Whether you are a native Marylander or a transplant, unless you are an octogenarian can you truly appreciate the rich history that thoroughbred horse racing has in the Free State.
More than a half-century before Mayflower moving vans hauled the Baltimore Colts off to Indianapolis and long before the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore to become the Orioles, the “Sport of Kings” had already compiled a long list of great thoroughbred racing moments in Maryland.
It’s doubtful that in my 45+ years of actively being a fan, that I can accurately whittle down these great moments to a mere sixteen (16). But for the sake of celebrating WNST’s 16 years of existence, I’ve compromised and referenced only moments in my lifetime with one obvious exception.
16. Deputed Testamony (1983) —
Bred in Maryland on Bonita Farm in Harford County by his trainer Bill Boniface, Jr. and ridden by Maryland native Donnie Miller, Jr. this 3-year-old son of Traffic Cop splashed home to win by 2¾ lengths. He remains the most recent of eight Maryland breds to have won the Preakness Stakes. One year later at Pimlico, he won the City of Baltimore Handicap in track record time for a 1 1/16 mile event in 1:40 4/5, which still stands today.
BALTIMORE, 10-29-13—The Maryland Jockey Club today unveiled the 2014 Preakness logo for the 139th running of the $1 million Preakness® Stakes (G1). The middle jewel of racing’s Triple Crown will take place May 17 at Pimlico Race Course.
For the 15th consecutive year, the Leffler Agency designed the official Preakness logo. The agency’s creative branding division, BrandNU Marketing™, created the logo under the design guidance of senior art director Jeffrey Sewell.
In the 2014 logo, the race is well underway as three horses gallop over the word Preakness (in the logo). Stylized horses and jockeys seem to zoom in from thin-air giving a sense of movement to the illustration. A nod is given to Maryland as the state flag colors of red, black and gold are boldly used. Fresh and fun, the logo attempts to capture the race excitement that is unmistakably the Preakness.
“Creating the Preakness logo is an annual tradition for our design department at Leffler Agency and BrandNU Marketing,” stated agency president/owner Bob Leffler. “We have had the honor of creating this national branding mark ever since 2000. This year’s logo is all about the speed and excitement of the race.”
The annual running of the Preakness is a classic American institution. First contested in 1873, it is one of thoroughbred horse racing’s most valued Grade 1 stakes races. Now one of the largest single-day sporting events in the United States, “The People’s Race…The People’s Party” has hosted up to 121,309 for the pivotal middle jewel of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.
Tickets for Preakness 139 have been on sale since Oct. 1 and can be purchased by calling the Preakness ticket office (877-206-8042) or by logging onto www.ticketfly.com.
Preakness InfieldFest is a multi-entertainment festival featuring national headlining artists on two stages, the popular MUG Club and unique attractions throughout the day to give fans an unparalleled entertainment experience, featuring 13 exciting races, headlined by the Preakness Stakes. Just as in previous years, there will be tiers of pricing, based on calendar days, for Infield and MUG Club tickets. The first price increase takes place Friday, Nov. 1:
October Nov & Dec Jan-Apr 2014 May 2014
General Infield $40 $50 $60 $70
MUG Club $60 $70 $80 $90
Seating information and ticket reservation forms for Preakness 139 can be found at http://www.preakness.com/tickets.
About Pimlico Race Course
Pimlico Race Course is a Stronach Group company, North America’s leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator. The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness. The company owns and operates the Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida and is one of North America’s top race horse breeders through its award-winning Adena Springs operation. The Stronach Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of pari-mutuel wagering systems, technologies and services. Its companies include AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology; Xpressbet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service; and Monarch Content Management, which acts as a simulcast purchase and sales agent of horseracing content for numerous North American racetracks and wagering outlets. The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horse racing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America’s premier supplier of virtual online horse racing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.
