Pimlico picks and ponderings May 23, 2021

by | May 23, 2021 | Breaking, Handicapping

Point of Honor

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 — $670,306 Super High 5 — $1,086 Late Pick 5 — $27,689

ANALYSIS

RACE 1: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)

  • 7-6-11-9
  • Looking at very similar weather conditions to yesterday: dry and hot. FAST and FIRM conditions will prevail. Yesterday’s card handled more than $4 million; expecting some big pools today as well, especially with the late pick 5 carryover. #7 Lovely Brown (7/2) has been racing recently on the grass at Gulfstream Park. Her last race wasn’t that great, but she got stuck behind a slow pace, and was shuffled wide. She earned brisnet figures in the early 80s earlier in the winter, which would be more than enough to win this race. Carol Cedeno has the mount here. With opening day at Delaware Park coming up, it remains to be seen if she’ll keep riding here whenever Delaware is dark. #6 Rockstar Girl (9/2) sat a great trip last out, but still drew off impressively, and took the needed step forward in her third start off the layoff. Looking for her to once again rate off the pace. #11 Rapidashqueen (15/1) takes a drop in class from the n/w1x allowance level, where she showed speed and backed up. If she sits that kind of trip here, the rest might not be good enough to catch her. Interesting at a price.
  • RACE 2: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 4 1/2 FURLONGS 
  • 5-2-3-4
  • 2-year-old races at this time of the year are often baffling. #5 Tessa P (3/1) was purchased for $75,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale in March, and goes first out for Kelly Breen. Her workouts have been solid, including a recent drill at Monmouth Park just four days ago in 48 1/5 seconds. It’s a good sign that Breen thought enough of her to send her down here, rather than wait for a spot at Monmouth. Cal Lynch has a pair in here who look very similar, the #2 Jaimie’s Warrior (7/2) and the #3 Buy the Best (4/1). Both are lightly-worked, but they’ve been sharp in the mornings recently, recently turning in bullet drills. Take your pick.

RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)

  • 15-5-8-13
  • #15 Vesper (10/1) makes her second start off the layoff here. She was drawn to the extreme outside post last out, and broke slowly. Despite those obstacles, she closed well to earn a career-best figure by 23 points. Would be a great value play if you can get her near her morning line. #5 Glossamer (3/1) showed speed and held well in her last grass start, at Delaware Park in July. She’s also going second off the layoff; was a non-factor on dirt in her season debut. #8 Downcomesthenite (9/5) is a first-time starter for Brittany Russell, which makes her dangerous by default. Interesting to see that she has a grass workout under her belt. Watching the board.

ANALYSIS

RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS

  • 6-4-5-2
  • #6 Jeanie’s Angel (7/2) makes her first start of the year, and her first start for Dale Capuano. She looks like the main early speed in this group. She hasn’t won on dirt before, but might prove tough to catch if she gets away on the lead. #4 Why Roxy Why (7/5) broke her maiden at first asking impressively last out, for Claudio Gonzalez and Angel Cruz. The second and third-place finishers in that race came back to win next out. #5 Sunday in L B C (4/1) has been improving lately, running a figure of 67 in two of her last three starts, Mario Serey is off to a good start at this meet, winning at a 24% strike rate.

RACE 5 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)

  • 7-3-2-13
  • This race begins the big late pick 5, with a carryover of more than $27,000. #7 Mr. d’Angelo (5/2), the 2019 Maryland Million Turf champion, makes his first start of the year here. He has no early speed whatsoever, and while made big rallies in his four starts last year, he never got there in time. He makes his return in a soft field, and should be able to run them down if he finds his form first off the bench. In contrast, #3 Rising Perry (8/1) has plenty of early speed. He set a strong tempo in last year’s Maryland Million Turf, and backed up badly. This will be his first start since then, and finds a field without lots of other speed. #2 King Causeway (12/1) makes his first start off the layoff for Justin Nixon, who is 20% with horses off a 90-day break. His recent grass workouts have been sharp.

RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS

  • 6-8-2-4
  • A very competitive field of eleven lines up here. #6 Forth (10/1) drops for a tag for the first time, after running three figures in the low 70s against straight maidens. Usually he’s on the pace, but he got left behind in his last start and had to close. He’ll be tough if he’s alert early. #8 Hello Amigo (5/1) made a sharp four-wide move last out to finish third, just missing to Deshackled, who came back to win his next start. #2 Elusive Edge (7/2) makes his first start since July 25, where he showed speed and stopped at Gulfstream. He’s been working well for his season debut; should show speed on the inside.

ANALYSIS

RACE 7 – ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)

  • 5-8-7-4
  • Lots of interesting horses in this tough allowance optional claiming race. #5 In a Hurry (3/1) goes out for Shug McGaughey and Forest Boyce, who teamed up to win here on Friday. She’s raced on grass twice this year, earning a career-best figure of 89 two races back, then racing wide and fading against better last out at Keeneland. Should sit a good trip in mid-pack and pack a powerful punch late. #8 War Canoe (4/1) is a hard-knocking New York-bred veteran making her local debut here. She didn’t have much speed over the speed-favoring Belmont Park grass last out, and as such wasn’t much of a factor. Goes over a more neutral track in this spot, and has lots of back class. #7 Fed Up Fired Up (8/1) makes her second start off the layoff, and was rounding into top form last summer before going on the shelf. She wasn’t much of a factor last out in the Dahila Stakes, but now drops in class and has a race under her belt. 

RACE 8- ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS

  • 4-1-5-3
  • Lots of hard-knocking sprinters in today’s featured event. #4 Nottoway (5/2) has won three of his last four races and looms as the dominant early speed. Makes his first start since March 20, when he drew off after setting a fast pace and earned a big figure of 97. #1 Always Sunshine (9/5) ran a huge race at Belmont last out, but got away with setting slow fractions. He’ll encounter more pace pressure here. He does not have to be in front early to contend, however. #5 Eastern Bay (3/1) goes second off the long layoff; he closed to finish third in the Frank Whiteley Stakes last out. Last September, he won the Polynesian Stakes and lost the DeFrancis Dash by a nose. Will take advantage if the speed horses burn each other out.

RACE 9 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS

  • 6-1-5-4
  • The pick 5 ends with a horse who will likely be a single on many, many tickets. #6 Conjecture (3/5) goes out for the Gonzalez/Cruz combo, and has earned at least an 86 in her last three starts. No one else in the field has run a figure that big in the past year. Going to be near-impossible to beat. #1 Suzie’ssteppinout (7/2) drops from the n/w2x allowance optional claiming level at Tampa Bay Downs, where she rated and closed well. Her and the speedy #5 Foggy Dreams (4/1) are the best candidates to round out the exacta behind Conjecture. 

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About The Author

John Piassek

John Piassek has written about mid-Atlantic racing for The Racing Biz, Danonymous Racing, and his current website, the Daily Gallop. He graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2018 with a degree in marketing, and is a member of the inaugural Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program class of 2017. Find John on twitter: @theyreoff.

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