Pimlico: Selections for Day 2

April 18, 2008 | Gary Quill

What a gorgeous day it was on Opening Day at Pimlico. It was truly a winner. The best part about it was the home team didn’t lose. The main track and turf at Old Hilltop appeared to be in great shape. In the past, the Pimlico main track would favor speed early in the meet, but it played pretty honest. Actually if anything, in the early races all winners came from well off the pace.  
Recapping Day 1 (April 17th)…
Best Bet, Izzy Speaking (# 3; 8th race) was off the board (5th) as the 9-5 second choice.
Longshot, Actxpresso (# 3; 3rd race) was listed at 12-1 Morning Line, but was bet down to 7-2 and WON, paying $9.20.   
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, Phoenix Heat (# 8; 5th race) did exactly what we needed him to do, finishing 3rd at 5-1, returning $3.40 for the SHOW. Whew, made it through the first day with a 70% return.     
Here’s what I like for the Day 2 (Apr. 18th) of the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet:         Bleniem (# 2; 2nd race; 9-5)

There’s enough speed in this 7 horse field to set things up nicely for this 4 year old who can sit off a hot pace. At 9-5 Morning Line he’s the 2nd choice. The 8-5 favorite (# 1) is a 3 year old making his first start versus his elders. This early in the year, I don’t like betting 3 year olds against 4 year olds because they are still maturing and often cannot compete in races not restricted to 3 year olds. Hence, I feel the favorite is vulnerable.  

Longshot:        Top Of The Tree (# 7; 4th  race; 12-1)
For pretty much the same reason as the Best Bet, there is plenty of speed in this 1 1/16 mile race. When Top Of The Tree runs his race, he comes from the clouds in the stretch. In his last effort, he ran a game 3rd after slow early fractions  and getting bottled up, unable to launch a strong move. He has one win and two thirds in 4 lifetime starts at this distance. Add the fact he must like the Pimlico surface… in two lifetime starts he has a win and a third.      
SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $114     ($100 – $20 bet + $34 return)

One race day down, 26 more to go. Our initial $20 wager returned $34, so now we “Let It Ride”.                  


SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $34 on Lotsa Ileana (# 1/1A; 1st race; 7-5)

Sorry, this one is too good to pass up. Not because it’s a two-horse entry in a 7 horse field. Not because this entry is 7-5 Morning Line. It’s because both parts of the entry have a very good chance to finish “in the money”. If this occurs, the SHOW payoff could be $3.00. How?! Because the SHOW pool will only need to be distributed between two betting interests, the #1/#1A entry and the other horse who finishes 1st, 2nd or 3rd. If only one of the two (Lotsa Ileana or #1A, Aly’s Colors) manage to finish at least 3rd, then the SHOW payoff will likely be a poultry $2.10. It’s a risk, but it’s a 5% return. On paper, Lotsa Ileana is actually the weaker part of the entry, so I really wouldn’t mind if the trainer scratches Aly’s Colors. Then the betting public wouldn’t be so hot on  Lotsa Ileana and her odds would be more generous (probably 5-2). If this were a one foot putt on the golf course it would be “Gimme”. Unfortunately, there are no gimme’s in horse racing, but we’ll take our chances with this one.