Pimlico picks and ponderings April 25, 2021
Point of Honor. Photo: Dottie Miller
In which we pick the races from Pimlico each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $0 Super High 5 — $1,351 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
- Starting the card with maiden claimers going long. We’re looking at dry conditions during the card, but overnight rain may result in an off track at least to begin the day. #3 Replicant (5/2) fell flat after a good trip at this level two starts back. However, he had a valid excuse, as it was his first race in more than a year. Closed solidly when stretching out to a mile last out; shouldn’t have a problem with today’s distance. This’ll be his fifth start and his fifth different jockey; Katie Davis has the nod here. #6 Drakesboro Wildcat (8/1) ships up from Tampa Bay Downs for Graham Motion, where he showed a lot of improvement from his first two starts over the synthetic at Turfway Park. Last out, he set a ridiculously fast pace going long on grass, and still almost held on. If he takes to dirt at all, he’ll be very tough. #2 Buzzhound (9/2) has run two respectable brisnet figures in a row in his career, and has decent late pace figures, suggesting that he can handle a stretchout in distance. Drops back to the $25,000 level, at which he closed strongly in his debut and finished third.
- RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #7 Bold Quest (9/2) cleared his n/w2L condition impressively last out, briefly challenging for the lead, taking charge, and drawing off to an 11-length score with a figure of 82. It represents some pretty dramatic improvement; he had lost his prior four by a combined 61 lengths. Still, he’s got every chance to work out a similar trip here. #2 Greek Prince (6/1) got involved in a tussle last out for the lead, and flattened out late. That’s been the story of his career, as his 2-for-34 record attests. His figures are very consistent, and he’s improved in each of his last four, up to an 83 last out. Profiles as a strong exotics candidate. #1 Welling (3/1) picked up the pieces to get third last out. His best race came four back, when he went gate-to-wire against starter optional claiming foes. He’s got the inside draw, but I’m not sure if he’s fast enough to get to the lead. Even so, he could rate and get a share regardless.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- This is the textbook definition of a two-horse race, as the #2 Classy But Sassy (7/5) and #4 Concrete Answer (6/5) are the only two who have shown any ability. I lean towards the latter, as she showed speed and held well in her debut. Claudio Gonzalez, who had a big day yesterday, claimed her out of that race. Classy But Sassy closed for second after rating off the pace in her last start, and will likely chase Concrete Answer around the track. #6 Lily Chaser (8/1) has shown speed and backed up in her last two. Has been slowly improving since coming off a long layoff three back, and keeps Alex Crispin in the saddle.
RACE 4: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS
- #2 Princess Corey (9/2) won at this level last out, drawing off after pressing the pace. Moves from one high-profile barn to the other, as she was claimed from Brittany Russell by Kieron Magee in that race. Earlier in her career at Aqueduct, she got caught up in fast paces, but always held well and never relented. #1 Uno Tigress (9/5) also has speed from the inside, and makes her first start since mid-January here. Won against better two back with a strong middle move, but severely regressed last out and went to the sidelines. If she’s ready to go first off the bench, she’ll be tough. #5 Bethabara (10/1) goes second off the layoff hand was competitive against similar last fall. Last out, she got hung wide and faded; expecting better here.
RACE 5 – MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
- #3 Luminist (7/2) was well-backed on debut on January 15, going off as the 1/1 favorite. She rallied strongly off a slow pace to miss by just a head. She’s gone on the sidelines since then, but has a good worktab between here and Laurel. Should enjoy the longer distance; she debuted at a mile. #2 Hightailing (5/2) goes second off a year-plus layoff for Shug McGaughey and Forest Boyce, who teamed up for two stakes placings yesterday. In her last dirt start, in July 2019, she finished fourth going two turns with a strong figure of 89. Ran on well to finish third in her first start off the long break last out. #4 Celestial Diva (15/1) stretches out to two turns for the first time, after making solid ground when finishing fifth on debut. Looks like the value play of the field.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 FURLONGS
- #9 Cry No More (5/1) tries winners for the first time after a big maiden win last out, when he lasted on a fast pace and held off his rivals to earn a figure of 91, a sixteen-point improvement from his debut. The draw isn’t ideal, but he managed to get to the lead from the six-hole in that race. #3 Heir Port (8/1) makes the first start of his 3-year-old season. He lost twice to stakes multiple stakes winner No Cents, including a gutsy, career-best effort at Monmouth Park last October. Workouts have been very strong. #7 Baptize the Boy (9/2) got up to win against Maryland-breds last out, just getting up after a wide trip. He was second in the Maryland Million Sprint last year while chasing the speed; could find himself in a similar spot here.
RACE 7 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
- It’s a cheap race without any great horses, so I’ll try a longshot. #7 The Fire Within (20/1) improved more than 20 points second time out going six furlongs, making up ground after a tough start. He improved again when going a mile, but stopped badly when stretching out around two turns last out. He’s had some time off since that February 7 race, and cuts back to a distance he prefers. Could surprise. #3 Unbridled Parrott (6/1) adds blinkers, cuts back from seven furlongs, and has run decent late pace figures. #8 Day of Honor (5/2) has earned a figure in the 60s four times in a row, and drops back here after a try at the $16,000 level. Looks like he might have finally found a field he can beat.
RACE 8- STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #7 Goodluckchuck (6/1) makes his third start off the layoff and drops after showing speed and fading going seven furlongs. In the fall and winter, he won two in a row, including a victory at this distance at Charles Town. He’s steadily run figures in the 80s and has good tactical speed. #3 Titan’s Will (8/1) ran a big race last out, showing good tactical speed and drawing away, albeit in a softer field. Gets a weight break due to being in for the lower tag. #1 My Man Pots N Pans (5/1) is a pretty steady sort, usually sitting in midpack and running on well late. He’s taken a step forward in his last two races, running back-to-back figures in the mid-80s. Will be tough if he can keep it up.
RACE 9 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
- #4 Clever and Great (5/2) looks to shake off a disappointing try at Parx last out. Earned some solid figures earlier in his career, and any Claudio/Cruz horse is worth a look. #2 Who’s Counting (5/1) hit the board going two turns last out, albeit while well-beaten. Takes a slight drop in class and adds Crispin. #3 El Equalizer (7/2) goes second off the layoff after a much-improved effort in his first race of the year. Drops in class and adds blinkers to boot.