Pimlico picks and ponderings May 21, 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 — $598,522 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- We’re looking at similar weather conditions as yesterday, so expect FAST dirt and FIRM grass. #5 Family Fortune (7/5) ran a career-best brisnet figure of 73 last out, and did it honestly. She dueled on a fast pace, sending her dueling partner, who was the favorite, to a 12-length defeat. Family Fortune, on the other hand, managed to hold on and finish third, beaten 1 1/2 lengths. She’s going third off a brief layoff, and will be tough on the lead. After an 0-for-11 start to her career, #6 Thunderinthevalley (5/2) has made up for lost time, winning each of her last two races. Both times, she closed off moderate paces. Speed has been very good at Pimlico lately, but I still think she can close and get a piece of the exotics. #3 Dontbaggagecheck (2/1) drops from the conditioned $16,000 level and has early speed from the inside.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #3 Silent Fluidity (6/1) has won three of her last four, and goes first off the claim for Ferris Allen. She won her first start off the long layoff last out, closing from off the pace in a five-furlong dirt race. In her lone grass start, in September 2019, she chased a loose leader and closed to finish second with a very credible figure of 76. #7 Bustin Hearts (4/1) is a perfect 1-for-1 on the Pimlico grass course, and closed well in each of her last two grass races, including a win in her most recent grass race at Laurel Park. She’s failed to capitalize in her last three dirt starts, but perhaps moving back to the green will help the cause. #9 Princess Killmain (6/1) is a stone-cold closer making her first start of the year. Closers have been doing well over this course as of late, and she has sharp late pace figures. Might need a race first off the bench, but is worth a shot at the right price.
- RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES
- This looks like a two-horse race on paper, and will likely be bet accordingly. #7 Nikki’s Dream (8/5) stretches back out from six furlongs for Claudio Gonzalez, who hits at 27% with horses going from a sprint to a route. She’s making only her fourth career start, and ran her best race the lone time she went further than six furlongs, when she was second at a mile two races back. #3 Sheriff’s Kid (6/5) went off as the favorite in each of her last two starts against similar, but has yet to capitalize. Last out, she opened up a clear lead in the stretch after sitting a great trip, but couldn’t close the deal. Starting to veer dangerously towards “professional maiden” territory. Proceed with caution. #6 Joyce G (9/2) gets back to a fast track and stretches out for the first time for Michael Gorham, who is 17% when his horses do that.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- Another big carryover in the rainbow pick 6. How big can the pool get before it’s emptied out? #2 Self Awareness (1/1) has run a figure in the 80s three times in five career dirt starts. Only one other horse in the race has managed to do that once at any point in their career. He’ll be tough to beat if he runs his race. #6 Disputed Notion (5/1) has hit the board in his last two races at this level, and has been rounding into career-best form, with figures in the mid-70s. Could round out the exotics at a decent price. #4 Street Prayer (7/2) makes his first start since July 3 of last year. He raced at this level twice last year, finishing second after a prolonged battle in his most recent at this condition.
RACE 5 – MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
- #8 Kubie Snacks (7/2) made her first start of the year, and her grass debut, last out. After racing wide on both turns, she closed strongly to lose by just half a length. Although that was a maiden claiming race on paper, it took place at Aqueduct, so this is likely an equivalent race in terms of quality. Will be tough if she improves second time off the bench. #6 Hightailing (5/2) goes out for Shug McGaughey and Forest Boyce, who are always tough when they team up. She earned a figure of 90 on the Gulfstream Park grass two races back, a mark that would easily win this race. It was her first start off an 18-month layoff to boot. She didn’t do much when she raced on dirt last out, but getting back to the lawn should work wonders. #9 Estival (10/1) was well-bet on debut at Delaware Park last June, made a mild rally, and hasn’t been seen since. Has room for improvement for the Graham Motion barn at a good price.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- A three-horse race on paper. #3 Golden Warrior (8/5) has never run worse than a 71 in his three-race career, drops to this level for the first time, and goes out for Anthony Farrior, who is 24% off a 46-90 day break and 21% second off the claim. #7 Aladdin Sane (5/2) makes his third start off the layoff for Cal Lynch, and has been steadily rounding back into form. He got stuck behind slow paces in his last two starts, but still closed well to get a piece of the exotics. A similar situation is likely to unfold here. #2 Lost My Vowcher (2/1) had an impossible trip last out. Now, he’s drawn on the inside and looks like the commanding speed. Angel Cruz must be aggressive early on.
RACE 7 – MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- Not much grass experience in this field. #9 Souper Fortune (4/1) makes his debut on this surface for Mike Trombetta, who is 20% with horses going first out on the lawn. This one had no early speed on debut when sprinting on dirt, but closed solidly to finish fourth. As noted, closers have a shot on this surface. #8 Unorthodox (5/1) also makes his first start on grass here. He improved seventeen points second time out, up to a 74. Makes his first start since March 14, but has been working solidily in the interim. #2 Pharoah’s Fury (6/1) has early speed from the inside and is a half-sibling to two grass winners. Will be tough to catch if Angel Cruz puts him in play early on.
RACE 8: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #5 Starinthemaking (5/1) has been in good form at Parx lately, and looks like the primary early speed in here. I’m always a bit wary of Parx shippers on this track, but I’m enthusiastic about front-runners. Jamie Ness and Jaime Rodriguez have done well when teaming up as of late. #2 Belfour (8/5) has won three of his last four, and can win from on or off the pace. He’ll challenge Starinthemaking for early supremacy. #3 Invest (5/2) lost a stretch battle to Belfour last out, dueling with him the whole way before fading late. Last out, he was 2.20/1, while Belfour was 0.80/1. If you still believe in Invest, you have to take whatever price he goes off at, which will almost certainly be higher than the odds of Belfour.
RACE 9 – ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- This race is the first leg of the Stronach 5. #1 Nothing Better (2/1) almost wired the field at this level twice last fall, once at Monmouth Park, once at Aqueduct. He’s been working very well at Colts Neck Stable, and has speed from a middle post position (as part of a coupled entry, he drew post position eight). #3 Sky’s Not Falling (6/1) saw his return to the Maryland circuit get washed away to dirt. He stayed in the race, and chased a heavily favored loose leader and finished second. He’s stakes-placed on grass twice. Interested to see how he does in his return to this surface. #8 Godlovesasinner (9/2) makes his first start of the year here. He was third in the Maryland Million Turf Sprint two races back. Should rate right off the leaders.
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