PIMLICO PICKS AND PONDERINGS: SEPTEMBER 16, 2022
In which we pick the races from Pimlico each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $6,422 Super High 5 — $1,158
Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
We’ll start the second week of the Pimlico at Old Hilltop meet with a great 9-race program. Looks like an absolutely perfect weather day to boot. #3 Toussaud’s Ransom (6-1) improved dramatically in her second dirt start at Timonium last out. She dueled on the outside throughout, took the lead late, and although she was caught, she held on for second. Although it’s a step up in class on paper, this is a similar field to what she saw for $10,000 last out. #2 Oh Mrs. Maisel (5-2) will likely take lots of money because she’s making her first start outside of New York. She was competitive in straight maidens over the fall and winter but has been a complete non-factor in her last two starts. She was entered as a main-track-only twice at Laurel Park but did not draw in either time, so it looks like she’s been ready to go for a while. We’ll see if this kind of spot is what she needs. #4 Lady Whistledown (3-1) closed well for fourth, beaten less than 1 1/4 lengths, in her dirt debut and just her second start overall. She should rate near the pace.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
11-1-3-10 (DIRT: 6-5-9-8)
#11 Beckon (5-1) has improved her figure with every race this year, peaking at a 78 last out. She wasn’t much of a factor that day, but it was against a first-level allowance field. She’s been racing against mostly allowance and starter optional claiming types, which explains her long losing streak. She’s getting a much-needed drop in class and if she keeps improving she likely wins this. #1 Girl’s on Fire (8-1) went gate-to-wire to win at Colonial Downs last out and is in prime position to try and wire them again. #3 Wicked Memory (7-2) prompted the pace and tired in each of her first two starts this year, but did improve to an 82 in her last race. In early 2021, the last time she put together a consistent string of races without requiring a layoff, she usually ran in the low-80s. Can she find that form again here?
- Mychel Sanchez gets 1,000th riding victoryJockey Mychel Sanchez got his 1,000th riding win in Saturday’s Rosenberger Memorial Stakes, and trainer Gary Capuano won both Delaware Park stakes.
RACE 3: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#1 Rapid Response (8-1) has up-and-down form, to say the least. He’s run figures of 87 and 92 within his last four starts, but stopped badly after pressing the pace in his first start off the claim for Anthony Farrior. While he’s not the most dependable, if he runs his best race, and his pattern suggests there’s a chance, he’s going to be very tough to beat. #4 No More Talk (7-2) has won two of his last three races, including a determined score last out at Colonial where he won a three-horse photo. Horacio Karamanos, who has been riding very well lately, gets the call for the first time. #2 Maythehorsebwithu (3-1) came from off the pace at Timonium, never an easy thing to do, and finished second in his last start. The track at Pimlico was playing especially towards speed horses opening weekend, but he should at least close and round out the exotics.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
7-10-6-1 (DIRT: 6-10-12-1)
#7 Gift of Gab (7-2) ran a lifetime-best figure of 71 in her third career start last out. She made a promising move and flattened out against better, losing to, among others, In Vain, who is in later in the day. The drop in class from the $40,000 level should help this one’s cause. #10 Police Woman (8-1) ran a respectable 61 in her grass debut and is also lightly-raced. She got caught wide in her last start, and the same thing might happen again here, but she can still close for a slice if she improves a bit off her last race. #6 Ashara (5-2) has a long string of second and third-place finishes in her running lines, which is never good. However, she has lots of early speed and has found a field where she shouldn’t have to deal with much early pace pressure. If she’s ever going to win a race, it’s this one.
RACE 5: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
What do you make of a horse who broke his maiden, was disqualified, and returns in another maiden race? That’s the case with #7 Alottacents (6-1), who crossed the wire first at 23-1 on July 31, but was taken down and placed second. Now he returns. On its own merits, it was a dramatically improved race from his debut, and he showed early speed for the first time. Furthermore, Charles Town-based Denis Araujo is here just for this mount. I have to rate this one highly as such. #6 Landon Jack (5-2) improved to a career-best mark of 82 last out when he was second behind Johnyz From Albany, who finished third in a first-level race last week. This one has lots of early speed and will be very tough if the track is playing in favor of speed again. #1 Israeli Army (4-1) was third behind Landon Jack last out and will try to improve in his second career start. He’ll likely sit in mid-pack on the rail.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $40,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
4-9-10-2 (DIRT: 3-12-6-5)
As noted above, #4 In Vain (7-2) broke her maiden two starts back, sitting off the pace and drawing away to win with a career-best figure of 85. Sent to Colonial for her next start, she declined a bit but held third after chasing a loose leader. She’s finding her best form as of late and looms large in this race. #9 Blazing Star (9-2), her stablemate, makes her first start off the claim at Saratoga for Mike Trombetta. She was dismal in her first two American starts but has shown great improvement when cut back around one turn. #10 Chromeplated Heart (3-1) makes her third start off the layoff and drops from the n/w1x level. She’s flattened out after staying near the pace in her first two races, and will have to show a bit more stamina to hold on for the victory.
- BackTracks: The kingly Henry of NavarreIn today’s BackTracks, New Jersey-bred Henry of Navarre found Hall of Fame success on the racetrack and later played a more martial role.
RACE 7: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#3 Colonel Moorhead (6-1) went gate-to-wire to win at Penn National two races back and will try to control the early tempo at a decent price. His biggest competition will come from #1A Wentz (5-2), who battled on the lead throughout at Parx last out and drew off to win. However, Jamie Ness did not have a great Laurel summer meet, and Parx form doesn’t always translate over here. He has to be respected but I don’t think I can take him at low odds. #2 Halite (4-1) runs in the mid/upper-80s pretty consistently and races for the first time since July 4. He has the best late pace figures in the field but might leave himself with too much to do in the end.
RACE 8: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE (GRASS)
10-12-5-2 (DIRT: 1-2-10-12)
Whenever the morning line favorite in a race is 4-1, you know that it’ll be a chaotic one. #10 Golden Decision (4-1) is that morning line favorite, off a string of near-misses between here, Colonial, and Delaware. Although he’s had a few near-misses, it isn’t because he’s a hanger; he’s shown a lot of heart and closed well in all those races. He should turn in another big performance here. #12 Resident Liberal (6-1) came from off the pace to hit the board in his last two starts at good prices. In his last start, he was closer to the pace than usual, and he ran his best figure in almost a year. Without much speed in the race, it might not be a bad idea to once again station him close to the lead. #5 Daddy’s Cozy (6-1) closed ground after racing wide in his last start and has run in the 80s in two of his last four flat races. He seems to prefer longer distances, so I’m not sure a mile is what he wants. However, he’s a serious contender for the underneath spots.
RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#2 Fishers (5-2) overcame a poor start at Timonium last out to rush up to the lead and hold on for second. She was claimed out of that race by Claudio Gonzalez, and will in all likelihood be closer to the pace once again. #1 Smart Eulee (3-1) prompted the pace while wide in her last two starts and faded. She gets a great draw here and will likely work out a better trip than in her prior performances. #4 Virtually (9-2) switches back to dirt for Mike Stidham and races for a tag for the first time. She chased the pace and was a game second in her career debut on dirt two races back.