The Preakness non-alcohol hang-over is almost gone but the reality of returning my everyday responsibilities smacked me in the face on Monday like a splash of cold water on a winter’s morning. Preakness Week for me was a great time to connect with many folks who make their living in the horse racing industry, from hot-walker to free lance photographer, the impact that thoroughbred horse racing has on their living is indescribable.
The fact my Preakness pick Caracortado failed to run to my expectations couldn’t dampen the pride I felt on Preakness Day in witnessing a substantial increase in attendance over 2009 and to interact with many 20 and 30-somethings who showed a genuine interesting in horse racing as they listened intently as I provided handicapping insight, in the Preakness Village, on each race.
Recapping Day 17 (Preakness Day, Saturday, May 15th)…at the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet Kera’s Kitten (# 5; 7th race on the turf; 5-1) showed interest early on, leading to the ¾ pole, but had nothing left for the stretch drive fading badly to finish 7th.
Best Bet pick scorecard from 11 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 1 WIN – 4 PLACE – 3 SHOW.
Longshot Pick Six (# 12; 11th race; 25-1) was off slow and was rushed up on the backstretch, racing in 3rd into the far turn, but was too wide throughout to be a threat in the final furlongs, as jockey Mike Smith realized he covered too much ground too early and it wasn’t going to happen today, finishing 11th.
Longshot pick scorecard from 12 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 2 WIN – 0 PLACE – 1 SHOW
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, : $233 on Caracortado (# 9; 11th race; 23-1) was in perfect position stalking First Dude throughout the first 7 furlongs, but jockey Paul Atkinson was forced to move a bit too early when Lookin At Lucky swung to his outside. The two moved in tandem, challenging First Dude for the lead at the head of the stretch, but “Scarface” flattened out at the eighth pole, finishing a disappointing 7th, while killing the SHOW parlay 11 day streak. Hindsight being 20-20, Lookin At Lucky should have been the SHOW parlay pick, as in my analysis of him for the Preakness, I stated, “ With a trouble free trip, he is no worse than second here”. So with 3 days left in the Pimlico Meet, we’re down to $60 of our original $100 for the SHOW Parlay.
For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 18 (Thursday, May 20th)…
Best Bet: Skeleton Crew (# 3; 5th race on the turf; 2-1)
Just 6 days ago, this 7 year old made his 2010 debut as the 5-2 favorite but broke awkwardly and was last of 11 in a 5 furlong turf sprint. He typically is just off the lead, so this start was a disaster, yet rallied in the stretch to finish half length behind the winner, My Bullet, who is also entered in this race. With a clean break today, Skeleton Crew should make amends and cross the wire first, as his trainer John Secor gets 32% of his runners to the Winners Circle in their second race after a layoff.
Longshot: Media Speed (# 7; 2nd race; 15-1)
This 1 1/16 mile race is void of any legitimate early speed, other than Media Speed, who was outrun in his 2 most recent efforts on the grass. He returns to dirt which should help him move forward, but even if he can get an easy lead and control it with a slow pace (say the first quarter in 49.2), he’ll still be hard pressed to keep the lead in the final furlong, but is worth a shot at 10-1 or higher and being a part of the 1st -2nd race Double.
SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $60.70 ($293.70 bankroll – $233 wager + $0 return)
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $20 on Aztec Run (# 10; 7th race on the turf; 3-1) appears to be maturing with every race and is destined to be a turf runner as his best efforts have come on the grass. If he can avoid the trouble he has encountered in his last 2 races, he should hit the board if not win this maiden contest.
Looks like Day 18 will be a beautiful one with sunny skies to enjoy the 9 exciting chase scenes thoroughbred horse racing has to offer at Old Hilltop.