Pimlico: Preakness Notes & Selections for Friday (Day 14)

May 09, 2008 | Gary Quill

Bummer! On Thursday, with 9 days until the Preakness, the Stakes Barn at Old Hilltop must have been about as lively as Bingo Night at Stella Maris. Only one Preakness starter, Kentucky Bear, is on the grounds.
Sound bite starved members of the media hung on every word that Cassie Garcia uttered. Who?! Cassie, the Assistant Trainer/Exercise Rider for Kentucky Bear became an instant Rock Star here the minute she helped the 3 year old get settled in his stall. It isn’t going to get any better through the weekend as the majority of the other runners won’t show until the beginning of next week.
The Maryland Jockey Club announced that 21 year old Towson University student, Maggie Wolfendale, is the 2008 Miss Preakness. Maggie’s Dad, Howard Wolfendale, is one of the top Maryland-based trainers. I’m not sure if an objection was lodged prior to this decision being made official.           
Recapping Day 13 (May 8th)…
Here’s something to keep an eye on… the running times of the races leading up to Preakness Day. Today, the track was pretty “honest”, meaning it neither favored speed nor closers throughout the day. This is a really good sign. Usually during Preakness Week it favors speed.           
Best Bet, Big Cat Walks Late (# 7; 7th race on the turf; 5-1 M/L), showed early speed but obviously wasn’t up to his old form as he gave way badly in the stretch to finish dead last at 9-1.
Longshot, Silver Bay (# 3; 1st race; 6-1 M/L) was bet down to the 2-1 second choice thanks in part to three (3) scratches which whittled the field down to 5. He settled in nicely behind the eventual winner (Trey Bear, 5-2) and favorite (Richard’s Moon, 6-5) who dueled until mid-stretch. The favorite weakened but Trey Bear had enough left to hold off Silver Bay by 3 lengths. Though not exactly a longshot price at 2-1, we’ll take the $3.80 PLACE and $2.20 SHOW to get a beverage versus throwing the ticket on the ground.  
The weather is “iffy” so I stayed away from the turf races, figuring if we get any rain, they’ll be off the turf and it will be “Scratch City”. With that being said, here’s who I like for the Day 14 (May 9th) of the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet:         My Mammy  (# 6; 7th race; 8-5)

Took a 10 month vacation after running 3rd in a $100k stakes races at Belmont last July. Only previous start was a 13 length romp in the slop at Delaware Park in racing career debut. She’s been training steadily since the end of February and if her last three (bullet) workouts are any indication of how fit she is, we’ll be lucky to get even money on her.           

Longshot:        Bankcard         (# 5; 6th race; 8-1)
Debit or Credit?! Hopefully it will be a credit to my bank account. Looking at the PP’s this one does not stand out, but consider the conditions of the race (“…have started for a claiming price of $5,000 or less in 2007-2008.”). She hasn’t seen that level ($5k Claiming) within her last 10 races which dates back to June 2007. In other words, the participation in the $5k tag took place long ago… most likely once. In her most recent 10 races, she’s run in 3 at the next level up ($7,500); winning one, 2nd by a nose and 2nd by 1. If she’s fit, she should be in the mix when they near the wire.       
Good Luck with your selections today!