These are the good days in the racing calendar friends; We have a new Kentucky Derby champion, Animal Kingdom, hope is flowering like Maryland's Black Eyed Susan's about a possible Triple Crown, and a wonderful all graded stakes Pick 4 gives us an opportunity to handicap and then bet within the races and vertically throughout the later stages of the card. Two turf races run at something less than firm and two dirt races that most likely will be listed as fast, but not speed carrying, is what it looks like to me and I'm feelin' it. Let's get after it before my devout readers get raptured!
Pimlico Race 9-12: The Late Pick 4 including The Preakness
Keep an eye on the weather and the scratches and changes. The best thing to do is watch some of the undercard and get a feel for how the two track surrfaces are playing.
Race 9 offers a 1 1/16 mile turf affair. The eight horse field is pretty strong with heavy chalk Shared Account, and some overseas breds, No Explaining (Ire), Desert Sage (GB) and Dyna Waltz (GB). I'm going to hope that the Breeders' Cup champ Shared Account is a bit off her game off a +180 layoff (trainer Motion does win 15% of these tho) and that one of the invaders takes the top spot. I'm a Roger Attfield fan and his No Explaining comes in off a nice yielding turf effort at KEE about 1 month ago, while Chad Brown has turf maestro Leparoux up on Desert Sage off of two nice wins and now stepping up in class. Dominguez is up for Team Sheppard and Strawbridge on Dyna Waltz, a formidable threesome.
Race 10 is a wide open grade III dirt mile and one sixteenth: Trainer Motion brings Icabad Crane, the NY bred son of Jump Start in as an expected chalk but Wesley Ward restarts Pleasant Prince and I'm hoping for the right price. Both are logical win candidates and Researcher and Apart should be factored in as well. My 'tweener is Colizeo, who I still may cover if I go the 50 cent route; 7 of 8 in the money at the distance and 9 of 12 on fast dirt for trainer Pletcher.
The Grade II Dixie on turf marks the return of Paddy O' Prado, who a year ago started his march towards turf powerhouse after finishing up the track in the Preakness. Will be heavily bet, covered by me as well, but I'm looking for two horses, Baryshnikov and Slews Answer to provide incredible value on this bet if they could take the win spot. Slews Answer is a lightly raced Trainer Motion charge (is it me of is he everywhere now?)and the Ghostzapper son out of Slews Final Answer was bred for this surface and distance and only lacks in experience. Baryshinikov is a 5 year old journeyman with 33 starts, 7 wins and most likely a price around 12-1.
In the Pick Four finale, the Grade I Preakness , I'm backing Animal Kingdom, but I rate Mucho Macho Man, Dance City and Astrology strong contenders. I won't ramble any more than that and we'll just watch it and see what happens.
I'll be building superfectas based on my base handicaps and I will be watching the undercard and adjusting if need be for the track conditions. Dialed In may rank higher if the speed dies on the front end like yesterday but I'm just not there with him.
Have fun friends, don't take it too seriously, bet responsibly and enjoy!