PIMLICO PICKS AND PONDERINGS: May 19, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $6,380 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
Welcome to Preakness week. #2 Princess Corey (7/5) was very impressive in her first start off the layoff last out, as she rated off the pace and drew away to win a conditioned claiming event, earning a brisnet speed figure of 78. That’s right up to her usual standard. It’s encouraging to see her back so soon, as she usually needs a lot of time off in between races. #6 Volnay (8/1) stepped up to win a cheaper race in gate-to-wire style last out. It was a nice improvement after some flat performances at Charles Town. We’ll see if she can keep it up. You’re getting the right price if you think she can. #4 R True Sensation (6/1) drops back down to this level and has lots of early speed. If she can clear her speedy rivals from her inside she’ll be in great position.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
10-9-5-12 (DIRT: 2-5-9-6)
#10 Vanhoofer (5/1) has raced just once on grass, but it was a promising performance. He chased a loose leader and held on for third last July at Delaware Park, with an impressive figure of 79. He’s shown speed and gotten caught late in his dirt starts this year. Should improve getting back to this surface. #9 Second Term (6/1) goes third off a long layoff and will be a major pace presence. The last time he raced on grass, which was last June on this track, he battled on the lead and outfinished his dueling partner by almost seven lengths. #5 Pickin Sea Glass (5/2) had some traffic in his lone grass start, his career debut in late October, but he managed to rally for third. He turned in a decent grass workout a few weeks back and should be ready for a big effort.
- Jock Sheldon Russell wins first start in nine monthsHeldish, trained by Brittany Russell, won at first asking to give jockey (and her husband) Sheldon Russell a victory in his first ride in over nine months.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#6 Subject to Change (2/1) goes first off the claim for Kieron Magee after a sharp gate-to-wire win in his last start. He hadn’t shown much speed in his prior few races, so that was a notable change of pace. He’s been improving with every start this year. #2 Championship Alley (5/1) beat similar two races back and takes a drop from the $12,500 level. Should get a good trip rating off the pace on the rail. #3 Shoulda Had It (5/1) was also claimed out of his last start, in this case by Mario Serey, and will pack a strong middle punch. We’ll see if he can sustain it.
RACE 4: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/8 MILES (GRASS)
4-7-11-6 (DIRT: 14-12-1-6)
#4 Evangeline Allons (3/1) almost pulled off a shocking 87/1 upset in the Selima Stakes last fall, but got caught after setting the pace and finished third. She was a solid third in her second start off a long layoff last out, and should fit right in with these. #7 Pounding Music (7/2) finally broke her maiden last out after getting free of traffic late. She consistently runs in the mid-upper-70s, which is good enough to make her a major player in this race. #11 Ampilo Esquema (5/2) makes big closing rallies that often fall short, but she ran very well in her first start of the year, losing by two lengths despite getting caught in traffic late. Worth a bet at the right price.
RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
#8 Bliss This (7/2) has a very dangerous record: five career starts, no wins, one second, four thirds. He’s been very consistent all year and was compromised a bit last out after getting bumped at the break. I’m willing to give him another chance, as he’s one of the few in the race who can consistently run in the mid-70s. #1 The Last Scip (4/1) has also run in the mid-70s in two career dirt races. He put in a huge closing rally on debut, but flattened out after looming boldly in his most recent try on this surface. If he keeps improving with experience he has a good shot to chase them down. #11 Bourbon On the Bay (6/1) has hit the board in all four of his races with up-and-down figures. He can at least hang around for a piece.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
2-5-14-8 (DIRT: 4-7-9-14)
Most of the major players in here haven’t raced this year. #2 Ellanation (9/2) steadily ran in the 80s last year and just missed in three straight starts at this level to wrap up her campaign. Mike Trombetta and Victor Carrasco are dangerous when they team up. #5 Golden Can (4/1) has blazing early speed and will try to take them as far as she can as fast as she can. #14 Polished Gal (5/1) won back-to-back races on the lawn towards the end of last year and will be the first to take advantage if Golden Can fades.
- BackTracks: Challedon, dominant in Maryland & beyondIn today’s BackTracks, Maryland-bred Challedon became the first two-time horse of the year after dominating 1939 and 1940.
RACE 7: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 1/16 MILES
#2 Blueberry Indygo (9/2) crossed the wire first at this level last out, but was disqualified for bumping after a nose victory. She’s run a career-best race in back-to-back starts, peaking at an 86 last out, and may prove tough to catch if allowed to get the lead and the rail. #1 Charming Way (9/2) fought on in the stretch last out and finished third, placed second, behind Blueberry Indygo. Look for her to get a similar trip and rally for a piece. #9 Unadulterated (5/1) broke her maiden impressively on debut for Brittany Russell last out. She might get hung wide near the lead, but can cause some damage if she can work out the trip.
RACE 8: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/8 MILES (GRASS)
12-2-3-5 (DIRT: 7-9-11-2)
#12 Fermat (7/2) came from nowhere to lose his first grass start of the year by just 2 1/4 lengths. He’s susceptible to getting caught in traffic but will be rolling if he can get clear. #2 Bugle of War (9/2) returns to grass for the first time in nine months and has shown some promise on the surface. He’ll be close to the pace. His stablemate, #3 Amended (12/1), ran in the 70s consistently on the grass last year and looks for improvement after back-to-back disappointing efforts on dirt.