Pimlico picks and ponderings July 17, 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 — $13,742 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #6 Delightfullywicked (7/2) crushed the field at second asking last out, taking a maiden claiming race at Churchill Downs gate-to-wire. The draw’s not ideal, but he has lots of early speed and has plenty of room to improve. #3 Paint Music for Me (6/5) ships down from New York for Michelle Nevin, who won with her other invader last Saturday. This one’s earned brisnet figures in the upper 70s on a consistent basis lately. If he does it again, he’ll be very tough to beat. Of course, he could get caught behind Delightfullywicked setting a slow pace. #1 Clever and Great (3/1) tries winners for the first time for Claudio Gonzalez, after breaking his maiden with a good trip last out. Should rate right off the leaders on the inside.
RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
1-5-12-8 (DIRT: 9-7-4-6)
Parx’s top jockey, Ruben Silvera, is named on four horses today. The first one is in this race. #1 Order for Porky (5/2) just missed in his first two tries off a brief layoff, surging and just missing at this level. Looks to sit the trip on the inside and finally break through. #5 Toe Curlin Kiss (5/1) was a lot more forwardly placed that usual last out, and it paid off, as he drew off to beat a similar field handily. Angel Cruz keeps the mount; hopefully he learned a lesson from last time. #12 Delaware Destroyer (6/1) makes his first start since early April, when he was a solid-closing third at Tampa Bay Downs. He might need a race first off the break, but he was in good form over the winter and has some of the best late pace figures in the race.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 5 FURLONGS
- #2 Stevethevandriver (3/1) has set the pace and faded in both of his starts so far, but he held on better in his last race. He finished second after setting honest fractions and leading late, in contrast to his debut, where he backed up badly. Silvera, who is Jamie Ness’s first-call rider at Parx, gets the mount here. #3 I’m Not Slow (5/2) has been working sharply at Monmouth Park for Claudio Gonzalez, who hits at 30% with his firsters. Watching the board on this one. #6 Local Motive (9/2) has a recent bullet workout at Timonium, to wrap up a sharp tab. Trainer John Salzman Jr sent out a winner at this level yesterday, who jogged in the stretch.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- 3-4-10-6 (DIRT: 2-6-10-7)
- #3 Ordinary Girl (7/2) showed speed in her grass debut and almost hung in there until the end, earning a 75 in the process. She set extremely fast fractions in that race, but if she can turn it down just a bit, she’ll be a serious threat to wire them. #4 Broadway Melody (6/1) goes second off the layoff, and raced well last out despite being hampered by some traffic trouble. Charlie Marquez gets the mount for the first time. #10 Nicolar (6/1) made her grass debut a successful one, closing with a six-wide sweep to get third, beaten 2 1/4 lengths. Her figure of 76 is the best last-out mark in the race.
- RACE 5 – ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- Both halves of the Ness entry look extremely strong in here. I’ll give the edge to #1A Thundershook (8/5), off two consecutive wins at Delaware Park and Parx with figures of 96 and 99. He has good tactical speed and shown lots of heart in his last two races. His entrymate, #1 Halite (8/5) is coming into this race in near-career-best form, having won two of his last three with figures in the low-90s. #5 McElmore Avenue (9/5) put in a game effort last out, but just missed, finishing second by a head. That’s his third runner-up finish in his last four starts, although he hasn’t run a figure lower than 91 in the stretch. With Carol Cedeno up at Saratoga, Alex Crispin gets the mount.
- RACE 6- MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
- 2-3-7-6 (DIRT: 6-2-10-3)
- #2 Unshakable U (4/1) makes her first start for the Pat Biancone barn, after a string of sharp efforts against similar down in Florida. She showed speed and faded in two starts in the winter, then got hung wide on the turns last out and couldn’t get to the front. She’s been freshened up and has a favorable draw. #3 Factor It In (5/1) made her first start of the year last out, and was a steady third at this level at Delaware. Should improve second off the bench. #7 Midnight Choir (4/1) adds blinkers and lasix for her first start of the year. Trainer Jonathan Thomas is 26+ with horses first off a 90+ day layoff.
RACE 7 – STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #2 Air on Fire (7/2) ran a big race first off the layoff, battling in the stretch and missing by just a head despite a wide trip. The horse he lost to, #1 Revolutionary Road (3/1) has won three of his last four, including two victories at this level, and looks to control the pace from the inside. #6 Wonder In (5/2) put in a game effort to win last out against better. He now goes second off the layoff, and will press the pace from his outside draw.
- RACE 8: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Everett’s Song (4/5) was well-backed on debut at Delaware, and ran like he deserved it, grinding up the inside to get second, beaten just half a length. If he runs back to his debut figure of 86, he’ll be near-impossible to beat. #4 Pederson’s Courage (5/2) ran on well to get second at second asking last out, and may well have won if he had changed leads. Looks to improve third out for trainer Brittany Russell. #5 American d’Oro (6/1) improved ninety points second out, to a 74, despite a wide trip in his most recent outing. He now adds blinkers and stays at a sprint.
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