It is ladies day at Pimlico on Friday. None of the nine runners are exiting the Kentucky Oaks, and there are fresh runners looking to get their close-up for the big race. Included with the Black Eyed Susan is an under card with a sweet $350,000 guaranteed pick-four to take down. So, grab your E-Z Win Forms and lets get to work!
The weather forecast calls for sunny skies and a high of 83 degrees.
Race #9 – The $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint – 5f on the turf – 4:16 p.m.
**** BEGINS THE GUARNTEED PICK-FOUR ****
#2 – Bridgetown (8-5) = John Velasquez gets the nod for Todd Pletcher. 15/20 lifetime on the turf, and he has been off since last November. Pletcher can bring a runner back at a 30% win clip, and turf runners hold together pretty well over time off. Last out was the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, and that was a very tough event. This looks like a prime spot to get things going again, and the drop in class make him ultra-tough.
#3 – Night Officer (5-1) = Jose Lezcano in the saddle for Bruce Brown. Now, I have trouble catching Lezcano on the dirt, but he wins at a solid clip on the weeds. 5/5 ITM over the Pimlico green, and makes his second start off the shelf. 7/8 at the distance ITM, and with a little racing luck. He is right there at the top of the lane.
#6 – Ken’s Cape (12-1) = E. Rodriguez gets the call for King T. Leatherbury (21%). 1/1 at Pimlico on the turf, and 3/4 lifetime on the green. 3rd off the shelf, and nothing like a home town rider / trainer to take down this stake. The works are red-hot, and he could score at a fat price.
Race #10 – The (G-2) Black Eyed Susan Stakes – 1 1/8 – 4:47 p.m. ET
#6 – Maracuya (8-1) = John Velasquez up for Ralph Nicks, and here is a lightly raced filly by Big Brown. With the speed in here, I am looking for a maturing trip to lay just off the first flight.
#7 – Emollient (9-5) = Mike Smith in the irons for Bill Mott, and she destroyed the Ashland field at Keeneland. Makes the poly – dirt move, and the bullet work gives me the extra confidence for this powerhouse team. She has learned to rate a bit better, and will be a factor at the 1/8th pole.
Race #11 – The $100,000 Very One Stakes – 5f on the turf – 5:21 p.m. ET
#13 – Sweet Cassiopeia (5-2) = Jose Lezcano get the call for Bill Connelly. A very nice mare that loves to run on the weeds (4/4 ITM). This race seems to fit her liking, and was impressive last out at Keeneland. The 13 post is no gift, but Lezcano moves runners up a bit on the turf.
#10 Spun Cup (5-1) = Joel Rosario in the saddle for Eduardo Caramori. Makes his second off the shelf, and cuts back to 5f where she is 5/6 ITM. The works have been sparkling, and the distance may allow the hot-hand rider to do his bidding.
Race #12 – The (G-3) Pimlico Special – 1 3/16 – 5:52 p.m. ET
**** THIS RACE BEGINS THE PIMLICO SPECIAL / PREAKNESS – DAILY DOUBLE ****
#4 – Eighttofasttocatch (9-5) = Forrest Boyce gets the call, and this Maryland-bred can wire them if left to his own. 1/2 ITM at Pimlico, and can be very speedy.
#7 – Last Gunfighter (7-5) = J.J. Castellano up for Chad Brown. He goes for 6-in-a-row, and has the rider to get the job done. The speed from #4 could set him up nicely, and if not. They may have tough work catching the leader.
Ticket Cost = 3X2X2X2 = $24 for a $1 ticket, or $12 for a fifty cent version.
Day one can offer some very nice betting options. This is where Winning Ponies does real good work, and you won’t want to leave any money on the table. Grab up your E-Z Win Forms, and find that hidden nugget of wagering wisdom. Best of luck this weekend!!!