On paper, the Saturday’s 145th running of the Belmont Stakes shapes up to be a great betting race, which isn’t a bad consolation since the luster of the race was tarnished by Orb’s loss to oxbow in the Preakness. There are fourteen (14) 3 year olds scheduled to break from the starting gate at Belmont on Saturday, for the $1 million 1½ mile classic, Post Time is 6:36pm EDT. NBC-TV will have “live” coverage from 5pm-7pm.
The weather forecast for the New York metropolitan area, location of Belmont Race Course, is “iffy”. The rain that fell all day on Friday may be gone by Saturday morning. MOstly cloduy skies and winds of 10-15 mph won’t be enough to dry out the track. So look for the track condition to be MUDDY.
Here’s how I see the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes playing out, listed in my predicted order of finish. Morning Line Odds are shown in comparison to the Early Betting Odds only from NYRA tracks, Fort Erie in Canada and Twinspires.com, which was only $39,552 in the WIN pool.
1st – #9 – Revolutionary
Trainer / Jockey: Todd Pletcher / Javier Castellano
Running Style: Closer
He was my pick to win the Kentucky Derby, but could only manage a 3rd place finish, while running on at the end. Skipping the Preakness was a wise move for this lightly raced son of War Pass. His granddaddy (A.P. Indy) on his Mom’s side won this race and there’s enough early speed in here to provide an honest pace to run at in deep stretch. Early Betting Odds : 5-2 compared to Morning Line Odds: 9-2
2nd – #10 – Will Take Charge
Trainer / Jockey: D. Wayne Lukas / Jon Court
Running Style: Tactical Speed
One of three colts who will have run in all 3 Triple Crown races (Orb and Oxbow are the other two), he was sort of a Wise-Guy horse in the Preakness after his strong run into the Churchill Downs stretch was abruptly stopped when Verrazano swerved in front of him. Unfortunately for his backers in the Preakness, he never fired, finishing 7th but during during Preakness week he wasn’t “on his toes” in the A.M. as he was during Derby week. Based on video from Belmont Park workouts, he looks “fit as a fiddle” again. Therefore, at a price he’s a must use in my exotics. Early Betting Odds : 23-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 20-1
3rd – #12 – Palace Malice
Trainer / Jockey : Todd Pletcher / Mike Smith
Running Style: Stalker
His Daddy (Curlin) lost the 2007 Belmont Stakesby a head, so there’s no question this colt can get the 12 furlongs. Mike Smith retains the mount after a less than stellar ride in the Derby, but the addition of blinkers likely caused Palace Malice to be way too aggressive and uncharacteristically go to the lead. The blinkers come off which should translate into a more relaxed run with a nice stalking trip. Early Betting Odds : 10-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 15-1
4th – #3 – Overanalyze
Trainer / Jockey: Todd Pletcher / John Velazquez
Running Style: Mid-Pack
Has the same sire (Dixie Union) as last years’ Belmont Stakes winner, Union Rags. So one would the distance should not be a question. Trainer Pletcher has 4 others in here but his #1 jock rides this one. If you believe in patterns, then look at Overanalyze’s past performances. He wins then loses, wins, loses He lost his last race. Early Betting Odds : 11-1compared to Morning Line Odds: 12-1
5th – #5 – Orb
Trainer / Jockey: Shug McGaughey / Joel Rosario
Running Style: Mid-Pack
The Derby winner was prematurely anointed a strong choice to be the first Triple Crown winner in 35 years, but it wasn’t to be as he was a distant 4th in the Preakness Stakes. So what makes him so special to be the favorite here? I’m thinking he may have peaked on the first Saturday of May and could be a tired horse. Early Betting Odds: 5-2 compared to Morning Line Odds: 3-1
6th – #13 – Unlimited Budget
Trainer / Jockey: Todd Pletcher / Rosie Napravnik
Running Style: Tactical Speed
The only filly in the field will try to become just the 4th filly in 145 runnings of the Belmont Stakes to enter the Winners’ Circle. She has the bloodlines and an impressive resume’ (4 wins in 5 career races; 3 in graded stakes). In an effort to compare her against her male counterparts, we can look to her Feb. 23rd race at Fairgrounds. A winning effort but her time was 4/5th of a second slower than the winner of the Risen Star, run 50 minutes after her victory. Neither the winner(I’ve Struck a Nerve) nor runner-up (Code West) are in here, but Palace Malice ran 3rd just a half length behind the winner. Early Betting Odds : 12-1compared to Morning Line Odds: 8-1
7th – #7 – Oxbow Trainer / Jockey: D. Wayne Lukas / Gary Stevens
