Pimlico picks and ponderings June 11, 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 — $974,564 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- A field of six begins a new racing week in Baltimore. There’s a good chance of wet conditions. #1 Blue Sky Venezuela (1/1) won’t make anyone rich, but she looks very tough to beat. She ran a huge race first off the claim last out, stalking the pace and opening up a clear lead late, only to get caught late. It was a tough beat, to be sure, but this is a much easier field than the one she faced last time. Her brisnet figures, which are usually in the mid-70s, tower over these. #6 Family Fortune (3/1) has set and matched her lifetime top figure of 73 in her last two races. She’s won three of her last six races. Last out, she came from further off the pace than usual and was bumped, but still got up for the win. #3 Parched Ghost (3/1) closed well to get third in her second start off a brief layoff last out, despite dealing with traffic trouble. Stays at six furlongs, which should suit her better.
- RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS
7-9-1-3 (GRASS: 1-6-10-8)
- There’s four grass races scheduled for today’s card. With the rain in the forecast, the analyses will be written assuming they’ll be moved to the dirt. #7 Hufflepuff (5/2) fought gamely all the way to miss by a neck at this level in her first start off a ten-week break. She set honest fractions, put away her dueling partner, and got beat by a rival who sat a great trip off the leaders. #9 Guns Blazing (3/1) finished third in the same race, after also sitting right on the pace. She’s improved sharply since cutting back to sprints. This five-furlong distance should suit her well. Goes second off the claim for Claudio Gonzalez. #1 Behind the Couch (2/1) chased a loose leader who was much the best in her last dirt start, but outfinished the others and got second. Looks to get a more honest setup here.
RACE 3: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- This race begins the rainbow pick 6, with a jackpot pool inching closer to $1 million. #3 Souper Catch (9/5) has won three races in a row, while racing on or near the pace each time. He may not get to the lead, considering the early speed of #2 King Mauro (9/2) on his direct inside. However, he’s not a need-the-lead type, and can apply pressure to his rival and pass if that one gets tired. #7 Unequivocal (6/1) stretches back around two turns after a sprinting try last out. He tends to run his best races while going long.
RACE 4: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 FURLONGS
- 5-7-3-8 (GRASS: 7-3-2-5)
- #5 Nothing Better (7/2) was the slight favorite in his first start of the season, but was a flat third. Tellingly, he was not in front early on, despite showing blazing speed in his prior running lines. That suggests that he may not have been at his peak for that race, but he should improve second off the bench. #7 Forced (5/2) also has a ton of early speed, and goes third off a year-plus break. He battled on the lead in his first start off the long break, which was his most recent dirt try, but he faded late. Stepped up second off the layoff on grass. He’ll give Nothing Better a challenge on the early lead. #3 Battlebus (7/2) goes second off the layoff, and was a solid third, beaten two lengths for second, at this level on dirt last August. He’ll take advantage if the aforementioned two burn each other out.
- RACE 5 CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #8 Outside the Box (8/1) goes second off the layoff for Alison Delgado. He earned a 71 in his last start, which was his first in two months. That figure is not far off his usual marks in the mid-70s. It was a visually dull race, as he was moved into a hot pace and backed up in the stretch. Has the right to rebound here. #1A Cooke Brothers (2/1) has flown home in his two starts this year. Last out, he surged late and lost by just a length despite a wide trip. He’s the much stronger half of the Mario Serey entry. #7 Distant Thunder (3/1) cleared his n/w2L condition last out with a gate-to-wire win, and will be tough on the lead once again.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 1 1/16 MILES
- 9-8-12-3 (GRASS: 14-1-8-3)
- #9 Shackled Love (5/2) made waves in March when he pulled off a 21/1 upset in the Private Terms Stakes. He hasn’t found that form since then, with sixth-place finishes in the Federico Tesio Stakes and the Chick Lang Stakes. Rather than opting for a spot like the Pegasus Stakes at Monmouth Park, Gary Capuano decided to roll the dice by entering him as a main-track-only here, and that gamble might pay off. He’ll try to bounce back against softer. #8 Full Dinner Jacket (9/2) broke his maiden around two turns last November, but struggled against better since then. He’ll go second off the layoff here, and his mid-70s figures make him a contender. Looking for the bounce-back performance. #12 My Boy Paddy (20/1) sat the trip and got up to break his maiden over the synthetic at Turfway Park last out, running a career-best figure of 83. He might need a race first off the layoff, but has shown good tactical speed and has never lost against winners.
RACE 7 – ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- We’ve got a field of six for today’s feature. #6 Decoupage (3/1) bounced back nicely off a poor race two back in which she bled. Last out, she sat the trip and won going away at Parx. Jamie Ness and Jaime Rodriguez are dangerous when they team up. #4 Hydra (9/5) has won three of her last five races, and has finished ahead of Decoupage in two of them. Last out, she sat the trip and drew off to defeat Gifted Heart, who had beaten her in the start prior. #1 Dance and Dance (3/1) improved in her second try at the level when she missed by half a length after saving ground. She’ll get a similar trip here; can she cash in this time?
- RACE 8: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 FURLONGS
- 16-8-10-3 (GRASS: 10-9-15-16)
- #16 Hard to Be Humble (7/5) was well-bet last out, in his first start in more than a year, but stumbled at the start and lost all chance. Broke his maiden impressively on the Aqueduct grass in his other career start. With a clean break here, should be tough. Adds Lasix for Ness. #8 Street Prayer (6/1) won his debut in February 2019, but hasn’t found the winner’s circle in seven starts since then. Still, he’s one of the more lightly-raced horses in the field, and he’s going second off the layoff after a wide trip doomed him last out. #10 Pay the Kid (7/2) has been knocking on the door against n/w2L types. In his most recent dirt start, he recovered from an awkward break to make a premature move and end up second.
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