Pimlico picks and ponderings June 13, 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 — $1,007,434 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- This is technically a jump in class for #2 Company Clown (4/5), who has won two in a row against conditioned claimers. However, this is not a strong field for this level at all, and his brisnet figures are far superior to those of his rivals. It’s interesting that he’s the only horse Victor Carrasco has ridden for Claudio Gonzalez in recent times. He keeps the mount here. #1 Fast Master (5/2) beat a similar field going seven furlongs two races back, but was flat when stretching back out last out. He’s had some time off since that last race, and now goes first time for the Carlos Mancilla barn. #4 Americano (6/1) pulled a 16/1 surprise when winning against slightly weaker two back, and looks to find that form again here.
RACE 2: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
8-9-6-4 (DIRT: 8-5-14-16)
#8 Out of Sorts (5/2) made her grass debut last out after showing some promise on dirt. It was a huge effort, as she closed from far behind to finish second by a nose. This is her second race off the layoff. If she duplicates her last race, the rest of these will have a rough time. #9 Speed Lane (9/2) broke through to win a maiden special weight race in her eighth career start two races back at Keeneland, getting up despite some traffic trouble. In the Hilltop Stakes last out, she fell way too far behind to contend, but closed to finish eighth, beaten seven lengths, after sitting more than 20 lengths out of it at one point. #6 Serenade a Kitten (5/1) couldn’t hang on the pace last out in the Hilltop, but has won four of seven lifetime while sitting on or near the lead each time.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #3 Jeanie’s Angel (5/2) went gate-to-wire in her first start of the season last out, crushing a n/w2L field with little trouble. If she can get the lead, she won’t have much trouble handling this class increase. #7 Eight Oaks (7/2) also cleared her n/w2L condition two races back, then stepped up against better foes last out and was flat despite saving ground. She’ll sit in midpack on the outside and hope the drop in class pays off. #1 Shak’s Hidden Gem (6/1) has early speed form the rail, but has had numerous tries at this level, and hasn’t broken through. Last out, she got the trip on the lead, but still got caught late. It wouldn’t surprise me if she went gate-to-wire, but I don’t know if I’d bet on it, either.
RACE 4: SEARCHING STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/2 MILES (GRASS)
- 5-4-3-1 (DIRT: 5-6-8-2)
- A field of long-distance fillies and mares will square off in the first of five stakes on today’s card. There’s not much speed in here, so whoever gets to the early lead is a serious threat to take them gate-to-wire. #5 Blame Debbie (3/1) went all the way in the Rood and Riddle Dowager Stakes at Keeneland last fall, at this 1 1/2-mile distance. That was one of three races in a row she won in Kentucky last fall. This is her first start of the year, and usually I’m wary of horses coming off long layoffs. However, the pace scenario looks so favorable, it shouldn’t matter that much. #4 Crystalle (9/2) has raced twice this year, giving her the recency edge over many of her rivals. She closed well to get third in a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race at Belmont Park last out. #3 Beautiful Lover (2/1) ships down from Belmont Park for Christophe Clement and Joe Bravo. In her first start for the barn, at Tampa Bay Downs in March, she finished fifth after closing off a slow pace. If Blame Debbie gets the trip she wants, it could spell trouble, but this one is still a good exotics candidate.
RACE 5 – ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
- The million-dollar rainbow pick 6 starts here. #3 Liv and Let Liv (2/1) earned a career-top figure of 93 last out when she stalked the pace and drew off to beat a similar field. In fact, she’s already won twice at this level. With lots of speed signed on here, she should sit another idyllic trip. #4 Lambeau Lady (5/2) broke her maiden impressively last December for Brittany Russell, winning in gate-to-wire style as the odds-on favorite. In her next start, her first try against winners, she was once again the heavy favorite, but could not deliver on her promise and finished third. She’s had plenty of time off since a last-place finish on grass at Gulfstream Park, and I’m interested to see how she does here. #8 Sick Pack Sara (8/1) hasn’t trailed in her last three starts. The outside draw isn’t ideal, but she has the best early pace figures in the field. If she can clear, she’ll be tough.
