Pimlico picks and ponderings May 2, 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 — $6,427 Super High 5 — $1,103 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- We’ll kick off the first Sunday in May with a field of six. #5 Hot Choice (2/1) has had plenty of tries against winners, but never against a field this soft. Backed up after showing some speed last out, but now moves to a more speed-favoring track. #3 Sevilla Sangria (9/5) also has plenty of early speed and the top brisnet figures in the race, but she’s been in spots like this before and hasn’t been able to get the job done. #6 Toma (4/1) shipped over to Charles Town last out and made a menacing move before flattening out. Should be just off the pace here.
- RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- The first of three grass races on the card. #11 Defy Expectations (3/1) raced once on grass over the winter at Gulfstream Park, briefly showing speed and fading. She broke her maiden impressively over the Laurel Park grass in July and just missed against better at Belmont Park last fall. Brittany Russell is dangerous in many scenarios, but she’s 28% first off a 90+ day break. Even with that long rest, several in here have been off longer than this filly. #2 Bound for Broadway (12/1) has raced this year, and while she broke her maiden on dirt, she showed promise on grass last summer both at Laurel and at Delaware Park. In her most recent race on this surface, she improved her figure for the third race in a row while finishing second by a neck. #3 Golden Can (7/2) goes out for the first time this year, but crossed the wire first against similar at Delaware last fall and was disqualified. Will be dangerous if allowed to get away on the lead.
- RACE 3: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES
- Two horses look like they’ll take all the money in here: the #1, Glory March (9/5) and the #4, Flyin It (8/5). Giving the edge to the former, as she’s making just her third career start and was very impressive breaking her maiden on debut. She looks for a rebound after a poor try against better last out. The latter broke her maiden last out in style, but hasn’t raced since January 17 and doesn’t have much early speed. #3 Personal Server (5/1) prefers two turns and should be prominent on the early pace. Another one looking for a rebound after a dull showing last out.
RACE 4: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #2 Belfour (7/5) will be a likely single on many late pick 5 tickets, and for good reason. He’s won five of his last six on dirt, many of them in gate-to-wire style. It’s a little disconcerting that his only bad recent dirt race came on this track last fall, but that was against a tougher field, and he won’t have as much competition up front here. #7 Unequivocal (6/1) has made some good closing rallies lately, one of which got him a win at Charles Town three races back. A strong exotics candidate. #4 Invest (5/1) goes first off the claim for Kieron Magee and adds Alex Crispin in the saddle. He fought hard on the lead to win last out; now tries deeper waters.
RACE 5 – CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- #5 Dothat Dance (10/1) goes third off a year-plus layoff, after two dirt races where he was not a factor. He gets in here as many as nine pounds lighter compared to some of his rivals, and has run figures as high as 98 on the grass in the past. #2 Jag (3/1) has steadily good grass form, with strong finishes at tracks all over the east coast, but hasn’t raced since September 19. New trainer Gary Contessa isn’t that great with horses first off the layoff; taking the wait-and-see approach here. #10 Colonel Moorhead (5/1) also goes out for the first time since September. He has good tactical speed and a string of long workouts under his belt. Should be ready to fire first off the bench.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
- #10 Pat’s Factor (5/1) got action at this level last out, and was in serious contention before he bolted to the outside and lost the jockey. That line might scare away some potential backers. However, he has tactical speed and consistently good figures. #1 Manklin Creek (9/2) doesn’t have much early speed, and often leaves himself with too much to do. He had sort of a breakthrough performance last out, closing strongly to lose by a head. Needs to keep taking steps forward. #8 Union Charm (7/2) has run back-to-back career-best races, improving sharply second off the layoff last out while losing by 3/4 of a length. He finished ahead of Not Telling, who came back to win at this level going short on April 8.
RACE 7 – CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- #8 Over to You (7/2) goes back into the Neil Morris barn after a stint at Tampa Bay Downs over the winter, where she stayed sharp against similar competition. She got hung wide in each of her last two, but still ran solid figures in the mid-70s. Having recent grass form at all helps. #1 Moon Chant (4/1) goes out for the first time since December, and has early speed and the inside draw. #5 Dancingwithpaynter (5/2) won twice on grass last year, coming from behind with strong rallies each time. She was dismal to close out 2020, but has gotten some time off and returns with Feargal Lynch in the saddle.
RACE 8- CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- More n/w2L claimers wrap up the show. #5 Eight Oaks (2/1) was sharp third off the extended break at Charles Town last out, closing stoutly to get second off a slow pace. Makes her first start since February 24 but has a sharp recent four-furlong drill. #1 Sunday in L B C (3/1) had been showing speed in the past, but has come from off the pace in her last two races. It’s worked out well, as she’s run two figures in the 60s in that stretch. #2 Lookin for Candy (5/1) zoomed out to a long lead last out before backing up. Could take them gate-to-wire if she can relax a bit.