Pimlico Selections & Pint-Sized Prognosticators Derby Picks

April 30, 2009 | Gary Quill

My 5 year old nephew Michael is quite an amazing young man. Amazing not because his baseball swing is as ferocious as Red Sox second basemen Justin Pedroia’s nor due to his tenacity when riding his snowboard like Shaun White in the New England snow. He simply has an amazing knack for picking winners… whenever the mood hits him.


In December 2007, long before Barack Obama became a household name, his Mom prepared to cast her vote in the Presidential Primary election. Being a curious child, Michael asked what she was doing. After a lengthy explanation of our Democratic process and briefing him on all of the candidates, Michael paused for a bit then said, “I think that Obama guy will win”. As we know, 11 months later, “that guy” became the first African-American President of the United States.


In late January 2008, as my Patriot-crazed sister prepared for an enjoyable evening at home with her son to watch what was supposed to be a foregone conclusion, a Patriot victory over the overmatched NY Giants, Michael asked, “Who are the Patriots playing?” Upon receiving his answer, he thought for a minute, then to my sister’s dismay he exclaimed, “The Giants are going to win”. Hours later the Giants pulled off the biggest Super Bowl upset since Joe Willy Namath correctly predicted victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.


Now you know where I’m going with this story. On Wednesday evening I received an email from my sister, explaining how Michael studied the videos of Derby starters workouts over the Churchill Downs track. He only watched certain workouts after eliminating a handful just after his Mom read of the list of horses. As he made comments while watching the videos, his Mom simply recorded them without saying a word. When finished, he went back to review his 3 favorites and even wrote them down, documenting his selections just as any professional handicapper would do. For the record, below is Michael’s analysis of the Derby…

Flying Private – maybe
Chocolate Candy – I like that name
Friesan Fire – hey yeah, he’s a winner! (#1)
General Quarters – too slow
Hold Me Back – he’s not a winner – I can tell by his feet
I Want Revenge – He’s a winner!! oh man, he’s kicking up steam (#2)  
Musket Man – awesome (#3)
Papa Clem – he has to pick up the pace
Pioneerof The Nile – he’s awesome
Regal Ransom – I don’t know about that one
West Side Bernie – needs his side burns shaved!
Win Willy – Win Willy wishes he would win, but his wish won’t come true!


Well, this pint-sized, prognosticator is correct about Win Willy since he was withdrawn on Wednesday morning prior to the Post Position Draw due to an ankle injury. So he’s got Friesan Fire on top, with I Want Revenge second and Musket Man third. That’s a 6-13-2 Trifecta. It should be noted that no video was available for Atomic Rain, Dunkirk, Join In The Dance and Nowhere To Hide. Good Luck to Michael and his Momma.


Recapping Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 6 (Sunday, April 26th)…


Best Bet Dancin Diane  (# 5; 5th  race on the turf; 5-2) went from 5-1 M/L to the betting favorite, but had an unfortunate trip. She was checked in close quarters leaving the backstretch, swung 5 wide turning for home and ran out of real estate, finishing 5th but only 1½ lengths behind the winner.

Longshot Wake Up Maggie  (# 7; 8th race; 15-1) prompted the pace but was challenged by 2 rivals early causing her to throw in the towel.


SHOW Parlay Play of the Day$20 on Sir Togo (# 5; 4th race 8-1) was put on hold when he was scratched.


For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 7 (Thursday, April 30th)…


Best Bet:   Pilanesberg  (# 2; 5th  race on the turf; 3-1) last September made her grass debut in a $50k stakes race as a maiden. Now that speaks volumes to what her connections thought of her turf running prowess. That day she sprinted to an early lead only to bolt badly at the 3/8 pole. With a 3rd and 2nd place finish in her first two starts of 2009 on the dirt, her return to the turf course could be topped off with a visit to the Winners Circle.

 Longshot:   Speed Bump (# 3; 3rd race; 20-1) In this low level claiming contest, this 8 year old mare has only hit the board in 13 for 61 lifetime starts, including just 2 victories…Yikes! What’s intriguing about her is 8 of her in-the-money finishes have come at Pimlico in only 14 lifetime tries. 


SHOW Parlay available bankroll: $80.60 ($80.60 bankroll – $0 wager + $0 return)


SHOW Parlay Play of the Day:  $20 on Tiger Fever (# 10; 7th race 5-1) first outing of 2009 for this 7 year old accomplished turf runner. She was put on the shelf after two consecutive disappointing races last Fall on dirt surfaces. Her return to the turf hopefully will be promising as she is 6-6-3 in 21 lifetime grass races, which include a victory and runner-up effort in her only two races on the Pimlico turf course.

Let’s hope Day 7 will be another beautiful day to enjoy the exciting chase scenes thoroughbred horse racing has to offer. Good Luck!