Pimlico’s racing season was extended when Laurel Park’s clay surface suddenly needed a major overhaul. This put undue pressure on Pimlico to extend his own run into June and July. Their turf pitch was barely ready for such use, and after a break it returned, as many were holding their collective breath.
Now, with a minor betting schedule slated for this Saturday, anchored by the Grade III BWI Turf Cup, the card should offer some great betting opportunities. Our turf-man has you covered with a full review of selections, and his own analysis of important races. Read below …
If you’re looking for choices elsewhere in the country on Saturday, be sure to check out our free horse racing picks via the golden button below.
Race 2: Turf, 1½, Bald Eagle Derby, $ 100,000, 3
One of the few turf distance roads taking place this weekend, this race did not draw a crowd of runners – 6 shows. Still, there are some interesting angles to be had here. The highlight of the show will undoubtedly be that of Graham Motion Wootton Trump # 5. The foal is bred for this kind of action because both of his parents were “stays” to the max. Madaket Stables brought this one to Fair Hill, Maryland last year for Motion to train. Since then he has traveled extensively, having previously crisscrossed the field in Pimlico, Belmont, Del Mar and most recently Delaware. He still hasn’t won his 1st race in the US, so the time seems right for that to happen.
The only runner who stands on the path to Motion is that of Jonathan Thomas Experienced # 6. The gelding is anything but Augustin Stable’s, but this one is outside of Temple City. Coupled with Thomas’ excellent training ability, he could be impressive. Her maternal side speaks to the grass (No Matter What), and that further strengthens the argument. Jockey Daniel Centeno, who spends a lot of time on the Tampa turf, is a good lawn navigator. With only 1 race under his belt (which was a first victory), it seems like a “big request” to go from an MSW38 to this 100 km. If anyone can do it, then Thomas is the one to try. This one might be a late squeak. The tie goes to Motion …
Bet recommendation: $ 2 Exacta Cold, 5 w 6
Race 4: Turf, 5F, Sensible Lady Turf Dash S. $ 100,000, F&M 3+
There’s nothing like a dash, and this pits a field of 7’s against each other, as the locals clash. What makes this contest so difficult is the lack of a clear favorite. Of course, Brittany Russell and Kent Sweezey’s So Gracious # 4 What tip # 2 have the advantage. They have different running styles as the first one likes to get out of the beat while the other is looser on the lead type. I guess one or the other could win, but I’m far from excited.
On other fronts, I like Golden Can # 5 which should be a solid choice, especially as this filly arrives on a streak of 2 consecutive wins. Coach Hassan Elamri thinks she’s ready for ‘Non-G’ events, and he might be right. These Golden Lad offspring adapt well to grass. For a game of value, why not support a runner like Tim Keefe’s Dendrobia # 3? She is a 6-year-old girl who has recent experience at this level. I realize that her record is uneven, but she did well quite late in a 75 km the last time at PIM. It could be improved here… Maybe its price on the tote will be more attractive once race time draws near.
Bet recommendation: $ 100 bankroll, graduated bet, WPS # 3 (10W, $ 15, $ 75)
Race 6: Turf, 1 1 / 8th, Big Dreyfus S. $ 100k, F&M 3+
The 1 1 / 8th on grass is a difficult distance because it is an “intermediate” type race. It requires a unique blend of endurance and speed … horses that are not used to doing it can be exhausted when those extra speeds are needed.
With such a short field of 6, it’s going to be hard to see anyone making the most of Chad Brown. Counterparty risk # 2. This filly from Australia (UK) challenged some leaders in the grass road division. When you race against Micheline, Regal Glory, and New York Girl, it’s a pretty stiff line-up, especially compared to this batch. I don’t see anyone here who has the capacity to keep pace in the later stages of this race.
Klaravich Stables have been happy to invest in turf rotors, and Brown’s training ability is nearly unmatched across the board. If you can find someone in this “Non-G” business who’s got the chops to take on this recent alum from Eatontown (G3) to Monmouth Park, then I’m definitely willing to listen. In my opinion, only that of Mike Trombetta No Mo Dame # 5 has a chance. His weakness is a lack of energy once the stretch arrives, and unless Brown’s runner is compromised by traffic, it looks like a done deal.
Bet recommendation: $ 50 to win # 2
Race 8: Turf, 1 mile, BWI Turf Cup S. (G3), $ 200,000, 3+
The BWI 2021 edition brings together a group of savory runners, which will make the handicap of this race a real headache. Most will revolve around Mike Maker’s seasoned 4-year-old colt, Field pass # 1. Talk about well traveled… This son of Lemon Drop Kid has a lot of shipping experience and should be the favorite in the race, unless punters flock elsewhere. It is deserved in this Grade III because clearly he is used to racing at higher levels. It had been a while since the specialist of the Three Diamond route had won a race… we would have to come back to the Ontario Derby (G3) last November at Woodbine. Still, the quality of the races he’s tried includes the Mathis Bros. (G2), Maker’s Mark (G1), Man ‘O War (G1) and most recently the Wise Dan (G2). Finishing 4th at Churchill in this one was not that great. I think a possible obstacle here at Pimlico could be the decision to hand these reigns over to Victory Carrasco. He’s not a good lawn-maker, and his numbers show he doesn’t understand his trade or just has terrible mounts. In other words, it could be a flaw in the Maker Armor.
If you are looking for an alternative then I would seriously consider either Mike Stidham Pixelate # 4 or at Wesley Ward Ramsey Solution # 6. Both of these runners come from excellent barns, homeowner groups and are well behaved for turf. Their experience is a solid class mix (in the case of # 4), and climb the ladder (in the case of # 6). Either of them could win this distance test, and I am a supporter of the Stidham entry because not only is he a Godolphin thoroughbred, but he was excellent in preparing for this race. Looking sharp to come back here is a good sign. As for a longer shot, I must say I have a soft spot for Graham Motion English bee # 5. The 5 year old out of the Channel legend will float well beyond 10/1, and that’s fine with me. A few years ago he won contests and competed at some of the highest levels in the division. Of course, he lost a step, but he is a student of Calumet. Although Jorge Vargas may not be the greatest turf rider in world history, he has the opportunity to shine on the back of a prize horse. Let’s use this Motion driven runner… we know what kind of conditioner he is.
Betting recommendation: $ 2 Trifecta Box, 1/4/5/6
Enjoy the action of Baltimore! The tradition in Pimlico runs on …