Pimlico: Selections for Sunday (Day 23) & Big Brown News

May 25, 2008 | Gary Quill

Some eye-brow raising news came out of New York last week concerning Big Brown. The Blood-Horse* reported that Big Brown has a slight run down behind coming out of the Preakness. How did this happen? It could have been due to a change in shoeing. I looked at the replay of the Preakness. My guess is it happened when he checked slightly behind Gayego, entering the backstretch, as Riley Tucker denied him a pathway away from the rail. This type of stop-and-go movements often cause run down.
A “run down” occurs when the backside of horse’s ankles hit the racing surface while running in a race. Once a horse has had a “run down”, he can be prone to repeating it. To help the healing process, topical ointment and run-down-patches are applied when he works. I doubt if this development will be become an issue as did the Spectacular Bid safety pin incident in 1979, but we’ll see.      
Recapping Day 22 (May 24th)…
Best Bet, Cape Codder (# 7; 2nd race; 9-2) hit the track without the front bandage wraps and I hit the betting windows for more action on him even though he was part of my live Daily Double ticket. He didn’t disappoint me or those who bet him down to 2-1 as he broke alertly and took charge in the stretch coasting to victory, paying $6.60 $4.20 and $3.00 across the board.
Longshot, Malibu Kate (# 3; 1st race; 10-1) went up against a 1-5 favorite, but it was “Kate” who took command from gate into mid-stretch, but could only sustain his speed for 5 of the 6 furlong contest. At 9-1 he gave a good account of himself, holding onto the SHOW spot paying $3.80. BTW – The 1-5 chalk beat a 12-1 first-timer by a neck.   
Here’s who I like for the Day 23 (May 25th) of the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet:         Nancy’s Grace  (# 6; 2nd race; 2-1)

Fresh off a claim, trainer Dove Houghton gets 27% of them to the Winner’s Circle, the same percentage as jock Jozbin Santana gets when riding for her.

Add to the equation the 9-5 M/L favorite (# 3 – Foxy Date) does her best running on an Off Track (track condition of her two recent wins). Lastly, this field is full of early speed whereas Nancy’s Grace has shown the ability to lay off the lead, leaving enough for a strong stretch run.     
Longshot:        Cat On The Moon (# 6; 1st race on the turf; 10-1)
Even though this 5 year old mare has only 1 win in 6 starts at today’s distance (1 1/16 mile), she could be a player here. She took the winter off, as do many turf runners stabled in the Mid-Atlantic region, but might be ready at first asking in 2008. She was entered in an Alw7500 turf race at Pimlico on May 15th, but was scratched when it was taken off the turf. Twice in her career when coming off a “vacation”, she has placed a fast closing 4th going this distance versus better company.  
I want to hear who you like today! Good Luck with your selections!
* – Kudos to Dave (from Hollandtown) for providing me the “heads-up” on the Big Brown story.