PIMLICO PICKS AND PONDERINGS: may 13, 2023
In which we pick the races from Pimlico each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $3,673 Super High 5 — $611 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#6 Gilligan (7-2) was pressed on the lead most of the way last out, and while he shook off his dueling partner, he crossed the wire second behind a rival who sat a great trip. He looks like the main speed in this race and should avoid getting caught up in a duel. #1 Despite Odds (7-2) was well-beaten by better in his last two starts but now gets some class relief. He should rate near the pace towards the rail and would be the first to fire if Gilligan falters. #3 Amadeus Music (9-5) ships down from New York for his first start for the Horacio De Paz barn. He came from off the pace to win at Aqueduct on New Year’s Eve, but has been outkicked by better in his last few. I’d like him more at Laurel Park, compared to the more speed-favoring surface here.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/8 MILES
Both grass races scheduled for today were washed off, including this one. #13 Seiver (6-1) goes third off the layoff for the Jamie Ness/Jaime Rodriguez duo. She made mild ground against better in her last two starts, and has the best recent dirt form of anyone in here. #11 Anileate (5-2) races for another tough duo, in this case Brittany Russell and Sheldon Russell. She rushed up to the lead and held second on grass last out, and has run brisnet figures in the 70s a few times on dirt. #10 Ladro Di Fichi (9-2) goes first off the claim by Anthony Farrior. She has a rough case of second-itis, having hit the board twelve times in her 14-race career with just one win. She has early speed on a speed-favoring track; the only question is if she can handle the distance.
- Direct the Cat is all that in Rachel’s TurnDirect the Cat blew her opponents away in a dominant performance in Friday’s Rachel’s Turn Stakes at Charles Town Races.
RACE 3: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
#2 Full Irish (8-5) was well-bet on debut on February 19, and gobbled up ground to finish second by a half-length. The third, fourth, and fifth-place finishers have all broken their maidens since. This one gets to face a soft field and should be very tough to beat. High-priced Brittany Russell maidens around here are a tough read. Are they really good, or not so much? That’s the question with #4 Rebellious Stage (3-1), a $450,000 yearling finally making his debut after returning to the worktab in mid-February. He’s been working well both in Maryland and Delaware over the past few months, but will have to run big on debut to beat Full Irish. #9 Donegal Danny (6-1) rushed to the lead and faded going long last out at Turfway Park. He’s cutting back from a mile and getting a trainer switch to Keri Brion. He ran a solid 73 at 6 1/2 furlongs on debut.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#3 Montauk Daddy (9-5) is the only one in the field who has run at least a 78 in each of his last three dirt starts. Look for him to prompt the pace from the outside and pounced. #4 Jimmy the Kid (5-1) has closed well to hit the board in his last three starts, including a determined stretch battle for second where he got nosed out for that spot in his most recent. He’s improved with every start since joining the Pedro Nazario barn in mid-February. #7 Lantau (4-1) faded badly against better first off a long layoff at Charles Town last out. At his best, he’s a speed demon.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#2 Bletchey Girl (6-1) broke her maiden in impressive style at Gulfstream Park two starts ago, but broke slowly next out and showed little. She turned in a sharp workout at Delaware Park on May 9, her third drill since arriving from Florida. If she breaks today, she’ll be dangerous. #1 Golden Angel (12-1) scratched out of a spot like this one at Laurel Park last week, but now returns here. She broke her maiden in gate-to-wire style on debut and is a threat to wire them again at a price. #3 Sweet Beauty (5-2) goes first off the claim by Anthony Farrior, who puts his go-to rider, Arnaldo Bocachica in the saddle. She consistently ran in the low/mid-70s over the winter and spring at Fair Grounds and Keeneland; we’ll see if she takes a step forward here. She might have to if Bletchey Girl runs her best.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
#8 Savi Dancer (5-2) ran a big race on debut. She dueled three-wide for the lead and held second, beaten only by a rival who sat a fantastic trip off the duel. #9 Sonny and Max (7-2) ships down from Monmouth Park for Kelly Breen, and has worked well for her debut. While she lacks experience, this is a pretty easy field to debut in. If she can run at all, she should be around late. #5 Royal Party (10-1) cuts back around one turn and has consistently run in the mid-50s in her last few starts, which should be enough at least for a slice.
- Catching up with… Jessica PaquetteWe caught up with Parx Racing track announcer Jessica Paquette on the eve of her becoming the first woman to call a US Grade 1 race.
RACE 7: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#4 Charge to Victory (2-1) drops in class off a series of tries against $20,000 starter optional claiming rivals. He acted up before his last start and was subsequently flat. If you take out that race, he’s steadily run in the mid/upper-80s in each of his last few. #1 Backatya (3-1) has flattened out on the lead in his last few starts, but he’ll now be able to control the pace from the rail. He ran in the 90s twice last year, but has declined a bit since. #7 Rookie Salsa (9-2) didn’t miss the exacta in his last six starts of the Tampa Bay Downs season, and should prompt the pace from the outside.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES
This one was also washed off the grass. #4 Misty Mauve (5-2) benefited from a change of surface last time, when she won the off-the-grass Dahlia Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths. She’s improved dramatically since joining the Rudy Sanchez-Solomon barn, with back-to-back figures in the 80s. #8 Bourbon Wildcat (20-1) set the pace and held second at big odds in the Geisha Stakes going a mile, but didn’t do as well sprinting in her next two. She could benefit from more distance. #5 Cashing Big Checks (9-2) led most of the way and flattened out at Parx last out. She once again looks like the main speed.
RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
#4 Box N Ben (7-5) has tired near the pace in his last few starts, but now gets to compete on the speed-favoring Pimlico strip. If it’s ever gonna be the day for him, it’s today. #2 Bar Down Express (6-1) battled for the first first off the layoff last out, and held gamely in the stretch, outfinishing his dueling partner but unable to hold off the favorite who sat well off the pace. He could make things interesting for Box N Ben on the front end. #7 Polsar (5-1) is a classic chronic maiden, as evidenced by his last start at Penn National, where he had all day to get by and couldn’t. Nonetheless, he’s worth using underneath in exactas and trifectas.