PIMLICO PICKS AND PONDERINGS: June 4, 2023
In which we pick the races from Pimlico each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers (all pools feature a mandatory payout): Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $0 Super High 5 — $490,728 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
(“Closing Time’ by Semisonic starts playing) #4 I Am the Mike (7-5) goes third off the layoff for Carlos Mancilla and has turned in two solid efforts against similar in his most recent starts. His two best brisnet figures have come in those last two races. #2 Step Ahead (2-1) ran well in his first two-turn start last out, showing speed and holding on for fourth with a career-best 65. He looks like he’ll be able to set the pace by himself. #6 Moon Sign (8-1) consistently runs in the 60s and should churn on for a minor share.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $25,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#7 Imagine Victory (6-1) hasn’t yet won on grass, but she’s rolled late in her last two starts on this surface, including a strong third-place effort on Preakness Thursday last out. She has a shot to shake things up at a price. #9 Fancy Princess (8-1) made her grass debut in that same Preakness Thursday contest, and made ground late despite getting locked in turning for home. She should improve second time on the lawn and second off a three-month layoff. #5 Better Call Mama (3-1) gets some class relief, as she faced better on grass towards the end of last year and faces an easier field on this surface than she’s seen in a while. Her ceiling beats these.
- 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: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 4 1/2 FURLONGS
#3 Tocayo (1-1) will likely be a single on many rainbow pick 6 tickets, and for good reason. He pressed the promising Jumpingjaggerflash last out and held for second. He now faces a field without many credentials and should have his way with them. #2 Cap Com (2-1) is an Elkstone homebred debuting for Mike Trombetta. His workouts have been solid, but Trombetta horses generally need a race or two before they show their best stuff. Still, he probably doesn’t have to be a world-beater to defeat these. #1 Destin’s Rainbow (5-1) has some good recent workouts for Madison Meyers and may take some action. His dam, Becky’s Rainbow, has produced three winners from as many starters.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#1 Erawan (5-2) chased the pace and held second last out behind Forloveofcountry, who returned to win again on Memorial Day. This one has run no worse than a 77 in his last three starts and should close well after saving ground. #2 Northern Thunder (4-1) had a wide trip last out and subsequently faltered. If you take that race out, he has excellent recent figures, and should get a more ground-saving journey here. #4 Can’t Pass It Up (4-1) was third behind Erawan last out after showing little in his prior two starts against better. Interestingly, Will Humphrey had ridden both Hugh McMahon entries in their prior starts (along with Northern Thunder), and picked this one.
RACE 5: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#1 Albertano (9-5) has already won three times at this level this year, He struggled a bit while favored last out, finishing a non-threatening fourth. However, he’s had a good workout since then and looks prime for a rebound. #5 Velvet Ghost (3-1) ships back here from Charles Town, where he was second after racing wide throughout. He fought on the lead and faded two starts back, but he doesn’t have to engage with the leaders, which might not be a bad idea. Look for him to try to stalk and pounce. #2 Shoot Themessenger (6-1) has rallied for checks a few times at this condition earlier this year and held second after showing more early speed than usual last out.
RACE 6: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
This race features the mandatory payout in the super high 5. None of the ones in here with experience have shown too much, so I’ll lean on some first-time starters. #8 Golden Charm (3-1) goes first out for Linda Albert, who has respectable stats with her debuters. This one has had several impressive workouts, with several bullet drills in her lines. #7 Little Josie Wales (7-2) also has some great recent workouts and is a daughter of My Little Josie, who was stakes-placed on grass twice and has thrown four winners from six starters. #11 Seap (12-1) goes third off a brief layoff for Michael Merryman and should show abundant early speed from the outside post.
- 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: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#6 Golden Effect (5-2) in one of two here who has run in the 80s in each of her last three starts and should show good tactical speed from the outside. She’s making her first start in two months, but has good recent workouts. #3 Tweet Away Robin (2-1) battled her way to victory against odds-on choice Haleigh B last out. That one returned to win a first-level race on May 14. #4 I’m Gittin There (5-2) lost a photo for third to Golden Effect last out and has received a freshening since then. She won twice over the winter at Laurel Park with some impressive figures.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $40,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
One more to go, then we’re back to Laurel starting on Friday. #3 Invective (5-2) ran a impressive 85 in victory two starts back, then had a rough trip in his first start against these types. He should get a cleaner setup here. #6 Wish Me Home (8-5) ran in the 80s consistently last year against better, but hasn’t raced since early November. Phil Schoenthal typically isn’t great first off the break, so I’ll take a wait-and-see approach at low odds. #8 Trash Talkin Larry (4-1) showed great closing speed in his recent starts on dirt and narrowly missed twice on the Maryland grass last year.