Running Style: Speed Winner of the Preakness in gate-to-wire fashion, many believe he got away with a slow pace and put his competition to sleep. That won’t happen in this race as at least 3 others (Freedom Child, Giant Finish, Midnight Taboo and possibly Frac Daddy) will keep him company throughout the early stages. I see a carbon copy of his Derby run where he had the lead entering the stretch but didn’t have the stamina to seal the deal. Early Betting Odds : 16-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 5-1
8th – #14 – Golden Soul Trainer / Jockey: Dallas Stewart / Robby Albarado
Running Style: Closer
After his second place finish in the Derby at 34-1, it seems that all the experts have now discovered this hard-knocking colt who just keeps running, but only has beaten maidens in his 6 race career. Add the fact no horse has won the Belmont Stakes from the 14th post in at least 105 years. Early Betting Odds : 16-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 10-1
9th – #2 – Freedom Child
Trainer / Jockey: Thomas Albertrani / Luis Saez
Running Style: Speed
Romped by 13+ lengths in slop in the G2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont in most recent outing. One problem. He did it alone on the lead, dictating the pace. That won’t happen in this race. Though he only lost to Orb by 2 and finished ahead of Revolutionary by 2¼ in the same maiden race at Aqueduct in November, he’s likely to be a pace victim. Early Betting Odds : 8-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 8-1
10th – #1 – Frac Daddy Trainer / Jockey: Kenneth McPeek / Alan Garcia
Running Style: Tactical Speed
A quarter crack derailed his Derby Trail but still ran for the roses (16th). Been training lights out at CD since, but upon arriving in the Big Apple, he walked (1:04.60) through 5 furlongs in his final tune-up. Word has it he’ll gun from the #1 post, joining early speed. Looking for a glimmer of hope? In his career debut, he ran a nice second going a mile on a muddy Belmont surface. Early Betting Odds : 23-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 30-1
11th – #6 – Incognito
Trainer / Jockey : Kiaran McLaughlin / Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Running Style: Tactical Speed
It’s hard to believe the number of experts picking this one to pull a huge upset. I don’t see it. Other than having the pedigree to “run all day”, he lacks the seasoning. Making his seventh career start, took four tries to break his maiden, then followed that up with a win by a nose in a $25k Optional Claimer for N1X. Throw in the fact he’ll carry 10 more lbs. than he did in his last race, which is 6 more than he has ever carried. Early Betting Odds : 19-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 20-1
12th – #11 – Vyjack
Trainer / Jockey: Rudy Rodriguez / Julien Leparoux
Running Style: Tactical Speed
Went from an undefeated, potential Derby favorite heading into the Wood Memorial, to an afterthought for the Belmont Stakes. An 18th place finish by 52 lengths will do that to a horse, but is he really all that bad? From the looks of his recent workout (5f in 59 flat) over “Big Sandy” (aka Belmont), on paper is impressive but he was ridden hard in order to get that time. Derby jock Garrett Gomez opted for a bigger longshot in here (Midnight Taboo) rather than stick with this guy. Early Betting Odds : 31-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 20-1
13th – #4 – Giant Finish
Trainer / Jockey: Anthony Dutrow / Edgar Prado
Running Style: Speed
He’s a NY-bred who does his best within that company and/or on synthetic surface tracks. Ran in the Kentucky Derby without embarrassing himself (10th by 13¼) but never threatened, simply ran a “even” race. Expect Prado to get him up close early in order to have a fighting chance, but the distance will be too much for him. Early Betting Odds : 34-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 30-1
14th – #8 – Midnight Taboo
Trainer / Jockey: Todd Pletcher / Garrett Gomez
Running Style: Speed
He’s basically just starting his career with only 3 career races, is overmatched and is only runner in here that has never faced graded stakes company. The owner also has Overanalyze and Unlimited Budget. Both of those will need a quick pace to run at, so Midnight Taboo appears to be the sacrificial lamb. Early Betting Odds : 37-1compared to Morning Line Odds: 30-1
Based on my analysis of the Belmont Stakes, I’ll play…
$10 WIN, PLACE, SHOW on #9 (Revolutionary) – Cost $30
$1 EXACTA BOX on #3 (Overanalyze) #9 (Revolutionary) #10 (Will Take Charge) #12 (Palace Malice) – Cost $12
BALTIMORE, 06-06-13— Frank Carulli lives, breathes, eats and sleeps gambling, so it should not be a surprise that he will be taking his talents to Las Vegas next month.
