Pimlico picks and ponderings July 9 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 -$0 Super High 5 — $3,138 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Mr. Walsh (8/5) goes first off the claim for Penny Pearce, a Parx-based trainer making her first start at Pimlico this meet. This one ships in from Churchill Downs, where he just missed against next-out winner All Eyes West while earning a career-best figure. He’s never run a brisnet figure worse than 79 in his two dirt races. #3 Kickstarter (10/1) earned a career-top figure of 87 last out when he finished second at Delaware Park behind a runaway winner making his first start in a year and a half. That figure Kickstarter earned is his career best by almost ten points. It remains to be seen if that figure is a fluke or not, but he’s still worth a look if he stays near his morning line. #5 Degas (7/2) got hung wide last out and lost all chance, but usually he’s very speedy and is a threat to take them gate-to-wire.
- RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- 5-3-9-2 (DIRT: 4-6-8-7)
- #5 Golden Can (3/1) dueled on the lead from the inside last out, and put away her rival and drew off for a 1 1/4-length win. There’s some speed drawn to her inside, but she’s shown the tenacity to withstand it. #3 A Girl Named Jac (4/1) won at this level three back, sitting off the pace and getting up over Golden Can. The same scenario could unfold here. #9 Cindy’s Prayer (8/1) would have a much better chance if she didn’t draw the far outside post. She won gate-to-wire two races back, then coughed up a big late lead at Monmouth Park last out when trying to pull off another front-end steal. She’s going third off the layoff here and returns to the track where she most recently won.
RACE 3: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 FURLONGS
- This race begins the rainbow pick 6, which was forced out on Sunday. As such, we begin anew today. There’s six first-time starters in here. The only one not making her debut is #2 Hannahs Red Ruby (8/1), who recovered from an awkward break to finish fourth in her career debut on the grass. Now she tries dirt for the first time, and makes her first start for Michael Sterling. Interestingly, she’s been working at Charles Town, and now ships here. I’ll take a shot with her, considering her experience. #5 Queen Cadence (3/1) makes her career debut for Claudio Gonzalez and Angel Cruz. She’s had six sharp workouts at Monmouth Park, most recently going four furlongs in 48 4/5 seconds last Saturday. #7 Hicktown (7/2) is one of two in here for Dale Capuano. He named Jorge Ruiz to ride this one. When Capuano and Ruiz team up, they hit at 34%.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- 10-5-12- 9 (DIRT: 10-5-11-12)
- #10 Matunuck (7/2) is an equal threat on dirt and grass. She broke her maiden on dirt last out, and almost went gate-to-wire in her grass debut two back, before fading in the last sixteenth. Should keep improving here. #5 Fast Lani (4/1) adds lasix for the first time here, off a determined front-running effort in her first start off a long layoff. #12 Green Eyes (4/1) broke her maiden impressively at fourth asking on the Charles Town bullring last out, stalking the pace and drawing away for a seven-length win. Jerry Robb and Xavier Perez have been hitting at 35% as of late. Will enjoy a great trip rating off the pace and can take advantage if the speedsters burn each other out.
- RACE 5: CLAIMING $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #5 Nova Boy (8/5) was claimed for $12,500 out of his last start by Claudio Gonzalez, who now drops him in for a much lower tag. It’s a bit suspicious, but he still has some of the best figures in the race, and an excellent closing kick. #3 Glengar (3/1) drops from the starter allowance level and cuts back in distance from 1 1/16 miles. He won at the $8,000 level two races back, battling on the lead and holding on by a head. He enjoyed great success sprinting last year, so there’s little doubt he can handle the distance. #6 Fifty (6/1) has won three of his last five at Parx, but is susceptible to pace pressure, which he could get from Glengar to his inside.
- RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- 5-4-8-7 (DIRT: 11-2-6-7)
- #5 Prince of Caps (2/1) ships down from Belmont Park for Michelle Nevin, making her first start of the Pimlico meet. This one’s never run worse than a 73 in five grass starts, and should relish the plunge in class from the $50,000 level at Belmont. #4 Tyler Time (10/1) finished a solid-closing fourth in his second start of the year last out. He hasn’t raced since May 13, so he might need a race off the bench. Still, he’s fairly lightly-raced, can show speed or rate, and should be a good value. #8 Strolled on By (9/2) has been a mixed bag in his four grass starts. Twice, he rolled from behind and just missed, the other two times, he was a complete non-factor. He’ll make his second start of the year here, and his backers will hope the better version of him shows up.
RACE 7 – ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- A very competitive field of nine will line up for today’s feature. #6 Stroll Smokin (3/1) lasted on a fast pace last out at this level, and held on to defeat three of the rivals he’ll see here. He had struggled since returning from a seven-week layoff, but he ran by far his best figure of the year in his third start off the layoff last out, so I’m looking for him to keep it going here. #5 Ziggy Mon (7/2) ran huge at this level at Monmouth last out. He battled with the very speedy Fix Me a Sandwich early on, then shrugged him off and drew away to win by six lengths. He went gate-to-wire twice against slightly weaker over the fall and winter, and is a threat to do it again here. #3 Youngest of Five (5/1) went off as the favorite at this level last out, and showed heart, battling in the stretch to finish third behind Stroll Smokin. It looks like Hugh McMahon has been sharpening his speed in the mornings. For a horse who has generally shown more aptitude going long, that’s an interesting move.
- RACE 8: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #4 Ink (3/1) crushed the field by eleven lengths last out, earning a big figure of 83, to break his maiden in his fourth try. Races for the Gonzalez/Cruz team here, and will be a bargain if he goes off near his morning line. #6 Contraflow (7/2) showed promise going long over the winter at Tampa Bay Downs, with two figures in the upper 80s. Races first off the claim for Kieron Magee. #2 Fole’s Notion (9/2) matched his lifetime-top last out, running a 79 when finishing a fast-closing fourth going six furlongs. He closed for second in his lone two-turn race to date.
LATEST IN HANDICAPPING
We’ve got Delaware Park picks and horses to watch for this afternoon’s racing program.
The original and best Colonial Downs tip sheet returns: Nick’s Picks is back, along with picks from the legendary Derby Bill Watson.
John Piassek shares his thoughts on today’s Pimlico card here.