Pimlico picks and ponderings July 16, 2021

by | Jul 16, 2021 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland, MD Racing

Pimlico

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 -$10,307 Super High 5 — $1,088 Late Pick 5 — $0

ANALYSIS

RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)

  • 10-4-8-14
  • Today is the first time Pimlico and Saratoga raced on the same day since August 24, 2001. #10 Square Penny (7/5) was more visually impressive in her second grass start. She chased Matunuck, who went on to win her next start at this level. While Square Penny got by that rival, she couldn’t hold off some of the closers, but still ended up third. Now she drops from the $25,000 level. Will need to draw in off the also-eligible list. #4 Peachy Between Us (5/2) may be the favorite if Square Penny does not draw in. She goes second off the long layoff. In her lone grass start, last spring at Laurel Park, she showed speed going long and faded. Adds blinkers here. #8 Heat Index (2/1) is a strong-working firster for Jamie Ness and Jaime Rodriguez, who teamed up for a victorious first-timer on Sunday. 
  • RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 FURLONGS
  • 3-1-6-4
  • #3 Still Doing Time (7/5) improved her brisnet figure to a 61 last out, in what was a not-as-visually impressive race, in my opinion. On debut, she almost wired them. Should keep moving forward third time out for Anthony Farrior and Xavier Perez. You don’t see many Cal-breds debut in Maryland, but the #1 Hit a Homer Honey (5/2) fits the bill. Ness and Rodriguez are back for another spin here. That debuter on Sunday I talked about earlier was a 2-year-old; this one fits a similar bill. #6 Tanka Tough (5/2) got bet on debut against similar and ended up a solid second. 

RACE 3: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)

  • 8-6-2-4
  • A nice grass field begins the rainbow pick 6. #8 Battlebus (9/2) raced well in his first start of the year last out. In fact, he probably would’ve won if he didn’t have to change course in the middle of a powerful rally. As it were, he finished second, beaten half a length to Trombetta trainee Sky’s Not Falling, who came back to finish a respectable fourth in the Woodstock Stakes at Woodbine. Battlebus has run in the low/mid-80s in his last three grass starts, right in the range he needs to win. #6 Godlovesasinner (5/1) drops from n/w1x allowance company, where he’s earned figures that are decent relative to these, but which were not competitive at that level. Should pack a strong punch late. #2 Hard Fought (8/1) gets a cutback in distance from 1 1/6 miles, and has early speed from a good post. I imagine he’ll at least hang around for a piece. 

ANALYSIS

RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS

  • 1-2-4-7
  • The late pick 5, with carryover potential, starts here. #1 Rock and Fellers (5/2) gets back to sprinting after a few route tries. He also drops from the starter allowance level. His figures had been gradually improving around one turn earlier in the year, but he took some steps back when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles twice. #2 Talented Dr. B (2/1) has shown speed and gotten outkicked in his last three starts. He’s always hung around for second, so if you’re looking for a horse to key underneath in exactas, he’s a decent bet. #4 Mystic Times (5/1) has finished right behind Talented Dr. B in his last few, and always runs competitive figures in the mid-70s. Could round out the trifecta at a decent number. 
  • RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
  • 3-2-11-5
  • #3 Expect Temptation (5/2) has improved in each of her four grass starts, peaking at a 76 last out. She ships down from Belmont Park for Tom Albertrani, and is not in for the tag, due to her being a Maryland-bred. It looks like Albertrani is taking advantage of that and shipping her down in search of an easy win. He’s got a good chance to get it with her. #2 Map the Moment (3/1) closed furiously off a slow pace on debut at Delaware Park to get third, beaten just a length. She had a gate work before that start and still broke slowly. Jonathan Thomas did not give her one before this race. #11 Fire in the Hole (9/5) had a similar experience in her grass debut, rallying strongly and missing by a length. The horse she lost to, Fool Yourself, came back to win a starter optional claiming race on dirt by 2 1/4 lengths next out. 
  • RACE 6: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
  • 8-6-1-2
  • #8 Shackaboom (5/2) won two in a row earlier in the meet, then ran a gutsy race last out before fading. Richard Sillaman claimed her out of that last race, and puts Sheldon Russell up. The draw isn’t ideal, but she has lots of early speed, and you have to figure Sheldon will be aggressive. #6 Sublimity (5/1) was also claimed out of her last race, a gate-to-wire win, by Anthony Farrior. She also gets a jockey change, to Angel Cruz, and might give Shackaboom a hard time on the front end. #1 Mavilus (7/2) drew away last out to win with a cushy front-end trip. She tended to rate off the pace in her prior starts, and that’s likely the strategy Charlie Marquez will employ here. 

ANALYSIS

RACE 7 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE (GRASS)

  • 3-6-2-1
  • #3 Beckon (3/1) drops back down to this level after a n/w1x try that, in retrospect, is a huge effort. She set the pace throughout and held on for third. The horses she finished behind, Out of Sorts and Adelaide Miss, both came back to beat better next time. Out of Sorts, notably, won the Christiana Stakes at Delaware. #6 Prinecess Doir (4/1) makes her second local start for the Dale Capuano barn. She finished second on dirt last out after prompting the pace and tiring. She was third in her lone grass start to date, at Sam Houston Race Park in January. #2 Dancing Til Dusk (5/1) broke her maiden impressively two races back, and was a solid third against a similar field at Penn National last out. She’s reunited with Charlie Marquez. 
  • RACE 8: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
  • 2-3-1-5
  • #2 Fading Stars (7/2) makes his fifth career start here. He stretched out for the first time last out, and while he declined a bit to a 61, he made up ground in the stretch when it looked like he’d be up the track. Gets a slight cutback to 1 1/16 miles. #3 El Equalizer (9/5) exits the same race, and set the pace before tiring. The reduction in distance should help the cause. #1 Transfer the Funds (8/1) looks for a rebound after some declining figures. He ran as high as a 67 earlier this year, and finished second at this level and distance three races back. 

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    About The Author

    John Piassek

    John Piassek has written about mid-Atlantic racing for The Racing Biz, Danonymous Racing, and his current website, the Daily Gallop. He graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2018 with a degree in marketing, and is a member of the inaugural Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program class of 2017. Find John on twitter: @theyreoff.

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