|Page McKenney in Purple with Silver Diamonds|
Welcome friends to The Turk and the Little Turk on Black Eyed Susan Day. I'd like to thank the good people at The Thorofan for giving me the opportunity to handicap for you today's Pimlico Special, a Grade 3, 1 3/16 mile affair on the dirt for 3 Year Olds and Up. To the left is Page McKenney, a local trained by Mary Eppler, a closer whose in the deep end of the pool class wise and will have to be at his very best to hit the ticket today. We are gambling after all, so let's take a look at this field and see what we are working with.
Let's get it (our preak) on! By the way, thanks to Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club, for use of the photo.
|Also Ran's||Cat Burglar/9||B|
|Pimlico Race 14: Post Time 6:21 ET||Pimlico Special G3|
|1 3/16 Miles on Dirt||For 3 YOs and Up|
It's hard not to like the
The closer bench got a bit shorter with the scratch of Tapiture, offset by the scratch of pace setter Albano. Still, closers like Page McKenney and Top Billing still provide a horse player some hope as both will go off >10-1 I reckon.
Page McKenney is my top upset pick. Remember, most longer odds finish in Place, not Win, but let's suspend analytics for a moment and get caught up in how cool it would be for a local to win here. The sport always needs a feel good story and the horse lover in my is a sucker for that stuff. The cold horse player in me still likes what I see: deep closes in last three races, 23 of 34 in the money lifetime, 12 of 15 life time in the money on fast dirt and the local edge.
Returning to probabilities, Transparent and Cat Burglar loom as threats from a 4-1 to 6-1 range of value. The Florida bred Transparent is a big fat tease in my book. 4 of 16 wins to starts, 4 of 13 wins to starts on fast dirt, some hideous Grade 1 starts, but some pretty sharp current form for McLaughlin's Godolphin 5 YO Bernadini son. If he's not on the pace, he's most likely not winning, unless this dog learns new tricks late in his career.
Top Billing, son of Curlin, has an unaccomplished 6 race career so far. His last race was a deep close and he trained sharply at 4f in :48 flat last time out over BEL. Don't ignore.
Cat Burglar is criminally low in my handicap but you have to take positions and live with it. Baffert is shipping in the 5 YO Unbridled son with 9 career starts, 8 of 9 in the money, 8 of 9 in the money on fast dirt, and a lack luster first effort of 2015, although Baffert is 24% on 29 tries in the 2nd effort off a long layoff. He's put some nice bullets up lately, the most impressive :47 2/5ths in 4F at CD.
Vyjack is an on the pace runner who has cracked more than he's gamely rallied. He won the G1 Kelso last year in September and not much since. Handicapping is about current form, pace, class and little else and I don't see it here.
So what to make of this?
I could go easy and play some exacta's: a 2-5-8-9-10 $2 Box is $40 bucks. Great if someone other than Commissioner wins, not so great otherwise.
I may play a few Tri's: Something like this: 5-10 OVER 2-5-8-9-10 OVER 2-5-8-9-10 a $2 bet for $48 or 5-8-10 OVER 2-5-8-9-10 OVER 2-5-8-9-10 a $2 bet for $72.
Have some fun with it friends, I think that this race, as long as it stays at 8 horses, should provide some value.