The 2010 Pimlico 20-day Spring Meet is winding down and from all accounts it was a rousing success. Preakness Day attendance increased by 18,000 from last year, the beginning of the “Do Not BYOB” era. The weather was near perfect on every race day, with the exception of maybe one day where races were taken off the turf. Every race had at least 6 runners with an average of about 8-9 per race, assisted by plenty of turf races. The most impressive unofficial stat was the decrease in the average age of the horseplayer. Horse racing appears to have begun to appeal to Generation X, which is great news for the sport.
Closing day of the Meet is Saturday. Pimlico has billed it Fan Appreciation Day with FREE admission, FREE “Live” (Pimlico) race program and a “Send Off to Summer Sweepstakes” promising prizes to add sizzle to your Summer.
Recapping Day 18 (Thursday, May 20th)…at the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet Skeleton Crew (# 3; 5th race on the turf; 3-5) toyed with his competition for the first couple furlongs then unleashed a powerful outside move in the stretch for which none of his foes had an answer, going on to win by widening lengths paying a meager $3.40 to WIN, $2.60 to PLACE and $2.20 to SHOW.
Best Bet pick scorecard from 12 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 2 WIN – 4 PLACE – 3 SHOW.
Longshot Media Speed (# 7; 2nd race; 7-1) had some early takers for the lead, forcing him 3 wide into the first turn, but finally came away with an uncontested lead on the backstretch and strolled through the first half in 49.60, but could not hold off the winner (Hi Ho Bambino), settling for second and returning $7.00 to PLACE and $5.40 to SHOW.
Longshot pick scorecard from 13 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 2 WIN – 1 PLACE – 1 SHOW
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day : $20 on Aztec Run (# 10; 7th race on the turf; 3-1) 6-5) was the surprising 6-5 Post Time favorite and jumped right to the front of the 1 1/16 mile maiden contest. He led until the final 100 yards, yielding to two rivals (#2 – Mythical Hero, the winner) and by a nose to #6 – Steady Eddie, still good enough for third, but only paying $2.10 to SHOW thanks to the top 3 choices all finishing in the money. There’s 2 more racing days to try to yield a profit for the Meet.
For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 19 (Friday, May 21st )…
Best Bet: Queenameina (# 6; 8th race on the turf; 5-1)
Began her career in New York (Aqueduct) compiling three wins and a second in 6 tries, then came south to run second at Pimlico in a $15k Claimer for NY-based trainer Gary Contessa. This 3 year old has since been moved to the Edmond Gaudet barn and makes her turf debut. Gaudet has a history of sending out “live” horses first-time under his care and does well with first turfers. Considering he’s had a solid Pimlico Meet winning with 3 of 10 starters and two others in the money, look for this one should give a good account of herself here.
Longshot: Island Trip (# 5; 3rd race on the turf; 5-1)
It will be hard to gauge whether this 4 year old first-time starters Post Time odds will be anywhere around the 5-1 Morning Line, but she’s the pick at any price. It’s a lot to ask a filly to run 1 1/8 miles in her career debut, but she has both turf and distance breeding on the sire and dam side. Her sire (Alphabet Soup) is out of my favorite turf sire Cozzene. If I were independently wealthy, I’d aim to claim every dirt runner out of Cozzene who has never set foot, er uh hoof, on the grass in the afternoon. Trainer Lawrence Murray is 0 for 9 at the Pimlico Meet, but is 19% with first-time starters, 13% with turf runners and 26% with runners making their racing debut in Maiden Special Weight races, which is the class she is entered here.
SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $61.70 ($60.70 bankroll – $20 wager + $21 return)
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $21 on Papa Im (# 2; 5th race on the turf; 20-1) has hit the board in all 3 of his turf efforts (1 second and 2 thirds). His pricey Morning Line is due to him taking what appears to be a huge jump in class (from $5k to $25k Claimer) but that’s based on his recent dirt races. In his last grass race in October he ran third in a $25k Maiden event when 25-1. Based on his competition here, it’s not a stretch to think he can muster a top three finish.
Looks like Day 19 will be a beautiful one with sunny skies to enjoy the 9 exciting chase scenes thoroughbred horse racing has to offer at Old Hilltop.