PIMLICO PICKS AND ANALYSIS: MAY 30

Rombauer
Rombauer won the 146th Preakness Stakes. Photo by Cynthia Longo.

Pimlico has an eight-race card on tap for this rainy Sunday. Post time is 12:40 p.m., and the races are off the turf.

Carryovers: Jackpot Pick 6, $783,267

RACE 1 — Off the turf

8-2-6-1

High-end connections will probably sell #8 Tradition (7-5) in this spot and are hoping to get a win on the way out. He was a decent second on debut at Tampa in a race that’s produced a next-out winner… Recent form isn’t promising, but #2 Castillete (5-1) has done his best work on dirt on the slop and shed blinks which clearly haven’t helped today… #6 Gold Fellow (10-1) is a main-track only entrant at a generous price for leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez, all of which is enough on its own to make him playable; also kinda think the last-out Beyer fig is too low, given form several carried into and out of that heat (and if he runs well, give extra points to El Equalizer in R3)…

RACE 2

6-1-5-3

#6 Make It a Double (8-5) was a troubled second last time at this $16k N2L level, makes third start off a freshening while dropping down… Trainer Dale Capuano is 4-for-22 claiming horses and moving ’em up the ladder, as he’s doing with #1 Scarlet Tanager (8-1)… #5 Spirit or Spite (7-2) lands in good spot after breaking her maiden for $25,000 at PEN…

RACE 3 — Off the turf

12-15-5-8

After two credible tries sprinting, #12 Cosa Mas Linda (12-1) gets two turns today. A son of Mineshaft out of an Unbridled mare, he’s bred to love a route of ground and could be poised to graduate at a price… #15 Fermat (9-5) ran well against better in his only dirt try to date, takes an aggressive drop here… #5 El Equalizer (10-1) won at this level for fun two back but was DQed after wiping out half the field leaving the gate. The fourth-place finisher from that race came back to win next out, while this one faced better on the turf. He can make amends here…

RACE 4

2-1-3-6

A fidgety ride put #2 Matoula (9-2) behind the eight ball from the jump on debut, but she ran on willingly enough all the same. She gets blinkers on today, switches to veteran jock Carol Cedeno, and finds an easier group after scratching out of a Friday contest here… #1 Golden Lassie (9-5) takes a double-drop in her second try in the Gonzalez barn… Gonzalez also sends out #3 Despeight All Odds (5-2), who finished just ahead of our top choice two back and was an even fifth last out…

RACE 5 — Off the turf

2-3-4-5

The Hugh McMahon-trained #2 Charm City Band (6-1) was an even fourth against similar last out, can move forward in second start of ’21… Might have been been a better effort than it appears last out for #3 Contraflow (10-1). Yes, he was the 2-5 favorite and lost, but note that he probably took the worst of the trip, sparring for the lead throughout with two different horses, never getting a break. A better trip would aid the cause today… #4 Josef Is Real (7-2) has certainly caught some rugged rivals in his allowance tries prior to this and still run pretty credible races. The class relief should aid the cause…

RACE 6

4-2-1-5

What the heck — let’s go bombs-away with #4 Pepe and Heywood (15-1). The Charlie Frock trainee made a middle move to loom a threat last out before giving way and was not asked for his best through the final furlong. He gets bug boy Hiraldo in the irons and can move forward in his third off the bench… #2 Golden G (7-5) switches into the Gonzalez barn and takes a double drop down to the bottom here after showing little versus better. Go-to rider Cruz takes the call… #1 Papa Lew (5-2) packed it in late last time, but that effort was better than it looked. He broke last, rushed up inside to go clear, and stayed on to the late stages. A clean break puts him right there today…

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RACE 7 – Off the turf

1-9-3-10

We wish he weren’t coming off a layoff, but at least the price on #1 Closer Look (8-1) should be right. He caught legit runners in his two two-other-than tries and didn’t disgrace himself. Breaking from the rail, he ought to be able to find the lead early or make another rival work for it and secure a good stalking spot… Gotta love a horse like #9 Lapochka (7-2), who just runs good races on every surface. He’ll make his first start of ’21 here… Talk about adding insult to injury. Joe Besecker sold #3 Laddie Liam (15-1) at auction in ’19, getting $450,000 (which was way overpriced) for a horse who’d just won the Maryland Juvenile Futurity. The Golden Lad gelding missed the entire ’20 season with injury, finally returned in February this year in a $32,000 claimer — and Besecker claimed him back. Ouch! His return that day was good enough to contend with these, though his most recent try was not. Give him one more crack…

RACE 8

3-2-5-1

Will time away help #3 Two Doors Down (6-1)? Let’s hope so, since he was eased in his last. He should be controlling this one up front early… #2 Tiny Tin (3-1) was in another county early in his last, he was so far back; solid rally moved him into fifth, and he makes his second start off the break here… #5 Shaka Style (5-2) was compromised by a wide journey last out when fading to eighth versus similar…

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