“It is something I have always wanted to do from the first time I ever walked into Circus Circus sports book in the late 80’s,” Carulli said. “I said if I ever got the chance ‘I am coming’. Financially I can pull it off for now. Housing is dirt cheap and my health has been a little bad the last couple years, so I figure let’s have fun first and I’ll reassess the situation in two years.” Photo credit: Jim McCue, MJC
If Carulli has his way, the last two days he ever has to work are tomorrow and Saturday, the final two days of the Pimlico Race Course spring meeting. The 51-year-old will officially retire as the Maryland Jockey Club’s racing analyst and handicapper Friday, June 28.
“I have been gambling since grade school, peddling football cards for a quarter each so it is deeply imbedded in my blood and it never left,” added Carulli. “I grew up watching Penn National with my father and we had a betting account. I really targeted this job ever since watching Fred Lipkin from my living room as a kid.”
THE ODDSMAKER: Carulli arrived in Maryland in January 2002 after a 5½ year stint as publicity director and racing analyst at Charles Town.
In addition to analyzing each race and conducting interviews after stakes races on in-house and simulcast TV, Carulli was asked to set the morning line for each race every live racing day. He became one of the best in the business, with his morning line favorite being the actual betting choice more than a 70% of the time during his 11 ½ year tenure, including 11 of his 12 Preakness morning line selections.
“I am most proud of my linemaking skills,” said Carulli, who was a sports writer in Northern Virginia after graduating from Penn State before getting into the racing industry. “Before I took this job, I was working for Charles Town where I didn’t do odds and had an interview with the Daily Racing Form to be an oddsmaker and I blew the test. Here I am now, knowing how badly I did there.”
“Frank doesn’t consider doing the morning line a 9 to 5 job, where you just submit numbers and move on,” said longtime Maryland Jockey Club announcer Dave Rodman. “He took pride in doing the best job from favorite all the way down the line. He puts the time and effort into it. He understands the game and the mentality of the horse playing crowd. He tried to factor in not only what horses look like on paper but why the public would make that horse the favorite, factoring in riders and key races. When he had doubts about his own line he was not afraid to ask others for opinions, which is rare for someone in his position. His dedication really stood out to me, especially how he used to stress out about the Preakness line as soon as the horses crossed the line at the Kentucky Derby. He was always thinking.”
MEMORIES: Of course, most of Carulli’s top memories during his tenure in Maryland revolve around the Preakness Stakes (G1), the middle jewel of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.
“I will never forget Dave’s call of Afleet Alex (2005). How much the best was he?,” Carulli said. “The atmosphere here for Smarty Jones (2004) stood out beyond words. It was unbelievable and of course Barbaro (2006). I watched the race from the press box and the hush that fell over the crowd is something I will never forget. It was like watching a silent movie. I think the Preakness should have a museum. It is the greatest race in the country for what has happened in it, not just the great horses but the drama and everything else.”
Two of his other favorites are Mr. O’Brien, a runner Carulli correctly predicted would win the 2005 Dixie Handicap (G2) at 11-1 odds, and Eclipse Award winner Xtra Heat.
