PIMLICO PICKS AND PONDERINGS: SEPTEMBER 17, 2022

In which we pick the races from Pimlico each day…

Post time: 12:40 p.m.

Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $0 Super High 5 — $1,524 Late Pick 5 — $0

Check out our other handicapping here!

RACE 1: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES

1-7-6-5

Today marks, roughly, the halfway point of the Pimlico September stand. There’s ten races and more great weather on the schedule. #1 Caged Pixie (5-2) closed well for third in her first start against winners last out going seven furlongs, and now stretches out around two turns on dirt for the first time. Her recent form and grinding running style suggests that the added distance won’t be a problem. #7 Violet Jessop (3-1) returns to Maryland for the first time since late April after traveling to tracks all over the region. She ran far and away a career-best race at Delaware Park last out, where she overcame a bad start and battled in the stretch to get second. She earned a brisnet figure of 78 that day, and while I don’t know if she can repeat it, she can win this one even if she declines a few points. #6 Middle Island (6-1) consistently runs in the mid/upper-60s and has run some of her best races going a mile. This is her first try at today’s distance.

RACE 2: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)

5-6-7-1

#5 Tall Order (5-2) had a tough trip in his first start on grass, but rebounded last out when he got a better setup stalking the pace and closed well for second. He finds another one-turn spot here and faces a field largely inexperienced on this surface, if they’re experienced at all. #6 Bigz’s Cabana Boy (8-1) finished third behind Tall Order last out, after pressing the early pace. He couldn’t keep up with victorious Prove My Love but managed to outfinish the others. After his planned debut got washed off last week, #7 How Lovely (6-1) tries again for Arnaud Delacour. He’s been working well at Fair Hill, including a string of bullet drills, and should be primed for a solid performance first time out.

RACE 3: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS

5-3-1-2

#5 Big Daddy D R (7-2) broke his maiden going away two back at Pimlico with an impressive performance, then was caught wide throughout at Timonium last out and struggled. Should improve with a return to the big track. #3 Gold Guy (7-2) ran two decent dirt figures earlier in the year, and now switches back from grass after some tries on that surface. He was close to the pace in his dirt races but has come from out of it more recently. #1 Amicalola Falls (9-5) has hit the board in his last four races without a win. He battled on the pace and got caught late in his last two races and will likely work out a similar trip here.

RACE 4: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $30,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)

9-10-7-6

There’s a ton of speed in this field. Sometimes, that backfires, and a horse ends up sneaking away with a relatively easy lead, but other times the race blows up and a horse picks up the pieces at a price. I’ll take a shot with a bit of a price in #9 Bath and Tennis (10-1), who has good tactical speed and has just missed in her last two races at Colonial Downs. She’s likely to rate just off the pace a few paths off the rail, and if the leaders tire themselves out, she’ll take full advantage. #10 Twelveo’clockrock (10-1) is in a similar boat. She came from off a fast pace to break her maiden going away a few starts back at Laurel Park, and made good ground against a much tougher field at Colonial last out. If anyone does sneak away on the lead, it’ll probably be #7 World Gone Wild (9-2), who went gate-to-wire in an allowance optional claiming race at Parx last out and consistently has the best early pace figures in the field.

RACE 5: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS

7-1-3-2

#7 Mister Mitch (6-1) closed sharply and just missed getting up for second in his debut last out. He ran a 72 in that race, a mark that makes him competitive here. #1 Flavian (10-1) ran a much-improved race second time out, when he ran a 67 after battling on the pace. He’s likely to show speed once again from the inside. #3 Eight and Sand (5-2) was well-backed in his debut at Colonial, going off as the 2-1 favorite. However, he showed absolutely nothing, losing by 28 lengths. He’s worked well since then and he has a chance to improve second time out for Brittany Russell. That said, there aren’t many circumstances where I’d take a low price on a horse who lost by double-digits in their only start without an apparent excuse.

RACE 6: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE (GRASS)

8-4-11-7

The late pick 5 begins here, with an absolute doozy of a race. #8 Straight Up Guy (8-1) has put in good efforts in his last few grass starts, including a third-place effort at Colonial when he chased a loose leader. He ran a career-best figure of 79 two starts back when he closed for fourth. #4 Mint Game (9-2) outfinished Straight Up Guy last out and got up for second. He has a similar running style and speed figures but Straight Up Guy is likely to go off at a better price. #11 Emphasize (8-1) has even less early speed than the others but a decent late kick. He should be gaining ground at the end.

  • Chromatic Lass on the ascent
    Chromatic Lass got a belated start to her career, but she’s opened some eyes with back-to-back dominant scores at Charles Town Races.

RACE 7: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS

7-1-3-2

#7 Market of Stocks (7-2) cleared her n/w2L condition impressively last out, crushing the field by 6 1/4 lengths while running a career-best figure of 76. She struggled a bit at Charles Town and Timonium in recent races but seems to do just fine over bigger tracks. #1 Targe (9-5) cuts back from a mile and will show speed from the rail. She’ll have to deal with pressure from her outside but will appreciate the shorter distance. #3 Salamina (4-1) ships from Monmouth Park for Calixto Juarez and goes third off the layoff. She’s hit the board at this level a few times recently and should once again close for a piece.

RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)

9-6-5-8

#9 Chambeau (4-1) broke her maiden in impressive gate-to-wire style at Colonial on opening day, and ran a game race to get second next out. She drops back to this level after a stakes try last out and will likely sit a great trip just off the pace. #6 Awesome Jazz (9-2) has lots of problems breaking from the gate. That didn’t stop her last out, when she came from the clouds to beat a Maryland-bred field by a nose. She’ll likely have to make another big rally but she’s shown she’s capable of pulling it off. #5 Eifs (10-1) has been getting better with every race this year, with a pair of third-place finishes in her last two races. Jeiron Barbosa, who had a natural hat trick yesterday, gets aboard for the first time.

RACE 9: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS

1-4-2-3

This looks like a two-horse race on paper. I’ll give the edge to #1 Spicy Margarita (7-5) was pressed on the pace throughout in her last start, but held on for second after battling in the lane. The horse who defeated her, Canoodle, came back to finish third in the Shine Again Stakes last Saturday. Her main rival here is #4 Vibrant Judy (8-5), who set the pace on debut and drew off to win by 7 1/2 lengths. She has lots of upside, but Spicy Margarita is battle-tested against better rivals, which gives her the edge in my book. #2 Tweet Away Robin (6-1) consistently runs in the upper-70s and low-80s but was flat after a wide trip last out at Colonial. That out-of-character race could drive up her price a bit.

RACE 10: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)

7-8-1-2

#7 Coffee Bean (4-1) is the only one in the race who consistently runs in the 70s. She tends to sit the trip and show some mild kick late. That might be good enough to win against these. #8 Pensively (5-2) ran a 69 in her grass debut and was sitting a great trip last out when she clipped heels and lost the rider. Goes first off the claim for Brittany Russell here. #1 Meliponini Bee (6-1) drops in class after being a non-factor against better last week. She didn’t make the front that time but has shown speed in her other races.

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