Pimlico picks and ponderings July 30, 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 -$1,460 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $15,458
RACE 1: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- A bet on #4 The Walk (3/1) is a bet that he’ll be able to return to top form or something close to it in his first start off the layoff, because if he does that, he’ll be very tough to beat. He won twice over the winter at Laurel Park, scoring by a combined 8 3/4 lengths while earning brisnet figures in the 90s both times. He hasn’t raced since February 7, and trainer Damon Dilodovico is not great first off the long break. Still, he might not even need to be at 100% to win this one. #2 Bernie’s on Fire (7/5) has been in rapidly improving form, earning an 89 with a sharp stalking win last out. That’s the second straight race where he improved by six points. #5 Mice and Men (5/1) will hope for a pace meltdown, as he has a strong closing kick and drops into a race with plenty of speed. The win fell into his lap last out at Delaware Park, but he’s fast enough late to get a piece of the exotics even if it’s not blazing early.
- RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- Jerry Robb saddles two in here, but he’s put his top jockey, Xavier Perez, on #1 Green Eyes (5/2). That one made an impressive closing rally in her grass debut, getting up for second while holding off #4 Keepyourskateson (9/2) in the stretch. Green Eyes broke her maiden impressively at Charles Town two starts back. Keepyourskateson made her grass debut in that last race, and was eleven lengths out of it in the early stages before closing for third. Staying on the lawn should help her closing style. #12 Abby Normal (8/1) takes a slight drop in class and goes second off the layoff. She was in solid form in New York last fall, running figures as high as 80 against much better competition, before grass season ended.
RACE 3: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 FURLONGS
- I always lean towards horses with experience in 2-year-old races, and #7 Petition Prayer (8/1) not only has experience, she was impressive in her debut. She was way behind early on after a slow break, then flew to lose by just two lengths. Of course, if she breaks badly again, she could be in trouble, especially since it’s a such a short race. Still, I’m willing to take that gamble. #3 Murph (5/2) was a $140,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton sale, and goes first out for Brittany Russell. She’s been working solidly at Pimlico, although nothing recent jumps off the page. Watching the board with her. #5 Candy Fable (7/2) has been working well at Monmouth Park for Claudio Gonzalez, and now ships down here for the debut. Angel Cruz, Gonzalez’s top jockey, is named to ride.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #12 Hushed Hijinks (4/1) races for the first time since February 5 for Jane Cibelli, who has been sharp with her Maryland invaders. He ran three straight figures of at least 76 at Gulfstream Park over the winter, and has been working well at Delaware getting ready for his comeback. This is also a softer field than what he saw down in Florida. #7 Always Misbehaving (5/2) just missed in his first start off the layoff, now drops in class. He can show speed or rate. #9 Pepe and Haywood (8/1) broke his maiden gate-to-wire on dirt last out. He switches back to grass here and will try to pull off another front-running victory.
- RACE 5: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #8 Butter Pecan (3/1) closed well at Delaware last out to lose a photo for second. She’ll now drop in class and keep Rodriguez in the saddle. She’s improved in her last two races, after a disastrous effort at Parx second time out. #5 Practically Dizzy (7/2) drew off to a four-length win to break her maiden impressively last out, with a figure of 81. Gonzalez and Cruz team up again. #4 Hufflepuff (5/1) has been pounding on the door against similar this year, with five in-the-money finishes but no wins. Last out, she set a fast pace and held on gamely. Might be the same story here.
- RACE 6: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #5 Mamba On Three (7/2) won twice in a row on the grass at Gulfstream in the spring, with a big number of 87 in his second win. He held his own in the My Frenchman Stakes, but he should find this field much more to his liking. #2 Blame the Booze (9/2) competed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint last out, but quickly folded his tent after showing speed from the outside post. He’ll make his 3-year-old debut for the first time and adds lasix. I’m not sure what to make of him, as he’s never been in a comparable spot on grass. Fascinated to see how he does. #9 Heir Port (9/2) faced older horses last out in his grass debut, and lost by 2 1/4 lengths after getting caught in some traffic. Drops in class and looks to keep moving forward.
RACE 7 – ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, MD-BRED, 6 FURLONGS
- #3 Hitch a Ride (2/1) battled on the lead and drew off to win handily at Delaware last out. She improved five points second off the bench, with a career-top of 85. Carol Cedeno is listed to ride; this is her only mount of the day. That’s pretty encouraging. #4 My My Girl (9/5) battled gamely on the lead in her last start at the level and just missed. She was very sharp in her first two career races over the winter, and looks to be rounding back into career-best form. #6 Marvella Nasty (4/1) was third behind My My Girl in her most recent dirt start, and also switches back from a try on the grass. She’ll do her best running towards the end.
- RACE 8: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE (GRASS)
- #2 Prince of Caps (9/2) broke his maiden in a gutsy effort last out, in his first local start after shipping down from New York. Races for the Gonzalez barn for the first time; Marquez keeps the mount. #7 B Determined (3/1) closed off a very slow pace at Delaware last out for a second-place finish. Crossed the wire first handily in a n/w2L claiming race three back, but was disqualified. That day, he was close to the pace. #6 Recycle (5/1) is lightly-raced and looks for a recovery after flattening out near the pace at Parx last out. He was very impressive there two races back.
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