Pimlico: Preakness Notes & Selections for Saturday (Day 15)

May 10, 2008 | Gary Quill

News Flash… Curlin to run in the Pimlico Special!!! “Garrrryyyyy, time to get up! C’mon, you’re going to be late for work!”. Aw gosh darn, it was a dream!
Yeah, it’s just a dream. Curlin will not be making a triumphant return to the track where he scored a decisive victory in the 2007 Preakness Stakes. But the Pimlico Special returns after a one year absence and will be run on Friday, Black-Eyed Susan Day. One can only hope that even though the purse was slashed from $500k to $250k, it would still attract a nice field. As of this writing, there has been no fanfare about confirmed or potential starters.
The Preakness field officially grew by three as Federico Tesio victor Icabad Crane, Holy Bull winner Hey Byrn, and Bill Mott trained Riley Tucker will challenge Derby winner Big Brown. Twelve starters are now confirmed with one (Harlem Rocker) still on the fence. It’s starting to look like the race will be quite exciting and worth a bet or two.
Recapping Day 14 (May 9th)…
Well, so much for trying to predict the unpredictable. Considering the amount of rain which was forecast for Thursday evening into Friday, I decided to avoid the turf races and find possible off track runners. The rains came, races were taken off the turf and the flood gates opened as well in the racing secretary’s   office. As 31 of 89 horses entered on Friday’s card were scratched. Just my luck, among the 31 was my Best Bet and Longshot selections.          
Best Bet, My Mammy (# 6; 7th race; 8-5) was scratched.
Longshot, Bankcard (# 5; 6th race; 8-1) was scratched.
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 15 (May 10th) of the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet:         Fareena  (# 3; 8th race; 8-5)

Trainer Leigh Offut gave this filly the winter off, knowing she had a good one for some nice turf races. This 3 year old started her career with 2 victories then placed 3rd in the Selima Stakes at laurel in the Fall. Good turf runners usually don’t have a problem winning first time off a layoff and she should be no exception.

Longshot:        Plane Image    (# 1; 9th race; 6-1)
This 3 year old Empire Maker first-time starter drew a tough inside post for his career debut, but is in capable hands (trainer: Richard Small). He’s had plenty of work in the A.M., but what I like is that they are evenly spaced and his most recent work was from the gate. This usually points to an honest effort when he breaks from the gate.
Good Luck with your selections today!