Pimlico picks and ponderings May 22, 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 — $625,866 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
- Looking at FAST and FIRM conditions once again for today’s card. Temperatures will be in the 90s. After a slow start to his Maryland season, Jamie Ness has been on fire at Pimlico, with a gaudy 23% winning percentage. He’ll send out #3 Hazels Little Man (5/1), who cleared his n/w2L condition last out at Parx after stalking the pace and wearing down the loose leader. Now, he’s the one who has speed towards the inside. #4 Sam and Sy (1/1) makes his first start for the Brittany Russell barn, and adds lasix for the first time. He’s had some time off since a dull race at Aqueduct on December 31. He’s earned two figures in the 80s in his three-race career; either one of those numbers is good enough to win here. The only caveat is that long layoff. #6 Swing Your Sword (3/1) showed heart last out at Charles Town, battling on the lead to win a n/w2L claiming affair. He’ll be hung wide on the pace, but is in career-best form and will dig in.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
A lot of my top selections in these grass races are on the also-eligible list. I have to acknowledge them, but I do recognize they may not draw in. Be on the lookout for my updated selections, if need be, on the Pimlico feed after the post parade. #14 Crafty Lass (5/2) ran huge in her first start off the layoff last out, going gate-to-wire at Gulfstream Park while earning a career-best brisnet figure of 85. The draw isn’t ideal for a speed horse like her, but she’s loaded with upside and could even be fast enough to clear to the rail if used aggressively enough. #13 Lady Jean (7/2) sat a great trip and got up to win at Tampa Bay Downs in her first start in a grass sprint. She received a much more patient ride than she was accustomed to, and it paid off. #7 Aprilness (9/2) has early speed and a good draw for the trainer/jockey combo of Ness and Jamie Rodriguez. This will be her first start on grass, but if none of the also-eligibles draw in, she’ll face a face without much grass experience.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #6 Extra Medium (8/5) has won two in a row at the meet, coming from off the pace to win both. That isn’t easy to do on this track. #2 Americano (8/1) improved sharply in his second start off the layoff last out, earning an 81 while winning by 1 1/2 lengths despite traffic trouble. That may not be good enough to beat Extra Medium, but this one’s also got good closing speed and will be the value play. #1 Awesome Buzz (15/1) has speed from the inside in a largely paceless affair. Don’t know if he’s good enough to last, but if he can get away with a soft first quarter, he’ll make his presence felt late as well.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES
- #2 Glory March (9/5) stretched out around two turns for the first time last out, and ran a solid race, stalking the pace and running on well to get second, more than nine lengths clear of third. Her late pace figures weren’t that great, but she has good tactical speed and can improve fourth time out. #3 Walk It Out Nanny (7/5) drops for a career-low n/w2L tag, goes second off the layoff, and profiles as the dominant early speed. #4 Moonlight Miss (6/1) exits the same race as Glory March. She was hustled to the lead and opened up a big early advantage before tiring late. That was the first time in her career she was sent to the lead, usually she rates off the leaders. Alex Crispin keeps the mount; it’ll be interesting to see which strategy he employs.
RACE 5 – CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE (GRASS)
- #15 Ronithelimodriver (9/5) takes a big drop in class from his first grass start, where he competed in a n/w1x allowance optional claiming race at Gulfstream Park. It wasn’t a visually impressive race, but he earned a figure of 80, which would be more than good enough to win this one. This’ll also be his first start in a n/w2L claiming race, and his second start for the Brittany Russell barn. #1 Princess Adria (4/1) closed sharply to finish sixth, beaten less than three lengths, in her lone recent start on grass last June. Cal Lynch is 20% with horses going second off the layoff. Stablemate #4 Mahkato (7/2) makes her first start since January 17, and is one of the few horses in the field who has raced on grass this year. Her recent figures in the upper 60s and low 70s make her a contender. It’s interesting that she’s been working at Delaware Park, but Lynch elected to not wait for that meet to start, and rather decided to race her here. That can be interpreted in a number of ways.
- RACE 6: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #2 Lady Clau (5/2) makes her first start for the Claudio Gonzalez barn, and adds lasix for the first time. She didn’t have much of a shot in her last start, the Wide Country Stakes in February, but was impressive in breaking her maiden in the race prior. #3 Targe (4/1) sat off the pace against some tough front-runners last out, and didn’t make much of an impression and finished third. She’s run between a 76 and an 81 in her last six races, right in the range she’ll need to win this race. Has she found a field she can beat? #1 Hufflepuff (7/2) makes her first start since March 7, when she was second behind Princess Corey, who came back to finish second at this level last out. Should enjoy a good trip rating on the inside.
RACE 7 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #16 Snow Job (8/5) makes his first start since December 9, when he closed strongly to get third against better at Gulfstream. He’s steadily earned figures in the 70s in his grass races, and faces a field largely unproven on this surface. #4 Baltimore Bud (3/1) runs for the first time since January 9, and gained some grass experience last fall and winter. In two tries at 5 1/2 furlongs, he couldn’t last after setting the pace. He held on better when he went five furlongs, losing by 1 1/2 lengths while earning his best-ever figure. It’s reasonable to assume this is his best distance. #1 Chauffeur (2/1) has just one start sprinting on the grass, where he was second to a very impressive rival: Fiya. It’s very unlikely there’s anyone that good in here. This one goes first off the claim for John Salzman and has had some time off since some disappointing dirt tries over the winter.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, MD-BRED, 6 FURLONGS
- #7 Whispering Pines (7/5) has run at least an 86 in each of her last three starts. She finished second against n/w1x company at Belmont Park last out, and now plunges down the class ladder in search of an easy score. #6 Sick Pack Sara (3/1) hasn’t trailed in her last three starts, now faces her elders for the first time. This is a big class test, but she’s the primary early speed and is likely to get her trip. #5 Edie Meeny Miny Mo (4/1) stalked the pace and drew off to break her maiden at first asking last out. Will be there to take advantage if Sick Pack Sara tires.
RACE 9 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #15 Tea in China (9/5) is scheduled to make her first start of the year here. She closed to finish second in her last start, back in November, and ran figures in the mid-70s in her last two starts. No one else in the field has gotten to that level on this surface. #8 Likely Choice (7/2) drops for a career-low tag and goes second off the layoff in her grass debut. Didn’t have much of a chance with a wide trip in her last start; willing to draw a line through that race. #4 Mosler’s Touch (5/2) is also going second off the layoff. Trainer Mike Trombetta won three races yesterday, after a slow start to the meet. She’s got plenty of speed on the inside. Makes her grass debut in this race.
LATEST IN HANDICAPPING
We’ve got Delaware Park picks and horses to watch for this afternoon’s racing program.
The original and best Colonial Downs tip sheet returns: Nick’s Picks is back, along with picks from the legendary Derby Bill Watson.
John Piassek shares his thoughts on today’s Pimlico card here.