Pimlico picks and ponderings August 22, 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 — $4,320 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- 2-4-8-3 (DIRT: 2-4-6-7)
- There’s twelve horses in the main body of the race, but only three look like they have a serious chance. #2 Fake I D (9/5) was well-bet against slightly better last out at Delaware Park, and closed well to miss by 1 1/2 lengths in his first start off a long break. He’s raced just three times and looks like he has potential for lots of improvement. #4 Hair of the Dog (7/2) has had near misses at this level and better, but the 0-for-13 career record is a bit alarming. His best efforts this year have come when he’s on the pace. If he can’t get to the lead, he struggles. #8 Looks Don’t Lie (5/1) has closed well in her last two starts, which were her first since switching to the grass. She looks close to a breakthrough performance. Gets a rider switch to J.D. Acosta.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
I know #3 Forced (2/5) is dropping from the clouds, having raced in a n/w1x allowance as recently as seven weeks ago, and was last seen in for a $40,000 tag at Saratoga. However, his figures are so much better than those of the others, it might not matter. His last-out figure of 88 is the best in the group by fourteen points. #2 Lifespan (10/1) consistently runs figures in the upper 60s and low 70s, right in the range that would usually be required to win. In this case, has a better chance of getting an exotics spot. #6 Charlie Potatoes (6/1) broke his maiden at tenth asking last out, rating right off the leaders and rolling by. He just missed his career-best mark with a 74. It looks like cutting back to a sprint last time did him a world of good.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #2 Ms Headley (7/5) switched back to dirt when she came up here in June, and hasn’t run worse than a 74 in three races over this surface. She drew off last out to win against n/w3L types, now takes a step up in class, despite the lower price tag. #7 Family Fortune (7/2) hasn’t crossed the wire worse than third in her last six races, and is coming off a career-top figure of 78 earned in an impressive win. She’ll likely rate right off the leaders on the outside. #5 Eight Oaks (9/2) is also in career-best form and has good tactical speed. She rated on the pace last out and got up to win over both Family Fortune and Congress Hall, who, while 0-for-12 on the year, has finished second five times.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- 11-10-4-5 (DIRT: 5-12-10-4)
- #11 Pau Hana (9/2) has had up-and-down form since turning from a nearly year-long layoff back in June. Last out, she held on to finish third at Colonial Downs after rating near the pace, then got stuck in an impossible pace scenario two back and ran her worst number in this recent stretch. She consistently runs in the mid-60s, which not many in here can do, and is worth a shot. #10 My Dream Girl (3/1) also runs in the 60s pretty dependably and has shown tactical speed in her last few. She was wide on the pace last out but battled on to finish third, beaten 2 1/2 lengths, in her last start. #4 Love My Cat (9/2) has a strong closing kick, but has gotten behind very slow paces, paces from which no horse could come back from. Hopefully for her sake, the pace will be more honest here.
RACE 5 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Magic Mule (3/1) makes his first start since June 22, when he rated off the pace and got up to win with a five-wide bid at Delaware Park. He’s run in the 80s four straight times, and has some decent workouts under his belt as he gets ready to return. #3 The Cairo Kid (7/2) had a nice little streak of big figures last fall, but he started to tail off towards the end of last year, and now makes his first start since December 19. Recent workouts have been sharp, and this is a drop in class from the n/w2x horses he was facing last year. #6 Palatial Times (6/1) doesn’t always fire, but when he does, he’s very tough. He flew late to lose by just a length at Penn National last out, but showed little two back at Colonial.
RACE 6: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
- 1-9-2-7 (DIRT: 9-6-3-4)
- #1 Unshakable U (2/1) makes her first start for Anthony Farrior , who puts up Charles Town’s leading jockey, Arnaldo Bocachica. This one couldn’t get to the lead last out at Gulfstream Park, and as a result, showed little. If she gets to the front here, she could prove tough to catch. #9 Dream About Me (3/1) was a strong-closing fifth in her lone grass start so far, which came at Gulfstream. She was scheduled to race on grass here three weeks ago, but that race was washed away. She finished a mild fifth in that spot, but has shown ability on both surfaces. #2 Mo Normal (5/1) was wide most of the way at Colonial last out but held in there well for a solid fourth-place finish. She ran a career-top of 83 there, in a nice rebound effort from a dull performance two races back.
RACE 7: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #8 Bobby Two Times (5/2) has already won at this level twice, and stays eligible on account of being a 3-year-old. Races first off the claim for Robert Bailes. #5 Lost My Vowcher (7/2) returns to the Claudio Gonzalez barn and has abundant early speed. He keeps getting hung wide in his races, which costs him. If Angel Cruz can save ground with him, he’s got a big shot. His biggest challenge for the early lead will come from #2 Big Venezuela (7/2), who got outkicked by Bobby Two Times last out, but did wire a washed-off starter optional claiming group in his prior dirt start. He has to secure the early lead to have a realistic shot. When he can’t get to the front, he tends to back up badly.
- RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 1 MILE (GRASS)
- 1-11-2-3 (DIRT: 4-11-3-9)
- Note that Somekindofmagician, who won the Find Stakes yesterday, will be scratched here. #1 B Determined (8/1) has fired in all four of his starts this year, and has improved his figure almost every time. Will rate the trip on the inside and should fire again, hopefully at a good price. #11 Broker’s Reward (5/1) drops in class after facing n/w2x types at Colonial. He alternates between showing speed and coming from behind, and has enjoyed success with both methods. #2 Benny Havens (6/1) goes third off the layoff and won at this level last year.
- RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
- (“Closing Time” by Semisonic starts playing) #3 Pet’s Night (8/5) has hit the board four times in a row at this level, improving his figure each time out. Last out, he ran a 68 while running on well to get second. #6 Burgess (7/2) showed some promise at the level last fall, but makes his first start since December 10 here. Taking a wait-and-see approach. #1 Francis X (3/1) drops from the $16,000 level, at which he was bet last out but was done in by a poor break.
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