“One of my first stakes interviews was with the connections of Xtra Heat (2002 Barbara Fritchie) and I was blown away by the number of people surrounding the winners’ circle,” Carulli said. “They were about 50 deep. Then the next year she won the same race in the fog. When they brought her back to the paddock for the win photo, it was like a movie. There were flash cameras going off from the apron when she and (jockey) Rick Wilson came back. That was fascinating.”
THE REPLACEMENTS: Carulli was involved in the process of finding his on-air replacement Gabby Gaudet and has been mentoring her during the current meet.
“Gabby is going to surprise a lot of people with how well she is going to do,” Carulli said. “You don’t have to tell her to do anything twice. Her on-air demeanor has improved each week. I think the hardest thing is going to be keeping her here.”
Equibase chart caller Keith Feustle, who has been co-hosting the Pimlico and Laurel pre-race show with Rodman for nearly two years, will take over Carulli’s morning line duties. Feustle has been establishing the morning line at Colonial Downs since 2003.
“He is fabulous, one of the best out there,” said Carulli. “You can’t put into perspective as to how difficult it has been at Colonial, which is super difficult because it is all big fields on the turf. The adjustment for him is going to be super easy going from those to a more balanced race card. He is one of the best linemakers in the business, for sure.”
EL PRESIDENTE: Carulli’s work ethic is legendary but so is his appetite for action. Following each racing day, he can be found wagering on Latin American racing in the Pimlico or Laurel Park press box, which is how he earned the nickname El Presidente.
“He is definitely one of the more memorable people I have ever met,” Rodman said. “His love of gambling is what makes him such a colorful personality. He watches races from his own personal gym. Some of my favorite times are when he is on his treadmill after our race card and at the same time talking about a bad ride at San Isidro.”
WHEN IN VEGAS: Carulli will be leaving Maryland July 1 with stops in Cincinnati, Kansas City and Denver to watch baseball games. Once in Vegas, he plans on spending his time wagering.
“It will not be horse racing. Sports betting will be the bulk of it with halftime lines at the front of the line,” Carulli added. “Table games will be a large part of it, blackjack and craps. I am a decent poker player but decent might not be good enough out there so we’ll see. I am a realist and know the money could go quickly, so I need to sharpen my skills because that is what I would like to do. That and sports betting, which I love.”
Frankie Lovato’s JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #158… “Hung”
Recapping Pimlico’s Sunday (Day 34) 10-race card selections, posted a pathetic 3 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $4.60 (2nd race), $8.60 (8th) and $3.80 (10th).
The BEST BET (33 12-6-3) Coach Fridge (R9 #5 9-1 PT; 6-1 M/L) was off slowly but got a patient ride, letting the early speed set a torrid pace. Still trailing the field when turning for home, he finally kicked into high gear, passing all rivals except the prohibitive 3-5 favorite, for a nice runner-up effort to return $5.00 to PLACE and $3.40 to SHOW.
The LONGSHOT PICK (33 6-1-4) Flyingtobechilders (R3 #1 5-1 PT; 6-1 M/L) dull effort showed nothing in finishing 6th among 8 runners.
Saturday June 8th is Closing Day at Pimlico. There’s just two more live racing days left on the Old HIlltop calendar in 2013. The final Fan Friday (June 7th) and Saturday which is also Belmont Stakes Day. So if you haven’t been to Pimlico for the exciting chase scenes during the 36 day meet, time is running out. Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate and good weather will continue to shine down on Baltimore’s only horse race track.
Recapping Pimlico’s Saturday (Day 33) 10-race card selections, posted 6 winners (4 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $2.20 (1st race), $5.40 (2nd), $4.60 (5th), $6.40 (6th), $3.20 (8th) and $3.20 (9th).
The BEST BET (32 12-5-3) D D Renegade (R4 #6 8-5 PT; 5-2 M/L) three wide on the turn, stalked the duel, had aim on the lead in upper stretch but flattened out, only being second best returning $3.20 to PLACE and $2.60 to SHOW.
