in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $7.60 (1st race), $5.00 (2nd), $7.60 (3rd), $3.40 (5th), $19.60 (7th) and $4.60 (9th).
  • BEST BET of the Day: Torch the Truth (6th race: 2-1 M/L; 8-5 PT) off the pace, angled out three wide past the three-eighths, was bumped twice in upper stretch, regrouped and had some late interest to finish fourth.
  • LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day: Close the Deal (7th race: 5-1 M/L; 14-1 PT) between rivals early, angled in mid-turn and faded to finish fifth.