PIMLICO PICKS AND PONDERINGS: SEPTEMBER 18, 2022
In which we pick the races from Pimlico each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $1,207 Super High 5 — $2,484 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
In contrast to last Sunday, today looks like yet another beautiful day in Baltimore. #7 French Kissing (9-2) had some traffic in her debut, but ran on well when she got clear and finished second. Michelle Hemingway, who had not had a starter in Maryland this year prior to yesterday, sends this filly down here with the Monmouth Park meet wrapping up. #1 Into Disco (4-1) was no match for the winner in her debut on dirt but pulled well clear of the others to secure second. She’s going to be tough if her form transfers over to the lawn. #4 Determined Charm (5-1) ran some great brisnet figures on grass last year, with three consecutive marks in the upper-70s. She’s cutting back around one turn for her second start off a long break and adds lasix for the first time.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
The rail was favorable again yesterday; we’ll see if that trend continues here. I’m handicapping anticipating it will be. If the track is as rail-biased as it was yesterday, #3 Checotah (3-1) is most likely to take advantage. She overcame a wide trip on the lead to win at Timonium last out, for her second straight win. She has great early pace figures and should be able to get to the front and clear to the rail. #4 Stay Out (4-1) went gate-to-wire to win at this level two races back but was outkicked at Colonial Downs last out. Carlos Lopez, who rode her in that victory, gets back aboard. If he’s aggressive enough, he could try to outrun Chectoah early. Might be a tough task, however. #6 Sick Pack Sara (5-2) has finished second in three races in a row, burning up a lot of money in the process. She has early speed as well but Barbosa will also have to send her hard.
- Taiba scores in Pennsylvania DerbyTaiba bounced back from a narrow defeat in the Haskell to win the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby Saturday at Parx Racing.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
This race features amateur jockeys. #2 Lookin for Justice (4-1) ran a much-improved race in his second grass start last out. He stalked the pace and led briefly in the stretch before flattening out and getting points. Still, he stepped up to run a relatively solid figure of 65. This is a now-or-never spot for #13 Midnight Tequila (2-1), who has an 0-for-25 career record but has been in consistently solid form lately and has closed well in his last two races. This is an easier field than that he saw in his last few races at Colonial, so if he can’t beat this field, it might be a matter of him just always running back to his competition. #12 The Thinker (3-1) has rapidly improved in his last few races but hasn’t shown any early speed at all. That might prove to be his achilles heel both here and in the future. Still, he’s a good exotics contender.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
After starting his career 0-for-11, #3 Mr Mosley (9-2) has moved through his conditions quickly, with back-to-back victories. He has early speed and should be given the maximum opportunity to run his best race. #7 Dr. Ferber (9-5) came from off a very fast pace to win going away two starts back and closed well against better last out. He might be up against it if Mr Mosley runs his race but should at least rally into the exotics. #5 Dashing Lou (7-2) hasn’t run worse than a 75 in his last three races and should sit just off the early pace.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#2 Gallant George (6-1) ran a career-best figure of 75 last out when he set the pace and battled gamely to lose a three-horse photo finish. He has great early pace figures and can work out a similar trip here. #10 Believeinrocknroll (10-1) is one of two in here who has never lost against winners. He kicked away impressive to break his maiden with a 71 last out and looms as an interesting longshot in this spot. #7 Never Satisfied (6-1) has run at least a 70 in each of his four grass starts but might need more distance.
RACE 6: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $20,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
If you toss the last race of #5 Free Dancer (7-2), he looks very tough. He won three races in a row earlier in the year and lost his bid for a fourth straight by a neck. His figure declined sharply last out, but that was over the Timonium bullring, plus he had a tough trip. Under smoother circumstances, he’s going to show speed and could run them off their feet. #2 Charge to Victory (9-2) was a sharp last-out winner at Penn National. He likes to stalk the pace and pounce. We’ll see if he can keep Free Dancer off the inside. #1 He Hate Me (5-2) has won his first two races off the claim by Jamie Ness, including a win at this level with a great stalking trip last out.
- 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: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
#2 Need a Marker (3-1), a Maryland Million-eligible trained by Jerry Robb, chased the pace at Timonium on debut but held clear for second, running a 73 in the process. I’m interested to see how she does on the big track. #7 One Las Olas (6-1) made decent ground from way out of it against better in her debut and now plunges in class for Claudio Gonzalez. She could close for a share, as could #9 Never Done (10-1), who improved 24 points last out when third behind Need a Marker.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
After a dull season debut in May, #1 My Candy Girl (3-1) has improved substantially in her last two starts. She rolled once she found clear sailing to win against softer two races back, with a figure of 91, then just missed with a wide rally against these last out with an 85. She should work out a similar trip to last time here. #6 Cupid’s Strike (4-1) exits the same race as My Candy Girl, where she was third while showing a new dimension. In her prior grass tries, she was closer to the pace. Last out, she came from well off the lead. #11 Jubilee Bridge (7-2) makes her American debut for Mike Stidham. Shippers from Europe are always dangerous but this one hasn’t raced in more than a year.
RACE 9: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
This race looks like a Maryland Million Sprint preview. Four of the six runners are Maryland Million-eligibles, including the last two winners of the race. However, they’re all overshadowed by #2 Wondrwherecraigis (3-5). He was second in the DeFrancis Dash in his return from Dubai, then showed little in the Russell Road Stakes at Charles Town last out. Notably, regular rider Sheldon Russell did not come to Charles Town for the mount, which might’ve been a clue. Sheldon’s back aboard here and will steer this gelding in a field that the should have at his mercy if he’s anything close to what he was at this time last year, when he was picking off stakes wins left and right. Last year’s Maryland Million Sprint champion, #4 Air Token (4-1), was flat in his first start off a 5 1/2-month layoff last out. He ran figures as high as 100 earlier in the year and can pose an upset threat if he finds that form again. #3 Torch of Truth (10-1) was also in sharp form over the winter but hasn’t raced since March 19. He usually races at longer distances, so this might be designed as a prep for the Maryland Million Classic.
RACE 10: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/w2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#4 Camelia Rod (2-1) drops from the $25,000 n/w2L level and gets a rider switch to Barbosa. She steadily runs in the mid-70s, which is the kind of figure that wins this race. #6 Senson (7-5) is also taking a drop in class and will likely show early speed. In her last dirt start, she dueled early on and outfinished her sparring partner by three lengths. #2 Americas Woman (10-1) makes her first start since mid-January but did close for third at this level at big odds last out.