The LONGSHOT PICK (32 6-1-4) Another Taste (R10 #6 5-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) chased the pace three wide around the turn and held the show between rivals to return $5.00 to SHOW.
It’s officially Belmont Stakes week. Racing’s third leg of Triple Crown takes place on Saturday, June 8th. Even though Derby winner Orb failed to capture the Preakness Stakes, there is still plenty of interest in the $1,000,000 G1 event.
As of this writing as many as 14 will start in the Belmont Stakes. It will feature “The Rubber Match” between Orb and Preakness Stakes winner Oxbow. The NYRA has to be pleased with the amount of interest in this race, as every year if the Derby winner does not win the Preakness, the economic impact could be a disaster.
Luckily, either the NYRA Marketing Department or Racing Secretary’s Office has done an incredible job to attract a large field which normally results in a great betting and a huge handle.
In addition to Orb and Oxbow, the field is expected to include a filly, Unlimited Budget, who according to trainer Todd Pletcher “there’s a 99% chance that Rosie Napravnik will ride (Unlimited Budget).” The other 3-year-olds likely to run are Golden Soul, Revolutionary, Will Take Charge, Vyjack, Overanalyze, Incognito, Palace Malice, Freedom Child, Giant Finish, Always in a Tiz and Midnight Taboo.
Frankie Lovato’s JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #152… “High Weight”
Recapping Pimlico’s Friday (Day 32) 9-race card selections, posted 6 winners (5 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $7.60 (1st race), $3.40 (2nd), $5.00 (3rd), $6.20 (5th), $4.80 (7th) and $3.80 (8th).
The BEST BET (31 12-4-3) Biddy (R3 #4 3-2 PT; 2-1 M/L) simply did what was expected of him, go gate to wire as the only runner in the contest that had decent early speed going 5 furlongs on the grass, returning $5.00 to WIN, $3.40 to PLACE and $3.00 to SHOW.
The LONGSHOT PICK (31 6-1-3) Public Secret (R5 #7 2-1 PT; 4-1 M/L) got a perfect stalking trip and pounced on the cheap speed at the head of the stretch to score the easy 3 length victory to return $6.20 to WIN, $3.00 to PLACE and $2.40 to SHOW.
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.
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.
As the field loaded into the gate for Pimlico’s 1st race on Saturday, track announcer Dave Rodman referred to #4 – Spicer Cub as “the Youtube sensation”. That’s because during the 4-year-old geldings most recent race, a 1 1/16 mile contest, he actually ran about 1 1/8 miles.
With more views than the attendance figure from last weekend Preakness Day at Pimlico, it’s no wonder that when the betting opened yesterday, Spicer Cub was 4-5, down from the 7-2 Morning Line. Just prior to Post Time, #2 – Nashly’s Vow was scratched on advice of the track veterinarian. This left a field of 5, and Spicer Cub the 5-2 second betting choice.
Fitted with a special designed blinker, here’s how Spicer Cub fared…
What the casual horse racing fan won’t understand is that Spicer Cub “stepped up in class” in this race. That is, faced better competition than he had in his previous “adventure”. So to finish second was a major accomplishment in itself. He now has 4 runner-up finishes (from his last 4 races) in his 9 race career. Trainer Mary Eppler certainly deserves the credit for improving him from a $8,000 Maiden Claimer to the highest ($40,000) maiden ranks.
Recapping Pimlico’s Saturday 10-race card selections, posted 6 winners (4 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.00 (1st race), $10.60 (2nd), $5.00 (4th), $6.20 (6th), $6.20 (7th) and $11.80 (9th).
The BEST BET (28 10-4-3) Diversification (R8 #5 7-1 PT; 4-1 M/L) was taken well back early and never showed any fight as he trailed nearly every step of the way, only passing one even more pathetic than he.
The LONGSHOT PICK (28 5-1-2) Shipwreck Cove (R3 #7 4-1 PT; 12-1 M/L) chased the pace three wide around the turn, was carried to the four path in upper stretch then gave way, finishing 7th among a field of 8.
