PIMLICO PICKS AND PONDERINGS: May 27, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $0 Super High 5 — $2,129.82 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
4-5-12-9 (DIRT: 4-6-8-12)
#4 Factor In (5/2) made her first start off a 3 1/2-month break last out. She opened up a long early lead and faded in the last eighth, but still ran an impressive brisnet figure of 85. She’ll be tough if Jevian Toledo can manage her speed a little bit. By contrast, #5 In a Spin (6/1) showed a strong closing kick last out to win at this level. She was the slight favorite in that race, but if the morning line is an indication, she might get overlooked in this spot. That makes for a prime betting opportunity. #12 Winter Princess (3/1) marks the first Maryland mount for Jeremy Rose since November 2019. She took advantage of fast fractions to win at Gulfstream Park in her most recent grass start and will likely prompt the leaders.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#5 I’m Not Slow (7/2) dropped to this level for the first time last out, and ran on well after setting the pace to get third. He’s run at least a 66 in three of his last four starts. #6 Greylover (5/2) outfinished I’m Not Slow in his last start, and lost a stretch duel to miss by a head. He’s in improving form and should close well. #4 Manklin Creek (7/2) has been improving with every start since returning off the layoff. He’ll likely rate towards the back of the pack and close for a piece.
- Jockey Sheldon Russell “really close” to return to racesJockey Sheldon Russell, out with injuries for the last nine months, is “really close” to returning to the races, his agent said.
RACE 3: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
10-4-11-7 (DIRT: 6-8-9-11)
Shug McGaughey and Forest Boyce, always a well-meant trainer/jockey combo on the circuit, team up here with #10 Byrdie Howe (9/2). She was well-bet in her grass debut at Tampa Bay Downs, but raced only evenly and held on for fourth, with a figure of 76. Should improve second time on the lawn but will need to show a better punch. #4 Spellbook (8/1) closed well on debut at Laurel Park, in a race where the top two finishers came back to win their next start. She adds lasix for Graham Motion, who is 25% with horses on the medication for the first time. #11 Etheric (3/1) has also shown a strong closing kick int he past, but hasn’t raced since New Year’s Day, when she was third at Turfway Park.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#5 Icy Reply (7/2) finally broke through to get her maiden win in her ninth career try last out. She set the pace and held on for an impressive victory, with far and away a career-best figure of 78. She’s getting better with every race and may prove tough to catch on the front end. #2 Mo Fire (6/1) set the pace and held on for second against similar in her last start, and was claimed out of that effort by David Howard. She’ll also be near the pace and should be right at home against these types. #8 Market of Stocks (6/1) has been flat in her last two but frequently runs in the mid-60s and should be right there for the exotics.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#1 Francis X (7/2) drops to this level for the first time and makes his second start off a brief layoff. He had a rough break last out and couldn’t get to his usual spot near the lead. He has up-and-down form but his best wins this one. #2 Abhar (7/2) has plenty of early speed and looks fast enough to get away unchallenged on the front end. #9 Divine Proportion (5/2) has run at least a 68 in his last five races and has finished second in his last three starts at this level. He’s consistently the best horse in here, but those runner-up finishes are somewhat alarming. This looks like a now-or-never spot.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
2-1-6-8 (DIRT: 10-4-9-1)
#2 Prince Pere (5/2) goes third off the layoff and takes a slight drop from an open n/w1x allowance on Black-Eyed Susan day. He got into some traffic in that race and ended up third, matching his figure from his first start of the year with a 79. If last year is an indication, he’ll take a step forward to his usual mid-80s mark here, which should be good enough to get him into the winner’s circle. #1 Railmaster (7/2) makes his first start of the year and has lots of early speed from the rail. Should be able to at least hang on for a piece. #6 Rad Paisley (4/1) has been racing all winter and spring in Maryland, including two recent grass starts at Laurel Park. He improved to an 83 in the King Leatherbury Stakes in his most recent effort on the lawn, even though he never looked like a serious threat to win. He hasn’t shown as much early speed as usual in his last two starts. He’s likely to rate just off the lead and try to capitalize.
- 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 OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
#2 Little Bit of That (9/5) hasn’t trailed at any point in her last two races, including an impressive win her first start off the layoff last out. Shouldn’t have much trouble with this group. #1 Fuhgeddaboutit (3/1) just missed at this level last out and has improved sharply over the past few weeks. Looks primed for a big performance. #7 Joe Mike Jim (4/1) sat the trip and drew off against weaker last out. Gets a class test here.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#7 The Cairo Kid (7/2) ran his best race in a while last out, when he earned an 81 in a sharp second-place effort. He’s improved in each of his last few starts and will be a pace factor. #3 Let Us Make Gold (12/1) consistently runs in the low-70s and goes first off a brief layoff. He closed well in his last start at Charles Town and has a chance to upset the exotics. #6 Rising Perry (9/5) has standout figures but struggled badly last out and now takes a big drop in class. It could just be a confidence booster for his first outing in two months, but I’m a bit wary at low odds.