Pimlico: Preakness Notes & Selections for Thursday (Day 13)

May 08, 2008 | Gary Quill

The fallout from the tragic death of Kentucky Derby runner-up filly, Eight Belles, continues to make headlines. From the initial statements made by PETA to a witch hunt for steroids in her body, special interests groups who feed on bad publicity are having a grand feast.  
Now that the horse racing industry has been put under a microscope, the Pimlico Race Course surface will be scrutinized as well. This is a good thing! In years past, the Pimlico oval leading up to Preakness Day would become a much faster surface. That is, the race times would be much quicker that usual. I assume in hopes that track records would fall?! I guarantee this year will be the complete opposite. Pimlico will be the safest track in the country. It better be, because if there is the unlikelihood of a similar incident on Preakness Day, it might be a setback that the NTRA will have a hard time from which to recover.
Moving onto more positive items… Nestor decided that I should be one of the chosen few who receive credentials (aka an all access pass) at Pimlico. It is my intention to visit the stable area both mornings and evenings in search of anyone who will talk with me. Here is your opportunity to get any question answered. Just comment on this blog what question you’d like me to ask and to whom. If I can track down that person, I’ll ask it. Maybe Drew and/or The Fighting Unger’s would be interested in speaking to someone from the stable area during their shows?
As of this writing, Pimlico has firm commitments from the connections of eight runners to take on Derby winner Big Brown. They are Behindatthebar, Giant Moon, Kentucky Bear, Racecar Rhapsody, Stevil, Tres Borrachos, Yankee Bravo and the only other Derby starter, 5th place finisher, Recapturetheglory. Stay tuned, the field could grow to as many as twelve as three others (Harlem Rocker, Riley Tucker and Macho Again) are on the fence.
Recapping Day 12 (May 4th)…
Due to a long day and late night at North East Racing & Sports Club on Kentucky Derby day, I failed to allot enough time to handicap the Sunday Pimlico card. Therefore, in lieu of just picking any horse in any race for my Best Bet and Longshot selections, I chose to own up to dropping the ball.
Here’s what I like for the Day 13 (May 8th) of the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet:         Big Cat Walks Late  (# 7; 7th race on the turf; 5-1)

She’s been away since October 2007, but nearly one year ago scored a victory in first race off a similar layoff; has made it to the Winner’s Circle three times in six lifetime turf starts, all at today’s distance, which includes being 2 for 2 over the Pimlico turf course.           

Longshot:        Silver Bay        (# 3; 1st race; 6-1)
This 6 year old maiden (yikes!) at least ran competitively at this level ($8k) in her last two while finishing fourth. The key today is he gets Lasix for the first time for his fourth career start. Four starts at age 6?! Talk about a “late bloomer”. I’m really going out on a limb with this one considering this runner is the trainers’ only horse under her care who also happens to be the owner and breeder.    
Good Luck with your selections today!