Pimlico picks and ponderings May 29, 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 — $747,099 Super High 5 — $9,246 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
- A stark contrast from last Saturday, weather-wise. While it was very hot last week, today is supposed to be cool and wet. Bring the umbrellas. #1 Irishman (2/1) made his dirt debut last out, and was knocked out at the start when he got squeezed and lost lots of ground. In spite of that, he closed well to finish second, off a slow pace. He’ll make his fourth career start here, and has improved his figure in every race. Has a chance to run a big one here. #2 Uncommon Valor (4/1) stalked a very loose leader last out at Parx, who turned down the pace and set a very slow second quarter. With that setup, Uncommon Valor had nothing late. There’s not a ton of speed in here. For all we know, Alex Crispin could put him on the lead and turn down the pace. He may get a challenge on the lead in the form of the #5 Sebastian (5/2), who battled on the lead last out and lost by a head. He’s also improved his figure every time out, peaking at a 76 in that last race. That race was over an off track, which he’ll encounter here.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#6 Solea (4/1) sat the trip right off a duel last out, albeit while racing wide. She finished second to a rival who saved more ground while getting the same trip. Dale Capuano claimed him out of that race; he’s 20% first off the claim. #5 Promenade Princess (9/5) has made two starts since returning off a two-month break, and was a strong-closing second in both of them. She raced well on an off-track two back, and closed in spit of going just five furlongs last out. The stretch-out should help. #1 Sublimity (5/2) almost pulled off the 32/1 upset last out, losing by less than a length to Shackaboom. That one came back to win her fourth race of the year next out. Sublimity earned a career-best figure of 76 in that effort.
RACE 3: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS
- There’s four grass races scheduled on today’s card, and this is the first one. Given the weather forecast, I’m handicapping all of them assuming they will be moved to the dirt. #5 Miss Majorette (10/1) races for the first time this year. In her debut last December, she made a six-wide bid to finish second in a $40,000 maiden claiming race. Although this is technically a step up in class, it’s not much more difficult than what she saw on debut. Only thing to worry about is the rust. #3 Blushable (5/1) debuted in a field loaded with first-time starters and made a strong move before falling flat. She earned a very respectable figure of 75 in that race; has every right to improve second time out. #1 Imwaytoocoolforyou (5/1) makes her second career start, and her first one since September 19 at Gulfstream Park. Based on her performance on debut, she should show early speed from the inside. Has two recent bullet workouts, so that speed should be razor-sharp.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- The post draw isn’t ideal for the speedy #8 Warm Sunny Breeze (9/5), but he has far and away the best early pace figures in the race. Furthermore, he cleared from post six three races back to win gate-to-wire. #2 Commanding General (3/1) battled gamely in his last start, but got outfinished by a 2/5 favorite who sat a great trip. J.D. Acosta, who has had a very strong Pimlico meet so far, keeps the mount. He’ll take advantage if Warm Sunny Breeze stops on the lead. #7 Cooke Brothers (8/1) doesn’t have much early speed, but he’s going second off the layoff and has finished second in three of his last four races against similar.
RACE 5 – CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 FURLONGS
- #11 No More Talk (8/1) is the only horse in the field who has run at least an 80 in each of his last five dirt starts. He drops in class from the $16,000 starter optional claiming level last out, when he was second behind a heavy favorite. I don’t think you’ll get his morning line here; he’s likely to be one of the favorites. #5 Pascal Chant (9/2) won his last race in almost identical circumstances to what he’ll see here. It was a sloppy track and an off-the-grass five-furlong race. He sat the trip and won going away, earning a lifetime-top figure in the process. #3 Honor Run (6/1) is one of two in here entered specifically for main-track-only. In his last dirt start, he got burned up in a fast pace against better, and stopped badly. He’ll look to not get mixed up early here.
- RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #6 Looks Don’t Lie (9/2) crossed the wire first against a very soft field two back, but was disqualified for drifting into the path of a rival. Her best two figures have come over off tracks. #9 Competent (5/2) ships from Gulfstream Park and makes her first start for Mary Eppler. This is her third start overall; her best race to date was her debut on dirt, where she recovered from an awkward start to finish third. #5 Americas Woman (5/1) drops to this level for the first time, and improved her figure by 22 points when making her first start of the year last out.
RACE 7 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/8 MILES
- #2 Wicked Prankster (8/1) almost wired them in his last dirt start, and while he battled on, he flattened out in the last sixteenth. Faces a much softer field and has every chance to go gate-to-wire. #4 Ghost Stalker (6/1) faces his elders for the first time, after many tries against 3-year-old claimers. He just missed in each of his last two, stalking the pace and grinding down the stretch each time. #10 Toe Curlin Kiss (5/1) is a stone-cold closer making his second start of the year. He finished third on the grass in his first start of the year, closing from well out of it to miss by just 3 1/2 lengths. Should churn on for a piece.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 1 1/16 MILES
- #7 Doubleoseven (5/2) was last seen in the Gold Fever Stakes at Belmont Park, finishing a non-threatening third. He’s stretching out beyond seven furlongs for the first time here. He has good tactical speed, makes his second start off a brief break, and takes a big drop in class. #8 Welling (9/2) earned a big figure of 91 over this track two races back, then rallied boldly and just missed at Charles Town last out. He has some of the best late pace figures in the field. #1 Toy (3/1) always looks like he’s on the cusp of a breakout performance, but hasn’t managed to put it all together in recent times. He steadily earns strong figures at this level and stretches out to 1 1/16 miles, the distance at which he earned his career-best figure of 94.
RACE 9 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 FURLONGS
- #8 Aktham (9/2) has abundant early speed, and should fit in well at this distance. He’s never been in for a tag before, but has faced fields of this quality at Charles Town and Penn National. Although he was eased up in his last start, he’s worked well since then. #7 Maine (5/2) also has plenty of early foot and a steady string of figures in the 70s, but the 0-for-14 record is a bit unsightly. #5 Gleaming Sword (7/2) is a first-time starter for Dale Capuano, who is 28% with that angle. He’s better with his dirt debuters, to boot.
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