Pimlico picks and ponderings May 9, 2021
Horses round the first turn at Pimlico. Photo: Dottie Miller
In which we pick the races from Pimlico each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $1,604 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- A wide-open field of six begins the Mother’s Day program. It remains to be seen if it’s going to be a “mudder’s day” card, as there was some rain yesterday on top of an already muddy strip, but the area will have experienced more than 18 hours of dry conditions prior to first post. #5 Smart Two a T (7/2) set an extremely ambitious pace last out at Penn National, but held on to the lead until the last eighth when he began to back up. He doesn’t have to go that fast early here, as there’s no other dangerous early speed. Could prove tough to catch with the right fractions. In contrast, #6 Ego Trip (4/1) has no early speed at all, but has won two of this last three with big rallies down the long Laurel stretch. The stretch run at Pimlico is plenty long, too, but as noted above, there isn’t much speed, so it’s not clear if he’ll have a pace to run into. Still, I’m expecting a maximum effort first off the layoff. Trainer Mark Shuman is 24% with horses off a break of 90+ days. #3 Campari (7/2) isn’t too big on winning, but has good closing speed and rallied to get second against similar last out.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#2 Start With Yes (5/2) may well have won against similar last out if he didn’t encounter traffic in the stretch. As it were, he closed to get fourth, beaten two lengths, and once again finds himself in a spot where he’s got some of the best brisnet figures and great closing speed. The Jerry Robb/Xavier Perez trainer/jockey combination doesn’t hurt. #1 Blue Danube (6/1) exits the same race as Start With Yes. In that race, he set the pace before giving way in the last eighth. He’s the primary early speed once again, has an advantageous post, and goes third off the layoff. #7 Daystrike (5/1) made decent ground last out when forced to race out of his element and come from behind. Should be forwardly placed this time.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
- #3 Leave Em Loaded (9/2) ran by far a career-best race last out, setting the pace and hanging in gamely in the last eighth. He earned a figure of 71 in that race, a 12-point improvement over his previous best figure. Makes his first start since February 26 in this spot. #6 Aperitivo (9/5) is lightly-raced, with this being his third career start, and races for a career-low tag. He’s shown speed and backed up in both his starts, can he bounce back here? #7 Charlie Potatoes (4/1) goes second off the layoff and rallied well for fourth last out in his first race in more than five months. Earned a 75 in his third career start last fall; a repeat of that effort would win this race.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES
- Along with race 6, the other scheduled grass race on today’s card, this race has been moved off the grass. #11 Fairy Wish (7/2) gets some needed class relief after some disappointing tries against allowance and starter optional claiming types. Goes second off the layoff and will be coming from the back of the pack. #2 Pebble Road (3/1) raced just once last year, finishing fourth after racing wide at Presque Isle Downs. Has some great dirt and synthetic races in her back lines; the only question is if she can find that form again. #7 MJ’s Lady (6/1) won a n/w2L race going away two races back, has good tactical speed, and upgrades to Sheldon Russell.
RACE 5 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #9 Ronithelimodriver (7/2) has never crossed the wire first in his two-race career. He finished second in his debut at Monmouth Park last September, but was put up to first thanks to a disqualification. After more than a year’s break, he ran a decent figure but was visually unimpressive in a first-level allowance at Gulfstream Park. Now he’s making his first start for the Brittany Russell barn. He was well-bet and raced well on debut, and has lots of upside. #3 Degas (5/1) stretches out from five furlongs after a near-miss at this level last out. He’s fast enough to go gate-to-wire if John Hiraldo is aggressive enough. #6 Self Awareness (6/1) goes third off a long layoff for Mike Trombetta, after a dull try on the grass at Belmont Park last out. Ran a big race in his first start in eight months two back, will look for a repeat of that effort here.
- RACE 6: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES
- #11 Desbordes (5/2) is the only one in here entered for main-track-only, and has the most dangerous dirt form in the field. She wired a first-level allowance field last out, and she profiles as the clear early speed of the field. She’s drawn to the outside post, but it’s likely there will be a few scratches in here, which will move her further to the inside. #10 Take Me Home (15/1) has been dominant at Charles Town, entering this race on a five-race winning streak. She tends to stalk the pace and pounce on the front-runners. While this is not a difficult field on the whole, she hasn’t faced an opponent as tough as Desbordes during her streak. She won’t want to let her get away too easy. #5 Mucha Mezquina (6/1) makes her first start since October, and has some encouraging lines, including a gate-to-wire win on dirt at Churchill Downs two Novembers ago. She’ll try to press Desbordes, but it’s an open question if she can do it first off the break.
RACE 7 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #6 Titan’s Will (7/2) goes first off the claim for Anthony Farrior after a race where he held on for the win despite making a premature move. Earned a new lifetime top figure of 91 last out, after running a near-peak figure of 86 in victory two back. Should sit a great trip here. #1 Other Things Equal (3/1) got thrown out of sorts last out after breaking awkwardly and fell far behind. He managed to recover to finish third, finishing just behind Titan’s Will. He earned a career-best mark of 90 in that race. Another one who should rate off the pace. #5 Rough Sea (5/2) tends to make solid moves but hasn’t come close to getting the job done in his last few. Steadily runs figures the mid-80s, which fit right in with these. Looking for him to round out the exotics.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #5 Whats the Chances (2/1) had the trip last out, but couldn’t capitalize despite rating right off the pace. He’ll make his fourth start against winners here, his first off a brief break, and adds Alex Crispin. #4 Cohodes (5/2) is lightly-raced and drops to this level for the first time. Goes second off the claim for Hugh McMahon and should show early speed. #7 Tale of Dixie (4/1) steadily runs figures in the mid-60s, which is within the range needed to win this one, but has flattened out after rating near the pace in both of his starts against winners.
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