Pimlico picks and ponderings June 25, 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 -$1,253,833 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS
- An 8-race card begins the last racing week of June. There was rain earlier in the week, but there was plenty of sun Wednesday and Thursday, and we’re looking at dry conditions again today. No grass racing, however, due to course maintenance. #13 Silent Fluidity (12/1) has won three of her last four on dirt, with brisnet figures in the upper 70s/low 80s every time. The only concern is the distance. She’s a closer who has been rallying strongly in six-furlong races, so we’ll see how she does going five panels. #12 Joyful Noise (8/1) ran a season’s best figure of 80 last out, when she recovered from a bad break and rallied strongly late to miss by just half a length. Steps back up from the $8,000 level here, but she’s held her own against open claimers of all types. #15 Cultural Mandate (9/2) is the biggest speed threat in the field, as she also has blazing speed while drawn on the outside. She went gate-to-wire at Tampa Bay Downs in her lone start this year. Her recent workouts at Delaware Park have been sharp.
- RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #3 Walk Away Joe (9/5) was the 3/2 favorite at this level in his last start. He needed every bit of his class to win, as he battled in the stretch after sitting the trip to win by a nose. Since dropping to this level three races back, he hasn’t run a bad race. In that last race, he turned the tables on #6 Titan’s Will (5/2), who beat him in the two starts prior. Last out, Titan’s Will set a very fast pace, including a strong second quarter, then backed up and finished thirteen lengths out of it. He’ll look to calm things down on the lead here. #4 Welling (9/2) is also looking for a rebound off a bad race. Against Maryland-bred allowance company last out, he broke slowly, was rushed up, and stopped badly. Generally, he rates in mid-pack and makes a strong bid to the lead. He won against weaker three back with a big figure of 91, and just missed against allowance foes at Charles Town two back. J.D. Acosta, who rode him last time, does not keep the mount. Jevian Toledo gets aboard instead.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS
- The rainbow pick 6 begins here. #8 Bourbon Wildcat (5/2) is the dominant early speed in the race, having almost gone gate-to-wire twice last fall at Laurel Park. May prove tough to catch on the front end. #10 Likely Choice (9/5) made her grass debut against slightly better last out. She overtook the favored leader late before getting chased down by another rival who stalked the pace. Even so, she held on for third and earned a sharp figure of 71. Catches a field in which most of the horses in the main body don’t have grass experience. That gives her the upper hand. Gets back to dirt here and looks to keep the momentum going. #14 Matunuck (4/1) will also show speed if she draws in. She set the pace in her grass debut last out and faltered, and will look to take a step forward in her third career start. On debut, she ran a 75 in a solid second-place finish. She was claimed out of that race by Claudio Gonzalez.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #6 Long Point Beach (9/5) was claimed for $16,000 two races back, and was stretched out on grass for her most recent start. That didn’t work so well, and now she’s back to what she’s best at. She steadily earned figures in the mid/high-70s over the winter, right in the range that she needs to run to win this one. #3 Jeanie’s Angel (4/1) went gate-to-wire to win a n/w2L claiming race two starts back, then almost wired a similar field last out as the favorite. Looms as the dominant speed here. #2 Ms Headley (2/1) lost by a half-length against better last out with a big five-wide rally. Stretches out from five furlongs here, which should be all the better for her.
- RACE 5: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #8 Tusk (10/1) won at this level last out, in another race taken off the grass. He had a bunch of trouble in that race, self-inflicted and otherwise, but he held on after opening a clear lead and wilting. Interestingly, he has not hit the board in four races on fast dirt, but has hit the board in four of six on an off dirt track. He’ll catch a fast track today. #5 Hard Fought (8/1) and #2 Lapochka (5/1) both exit the same race as Tusk, where they were third and fifth, respectively. Hard Fought has the most early speed in the field and will try to sneak away on the lead. Lapochka earned a strong figure of 89 last March on the dirt at Gulfstream Park, and looks to improve second off the long layoff. He got wagering action in similar circumstances last out, but was wide and faded.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #9 McElmore Avenue (3/1) jumps back up to this level after a second-place finish against starter optional claiming horses at Delaware Park last out. He won three in a row at Laurel Park over the winter, and although he hasn’t found the winner’s circle since January 3, his average figures has actually improved since then. He hasn’t run worse than a 93 in his last three races. #4 Hanalei’s Houdini (5/2) makes his ninth start of the year here. Last out, he sat a great trip off a duel and drew off to win against n/w3x horses. Now, he’s dropping in class off the win. Trainer Kieron Magee is 3-for-7 in recent times with that angle. #2 El Samuro (8/1) won two in a row last fall at Gulfstream, rapidly moving through his conditions. He makes his fist start for trainer Jose Camejo, who is 18% with horses first off a long layoff. Parx-based Mychel Sanchez is coming here just for this mount.
RACE 7 – ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #8 Dig Charlie Dig (5/2) has been knocking on the door at this level both here and at Parx, finishing second or third in five of his last six races. He’s never run worse than an 85 in that stretch, and handled the stretchout to two turns just fine in his last race. Jamie Ness and Jaime Rodriguez always a dangerous trainer/jockey combination. #3 Dream Big Dreams (3/1) raced wide the whole way against Maryland-breds last out, but hung in there till the end and just missed. This Brittany Russell trainee has always looked like he has a lot of promise, but he has just one win from five starts so far. Looks to put it all together here. #10 Quality Choice (12/1) takes a bit of a class hike from open claimers, but steadily earns figures in the low 80s and has a decent closing punch. He’ll try to sneak into the exotics at a price.
- RACE 8: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #2 My Secret Place (3/5) plunges in class off a third–place finish against much better n/w2L types at Belmont Park. He lost a photo for second after a wide trip. He earned a 69 in there, which would be good enough to win this race, but he ran in the 70s and 80s pretty consistently over the winter. Brittany Russell has an excellent chance to sweep the late double; she’s got this one and Dream Big Dreams once race prior. #6 Artillery (6/1) has shown great closing speed, but hasn’t been as sharp at Pimlico as he was at Laurel. Takes a career-low drop in class here; perhaps that will help him improve. #4 Glorious Weekend (3/1) has a steady string of figures in the 60s and 70s, but also a 1-for-32 lifetime record.
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