PIMLICO PICKS AND PONDERINGS: SEPTEMBER 10, 2023
In which we pick the races from Pimlico each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $5,454 Super High 5 — $2,197 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 FURLONGS
10 races, including a trio of stakes, on the Sunday program. Some rain yesterday, coupled with a stormy forecast today, knocked the scheduled grass races off. Dimitrios Synnefias is excellent with first-time starters. Since the start of 2021, he has a record of 6-4-1 from 13 first-timers, and has won with his last three debuters. He’s shipping in #7 Princess Street (5-2) here off some solid workouts at her Penn National base. She must be respected coming out of that barn. #6 Designer (3-1) has worked well for Phil Capuano, who’s 5-for-12 with first-time starters in his short training career. She might want more distance, but should be a threat here as long as she shows anything at first asking. #2 Divine Magic (20-1) has shown early speed in her last few starts and has the experience advantage.
RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $20,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 FURLONGS
#1 Pyron (8-1) goes first off the claim by James Casey from Jamie Ness, which might scare some bettors off. However, his brisnet figures are firmly in the top tier of this field, having run in the 80s in his last three grass starts. He just missed behind the hard-knocking local veteran Battlebus in his last grass start, and was an impressive winner over an off track in his most recent dirt try. #2 Ladneedsahandler (3-1) rebounded nicely off a dull race two starts back, fighting hard and losing by a nose at Timonium. This class level and distance looks like it fits him well. #10 Casanova Kitten (15-1) sat the trip and got up to win at the big T in his most recent start, and will look for a similar setup for the hot Ray Ginter barn.
- 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, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
#6 Peach Tea (8-1) has closed well for second in her first two starts. She should benefit from the extra distance, as she stretches out further from 5 1/2 furlongs. #5 T C Neigh (7-5) sold for $130,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-olds in training sale earlier this year. She’ll probably have to run in the mid/upper-70s on debut to win this one? Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it worth 7-5 or less? Probably not. Fellow Brittany Russell trainee #1 Fainor’s Filets (7-2) dueled throughout on debut at Timonium, but lost to a tough favorite with experience and settled for second. She should benefit from the race under her belt.
RACE 4: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED/SIRED, 1 1/8 MILES
#2 Jardani (7-5) has run a 91 in back-to-back starts and should have this washed-off field at his mercy. The other main-track-only entrant, #7 What Does It Take (3-1), went gate-to-wire at Charles Town last out, and has the most early speed in this contest. He’ll try to slow things down enough early that it’ll be difficult for Jardani to catch up. #5 Riccio (7-2) won two in a row on dirt as a 2-year-old last year, and though he’s shown imporved form on grass this year, he shouldn’t have much trouble on this surface.
RACE 5: CHALLEDON STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
The first of three stakes races on the card is named for the Maryland-bred Hall of Famer. #1 Borracho (5-2) was scratched out of an allowance spot yesterday to run here, and that looks like the correct move. He’s run a 94 in four of his last five starts, something the rest of the field struggles to do even once. He has speed from the rail and should be able to control the pace from the rail, especially with Pirate Rick, who ran yesterday, no longer in the field. #4 Swill (9-5) improved nicely second time out at Colonial last out with a sharp second-level win. He pressed the early leader through fast fractions and wore him down that day; a similar strategy is likely to be employed today. #3 Al Loves Josie (9-2) was impressive in victory at Timonium last out and looks to be getting back on the right track.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
#5 Matini Martin (4-1) has begun to round back into his best form on grass lately. He raced overland in his last two races but held late leads both times. He should save more ground here. #7 Divining Stone (5-1) made his first start in a year and a half last out, and it was a much-improved effort. He showed at Churchill Downs and ran a strong 75. He should be able to beat this bunch if he runs back to that effort. #2 Storming Chrome (4-1) has begun to round back into his best form on grass lately. He raced overland in his last two races but held late leads both times. He should save more ground here.
- 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 $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#8 Disputed Claim (9-5) ran a huge race last out, crushing a maiden claiming field by nine lengths with an 85, the best last-out figure in the field by ten points. The second and third-place finishers, Prins Fire and Sweet Syntax, both broke their maidens next out at Timonium. #1 Bold Honor (15-1) raced very wide in his local debut last out, but broke his maiden impressively at Belmont Park in his prior start. #4 By Its Absence (6-1) has good tactical speed and continues his drop down the class ladder.
RACE 8: SENSIBLE LADY TURF DASH, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS
#7 Self Isolation (8-1) has won three of her last four starts, sitting on or near the pace each time. She should find this field and distance to her liking. #10 Sassy Beast (15-1) is also coming off a stakes win, having taken the Addy Guest Stakes at Colonial on grass in her most recent. She showed promising main-track form earlier this year, with an impressive win on dirt at Evangeline Downs going five panels on an off track. Look for her to get a nice trip on the outside. #1 Sweet Temperament (20-1) has done her best running in her home state of Louisiana, but lasted a long way on the lead in the Goldwood Stakes on grass last out at Monmouth. She’ll try to take them as far as she can from the rail.
RACE 9: POLYNESIAN STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
The final stakes of the day is named for the 1947 American champion sprinter. #5 Zabracadabra (2-1) has won four of his last six starts and makes his first appearance in stakes company this year. He should at least be on the pace on the outside, if not the early leader. More likely than not, front-running duties will fall to #4 Ournationonparade (6-1) who led almost the whole way in the Deputed Testamony Stakes last out before fading. If Jamie Rodriguez is aggressive enough, he can get to the rail and the lead before Zabracadabra and get another front-running trip. #2 Be Better (7-5) has won three in a row, including a win in the Deputed Testamony where he overcame a slow pace. Can he do it again?
RACE 10: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
#1 Rent Free (9-2) was well-bet on debut at Timonium, showed speed on the outside, and managed to hold third. She should at least get a more ground-saving trip here. #6 Kissedbyanangel (2-1) makes her career debut for Phil Capuano, who is 5-for-11 with first-time starters in his short training career. #5 Now I’m Here (8-1) was no match for the speedy Stolen Laughter on debut at TImonium, but did hold second with an improved 60.