By all accounts, Opening Day at Pimlico on Saturday was a smashing success. Beautiful weather, exciting races (not all “chalk”), a diverse crowd of 8,700 and a “halftime” concert by Country Music Star Darryl Worley was exactly the shot in the arm Pimlico management needed to get the 20-day Spring Meet off and running.
Being a thoroughbred horse racing fanatic for close to 45 years, the “halftime” concert was a first at the track of me. Instead of the customary 25 minutes between races, there was just over an hour between the 5th and 6th races to provide the fans a musical treat. Using a flatbed truck as his stage parked just yards before the Finish Line on the dirt oval, Darryl Worley and his band performed about a dozen tunes to the delight of the crowd.
The “halftime” concert was a win-win situation for both Pimlico and performer. Pimlico successfully enticed many Country Music fans to come out in hopes of introducing them to horse racing while Darryl Worley won over a number of music fans who have long turned a deaf ear to Country Music. The latter is fact because I fit into that category, finding myself toe-tapping to the music while studying the Past Performances for the latter races. It certainly helped me in hitting the Late Pick 3. Thank you Maryland Jockey Club and Mr. Worley.
Recapping Day 1 (Saturday 18th) at the Pimlico Spring Meet…
Best Bet Haley’s Lolipop (#3; 5th race; 9-5) was bet down to the favorite but failed to put forth her best effort until it was too late, running on from dead last to a 4th place finish, 3 lengths behind the winner.
Longshot Rikim (#11; 7th race; 7-2) prevailed by a half-length after a long battle down the stretch. He caught the eye of many bettors, taking much more action than track oddsmaker believed in listing him at 15-1 Morning Line. Not exactly longshot odds, but a winner just the same paying $9.20 6.40 3.60 across the board.
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Helen Says (# 2; 3rd race; 6-1) ran exactly to form as she got up to score the SHOW money for her backers. The fact that the odds on favorite (Foxy Date) ran out of the money helped sweeten the SHOW payoffs for the top 3 finishers. Helen Says returned $5.20 on a $2 SHOW bet. For the initial SHOW parlay bet of $20, the return was $52.00.This is a very good return to substantially increase the parlay amount.
For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 2 (Sunday, April 19th)…
Best Bet: Idolizer (# 7; 6th race; 3-1)Fans of American Idol will jump on this one who has won 8 times in 20 tries at today’s race distance. He’s been away since November 2008, but trainer Howard Wolfendale is a top-notch conditioner who gets his horses ready for every start.
Longshot: Smarty’s Gold (# 11; 5th race on the turf; 8-1)
There’s nothing on paper that shows this 3 year old son of Smarty Jones can run a lick after 7th and 6th place finishes on the dirt in his only two starts at Philly Park, but maybe that hint of turf breeding in him may help as he tries the grass for the first time. This is trainer Michael Gorham’s only entry on the card so maybe this one will have a little run in him when his hoofs might the grass?
SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $132 ($100 bankroll – $20 wager + $52.00 return)
SHOW Parlay Play of the Day: $52 on Runaway Prize (# 6; 2nd race; 8-5) the Morning Line favorite who has finished on the board in 3 of 4 career outings. Jock (Jeremy Rose) and trainer (Mark Shuman) have teamed up for 9 victories with 19 starters in 2009. Just a Top 3 finish here will do.
Looks like Day 2 will be another beautiful day to enjoy the exciting chase scenes thoroughbred horse racing has to offer. Good Luck!