PIMLICO PICKS AND PONDERINGS: may 28, 2023
In which we pick the races from Pimlico each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $432,680 Super High 5 — $424,711 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 1/16 MILES
Eight races on a Sunday Funday in the Charm City. #4 One Las Olas (8-5) is the only one in the field with three consecutive brisnet figures in the 70s, and has the best last-out figure in the field by five points. She fell too far behind the early pace tow in last out, but closed well for back-to-back victories in her prior two starts. #1 Gymnast (8-1) drops from the $20,000 level and will try to show the same early speed she did when breaking her maiden three races back. She was wide most of the way last out in her prior two races and now draws the rail. #6 Thencomemorning (3-1) gets a rider switch back to Jeiron Barbosa and will be in prime position to work out a stalking trip on the outside.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $25,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#6 Fox Force Five (9-2) showed improving form on grass last year, including a sharp n/w2L victory in her most recent flat start last June at Delaware Park. However, she did not show the same aptitude over jumps earlier this year. Getting back to the flat should help her out. Her races from last year win this one. #4 Missawlet (7-2) made her first start off a five-month break last out, and led most of the way before tiring late. She’s ripe for more improvement second time off the layoff. She capped her 2022 season with two wins in her last four starts. #1 Isabella’s Glory (3-1) put in a strong closing rally in spite of a very slow pace last out, and will hope for an honest tempo to close into.
- Notes from Pennsylvania Derby daySome news, notes, and observations from a rainy, messy but exciting day at Parx Racing, where the Pennsylvania Derby was run Saturday.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
The extreme outside post couldn’t slow down #1 Ballykeen (5-2) much in her last start. She prompted the pace on the outside and made a move for the front late, only to get caught in the final strides. Nonetheless, given the circumstances, it was a strong effort. With the exception of a poor race on a wet track at Churchill Downs last November, she’s run in the 70s three times in her last four starts. #7 Performanceanxiety (3-1) has improved her figure with every start since getting claimed by Mario Serey in mid-March. She’s closed well in her last few starts and should rally for at least a share. #4 Seems to Whisper (4-1) has also taken big steps forward in her first two starts of her 4-year-old and should prompt the pace for Anthony Farrior and Arnaldo Bocachica.
RACE 4: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#2 Can the Queen (5-2) was well-bet in her quest for a repeat win in The Very One Stakes last out. However, unlike last year, weather scuttled her plans to get a prep in. Without a race under her belt, she stalked the pace and faded. This mare loves Pimlico and should be ready to go for this spot. #5 Whispurring Kitten (7-2) zoomed to get second behind Can the Queen in the Sensible Lady Turf Dash last September, but hasn’t raced since. She’s shown a very high ceiling sprinting on the lawn, but might need a race. #3 Hollywood Walk (6-1) showed improving form towards the end of last year and now makes her seasonal bow for Mike Trombetta. She’s likely going to get the pace and will try to go as far as she can.
RACE 5: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $30,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
The Farrior/Bocachica combination will try again with #2 My Flicker (5-2). She started her year with a three-race stretch of running no worse than an 85, then declined a bit while narrowly missing over the Charles Town bullring in her next two outings. She should get a great setup rating off a fast pace. #5 Awesome View (12-1) races second off the claim by Mario Serey and also has good tactical speed. She grinded her way to victory after a wide trip near the pace in her most recent. #3 Bandits Warrior (9-2) looks like the faster of the two Jerry Robb entrants and has the higher ceiling. She’s had two recent bullet workouts and is likely to grab the early lead. From there, it’s a matter of how long she can last.
RACE 6: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $20,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#5 Lucci (3-1) set grueling fractions but held on to win his first grass start of the year last out. The former Wesley Ward trainee, who lost by a length at Royal Ascot in the summer of 2021, is going second off the claim by Michael Moore and looks like he can run them off their feet. #3 Battlebus (7-2) just missed behind Lucci after rating off him in his last start. He improved five points second off the layoff that day, and should sit a similar trip and fend off the rest even if he can’t catch Lucci. #1 Love You Much (5-1) has the best late pace figures in the field but hasn’t raced since last August, when he was well-beaten against better at Colonial Downs.
- 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: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#5 Royal Spy (6-1) has very in-and-out form, but his peak form is better than these, running at least an 84 in three of his last six races. He usually races better when he comes from further off the pace. #6 Free Dancer (5-2) was no match for better at Mountaineer in his last start, but his figure of 86 is right there with those of the other contenders. Look for him to make a wide move from the back of the pack. #2 Military Hop (3-1) has run big races on the lead in his last two starts and should benefit from a cutback to seven furlongs.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $25,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#4 Town of Gold (5-2) consistently ran in the mid/upper-70s last year and got some OK races in at Gulfstream over the winter. He should pack a late punch if he can avoid traffic. #1 Shelly Island (10-1) ran back to his usual mid-70s figure first off a long layoff last out. He raced wide throughout last out, but will try to work out a trip from the inside here. #8 Inside Stunt (9-2) was an impressive winner in a maiden-breaking score on grass last June and has faced better in Kentucky in his first two starts of the year.