BALTIMORE, 05-30-13—Team Valor International’s Cerro (IRE) is named the overwhelming favorite to win Pimlico Race Course’s final stakes race of the spring meeting, the $100,000 Canonero II for 3-year olds, on Saturday afternoon.
After racing at Gulfstream Park and Keeneland earlier this year under the tutelage of Graham Motion, Cerro (6-5) will be asked to cover 1-1/8th miles for the second time since breaking his maiden in Italy last summer. The son of Mr. Greeley is one-of-four this year including a sixth place finish behind Kentucky Derby winner Orb in the Fountain of Youth (G2). Rick Mettee took over training duties after a fourth place finish in the Lexington Stakes (G3). Alan Garcia has the riding assignment.
Dynamic Strike (3-1) is the only stakes winner in the field, taking the Miracle Wood Stakes at Laurel park in early February for trainer Dickie Small. Since then the son of Smart Strike finished off the board in the Private Terms Stakes and Federico Tesio Stakes. Dynamic Strike put in a bullet half-mile work Wednesday morning, in which assistant trainer Dylan Smith reports the colt “came back sharper than he went to the track.” Forest Boyce will ride for the seventh straight time.
Dreaming of Jazz (4-1), who has wins for John Rigatteri, King Leatherbury and Juan Vasquez, makes his stakes debut. Hector Garcia is now his trainer of record. Apprentice Victor Carrasco will be aboard the Woke Up Dreamin offspring.
Hanky Doodle (8-1) has finished first or second in seven of 11 lifetime starts, including the Maryland Juvenile Championship last December. However the Gary Capuano trainee has failed to hit the board in his last two stakes tries: the Private Terms and Tesio. Xavier Perez has the call on the son of Cherokee’s Boy.
Recent maiden winners Midnight Cello (8-1) and Handsome Tiger (12-1) complete the field.
Frankie Lovato’s JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #151… “Heavy”
Recapping Pimlico’s Memorial Day 10-race card selections, posted just 4 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $6.40 (4th race), $9.00 (8th), $4.00 (9th) and $4.80 (10th).
The BEST BET (30 11-4-3) Poppy’s Punkin (R4 #7 2-1 PT; 7-2 M/L) was under a patient ride, stalking the leader until mid-stretch, then confidently took the lead in the final furlong to get under the wire first, returning $6.40 to WIN, $4.60 to PLACE and $3.00 to SHOW.
The LONGSHOT PICK (30 5-1-3) English Sarah (R5 #3 7-1 PT; 6-1 M/L) was towards the back of the pack early per her running style. Negotiated thru traffic in the final quarter mile, but was no match for the top two while emerging well clear of the rest to finish 3rd, returning $3.40 to SHOW.
Selections for Pimlico’s Friday, May 31st card will be on Page 2.