In a press conference less than 24 hours after the fourth largest crowd in Preakness history witnessed Oxbow’s victory in the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes, Maryland Jockey Club CEO, Tom Chuckas provided plenty of information.
The best news was that MJC will announce renovation plans for Pimlico by the end of 2013. With the influx of casino revenue which allowed for increased purses, Maryland thoroughbred horse racing has once again is THE #1 place for horsemen to train and run their equine athletes.
Click here to go to the Baltimore Business Journal website to listen to the press conference in its entirety.
Selections for Pimlico’s Saturday (Day 29) 10-race card will be on Page 2
Recapping Pimlico’s Friday 10-race card selections, posted 7 winners (1 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $6.20 (1st race), $5.40 (3rd), $12.60 (4th), $4.00 (5th), $7.40 (6th), $6.00 (7th) and $4.00 (9th).
The BEST BET (26 10-4-3) Small Giant (R5 #1A 7-2 PT; 4-1 M/L) hugged the rail, dueled with the winner to upper stretch then stopped, finishing last (5th).
The LONGSHOT PICK (26 5-1-2) Maryland Mystique (R7 #1 3-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) additional scratches beyond this race being taken off the turf cut the field size to 5… and that’s the only reason she finished 5th. She was supposed to be “lone speed”, but broke slowly, allowed the 2 horse to get the lead, and it was all downhill from that point.
For the fourth consecutive year, Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico, was filled with plenty of sunshine and warm hearts as it was the 4th annual People’s Pink Party, featuring the Lady Legends race which pitted eight retired female jockeys against one another. It was the 4th race on the card, won by Mary Russ-Tortora aboard Haywired, in gate to wire fashion.
What a proud moment for the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) and everyone who had a hand in pulling it off and making such a generous donation as Pimlico made a donation of $27,507 to the Komen Maryland affiliate, equal to the amount wagered to win on Haywired.
The Preakness Day forecast for the Baltimore-metropolitan area calls for most cloudy skies, with …plenty of sunshine, clear skies and a fast track. There are 13 races on the card. The $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes is the 12th race, with approximate Post Time 6:20pm EDT, with 1st race Post Time 10:45am.
Below I offer my opinions on all 13 races, but I’ll start with the Main Event. Here’s how I see the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes playing out, listed in my predicted order of finish. Odds shown are the current betting odds after Friday’s advanced wagering.
1st – # 1 Orb (4-5) sealed the deal as a legitimate threat to become the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years after outing in his final tune-up over the Belmont Park dirt surface on Monday. It was a work that on paper looked to be too fast (4 furlongs in 47), but according to his exercise rider it felt like they went about 3 seconds slower because he did it so easily. The confidence level in this colt is sky high.
2nd – # 4 Departing (11-1) is just one of three in this field that did not run in the Kentucky Derby. Often “new shooters” are a welcomed new edition as fresh prey, but this one has a legitimate shot at winning as prior to his Illinois Derby (his last race) victory, finished a strong 3rd in the Louisiana Derby, just a few lengths behind Mylute. Thus, he’s an improving colt that still has not yet peaked.
3rd – # 6 Oxbow (14-1) appearance on the track in the mornings of Preakness Week were nothing short of indicating the Derby took nothing out of him. Considering he was responsible for being part of one of the fastest early fraction times recorded for the Kentucky Derby
4th – # 5 Mylute (7-1) will require Rosie Napravnik to wait at least another year to fulfill her Preakness victory dream. Even though it seems that the key the his reversal of form appears to have been the removing of “Blinkers”, his late move in deep stretch might find him to run out of real estate, when he comes flying late in deep stretch.
The remainder of runners are predicted to finish as follows…
5th – # 9 Itsmyluckyday (9-1)
6th – # 7 Will Take Charge (12-1)
7th – # 2 Goldencents (7-1)
8th – # 8 Govenor Charlie (11-1)
9th – # 3 Titletown Five (23-1)