RACE 6: BEN’S CAT STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- 11-5-4-13 (DIRT: 1-8-10-4)
- Just like in the Searching Stakes, there are not many horses in this race with recent grass experience. #11 Introduced (9/2) does, having finished third in the License Fee Stakes at Belmont Park in April. She earned a figure of 89 in that race, which would easily win this one. She was a two-time winner in some tough grass sprints last year, consistently running figures in the low 90s. #5 So Street (4/1) makes his third start on the Pimlico grass this year. He improved sharply in the Jim McKay last out, earning an 88 while finishing fifth against a better field. Jamie Ness and Jaime Rodriguez have been a very tough combo as of late. #4 Matta (9/2) ran some big races last summer, including back-to-back figures of 89. Makes his first start of the year here with an improving worktab.
RACE 7 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
- #8 Harbor Crossing (9/2) is a very interesting case. He ran huge in his debut, dueling through fast fractions, then putting aside his pacesetting companion and drawing away to an impressive win. However, he was disqualified due to a bute overage, which keeps him eligible for this spot. He’ll make his first start for the Hugh McMahon barn, and his candidacy comes down to if you believe that last race. If you do, you’ll get a great price. #4 Jackie A (9/2) looked like he was in deep on paper last out, but surged to a 31/1 runner-up finish in his first try at this level. This is his third career start; he has a big chance if he keeps moving forward. #2 Forth (8/1) has early speed from the inside and earned a career-best figure of 80 in his first start at the level last out.
- RACE 8: PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/8 MILES (GRASS)
- 1-2-8-5 (DIRT: 3-10-12-8)
- #1 Pixelate (3/1) was the slight favorite last out against a similar field in the Henry Clark Stakes. He got his trip just off the pace, and led briefly before getting caught late. Earned a lifetime-top figure of 97 there. #2 Eons (4/1) came from well off the pace in the same race and finished fourth. He had to come from well off the pace in that spot, falling twelve lengths out of it after a quarter-mile. Usually, he’s a lot more forwardly placed. #8 Logical Myth (8/1) was a two-time stakes winner at Fair Grounds over the winter, and got stuck behind a very slow second quarter at Churchill Downs last out, compromising his closing style.
RACE 9 – SHINE AGAIN STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Chub Wagon (8/5) made her presence known to a national audience on Preakness day, as she crushed the field in the Runhappy Skipat Stakes to improve to a perfect 6-for-6 lifetime. She scratched out of a try against graded stakes company in the Bed O’Roses Stakes at Belmont to run here. The only one who could possibly beat her is #2 Hello Beautiful (2/1), who was the toast of Maryland racing before finishing up the track in the Runhappy Barbara Fritchie Stakes in February. Something must have gone amiss in that race, as she vanished from the worktab until early May, and makes her first start since then here. She’s obviously a very talented filly, but she’s never won over this track, and that last race spooks me a bit. If Chub Wagon gets blasted off the board, and Hello Beautiful goes off at 4/1 or so, then she’s be worth a closer look. #5 Dontletsweetfoolya (10/1) won two stakes late last year at Laurel Park, and looks for improvement after a disappointing run in the Runhappy Skipat, where she was fourth after setting an ambitious pace. Might be tough if Chub Wagon chooses to rate again.
RACE 10 – STORMY BLUES STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLLIES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- 9-11-13-12 (DIRT: 6-10-7-3)
- #9 Amanzi Yimpilo (6/1) won the Speakeasy Stakes at Santa Anita Park last September in a big effort, then went to the sidelines. She was up the track after showing speed last out in her 3-year-old bow, but should improve here. Recently had a big workout over the grass at Churchill Downs. #11 Honey Pants (6/1) ships down for Clement and cuts back in distance. By far her two best figures have come in sprints. #13 Wink (5/1) goes out for the Wesley Ward barn, along with Amanzi Yimpilo. She’s a two-time stakes winner, including a victory in the Melody of Colors Stakes over the winter at Gulfstream. She’ll seek to clear from the far outside post.
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