The Skipat Stakes goes off at 2:39 pm EDT.
Awesome weather and huge fields. What a difference 5 days can make. This weekend brings some of the best racing of the year as virtually all of the summer operations are racing, Pimlico is hosting the Black Eyed Susan and Preakness, and Belmont is getting wound up for its big day in 3 weeks. Exciting times to be at the track. Mick will be focused on big races for the next two days with a couple of favorites thrown in from elsewhere.
Picks for May 15, 2019:
As long as the thunderstorms wait until after the race cards conclude today it should be spectacular.
Belmont Race 7
4-Turco Bravo returns to a claiming race for the first time since winning the Stud Muffin Starter Stake at the end of March. This awesome old warrior is making his 78th career start during which time he has hit the board 48 times. Expect the challenges to come from 3-Eagle Pass, a runner that is hoping the rains arrive early since he is better on an off track, and 2-Curlin Road, a well-traveled sort that was a G3 winner in his last trip to the winner’s circle. Unfortunately, that was almost two years ago and a continent away. Age over beauty in this one.
$10 W/P/S 4-Turco Bravo
$2 Exacta Box 2,3,4
$1 Trifecta Box 2,3,4
Pimlico Race 7 Skipat Stakes
3-Chalon gets a soft spot to come back to the races. Just missed in the BC Filly and Mare Sprint last out. In addition, she runs for a barn that excels with this kind. Time off, nongraded stakes, and racing in Maryland are all positives for this mare that calls Fair Hill home, for at least part of the year. 7-Maybe Wicked gets back to a fast track where she has done her best work. Trainer Brad Cox remains red hot and has several live entries this weekend in Baltimore. Another local horse that has shown significant gas is 6-Anna’s Bandit. She is taking as big of a step up as the 3 is stepping down so the meeting will be in the middle. A real gut check but she should get a piece.
$10 W 3-Chalon
$2 Exacta 3/6,7
$1 Trifecta 3/6,7/6,7
This race also marks the start of the all stakes Pick 5. Mick’s card is below so look down before moving on if you want his multirace insight.
Pimlico Race 8 Miss Preakness Stakes
5-Congrats Gal carries local colors but needs to show that she has improved since finishing her 2-year-old campaign in November. 6-Never Enough Time looks to move up in class after dominating in her first two races. 2-Covfefe comes in for the aforementioned red hot Brad Cox. She is taking a step up off her last race but was well considered enough in the fall to run in the Frizette. Must use all of these and hope for a price.
$10 W/P/S 5-Congrats Gal
$2 Exacta box 2,5,6
$1 Trifecta Box 2,5,6
Pimlico Race 9 Hilltop Stakes
The best filly in this race has never run on turf and the best turf filly has never run in the U.S. Aren’t 3-year-old filly stakes fun? This race is wide open with 6 fillies in with a very good chance and several others who could hit the board if the pace and racing luck go their way. 2-Nova Sol arrived in trainer Chad Brown’s barn during the winter and this one has shown plenty of promise in the mornings to move up off her G3 placing in France last year. Brown seems to have an endless parade of turf fillies so it is hard to tell where this one is in the pecking order given the upcoming races at home at Belmont. 3-Fashion Faux Pas comes from another filly turf expert in Arnaud Delacour. Her last race was good considering the conditions and the firm turf at Pimlico should help although the increase in distance is a question. Pedigree says yes, experience says no. 5-Dogtag is the other Chad Brown filly who won a stake at 8.5f as a 2 year old on a yielding turf course. She returns from a winter off having posted satisfactory but not outstanding works. 9-Introduced has never missed the board in 4 starts but this is her first trip beyond 6f. She may be lone speed but will that work around Pimlico’s tight turns? 12-Orra Moor would be the favorite in this race if she had ever been on the turf and shown promise. She is very good on dirt and distance seems to be OK. The dam is a daughter of Royal Academy so there is turf influence but will it be enough? 14-Souper Escape needs to work a trip from the far outside which may not be easy. Look for this one to gun and go. Then can she hang on?
$0.10 Superfecta box 2,3,9,12,14
$1 Super High Five 3,12/3,12/2,9,14/2,9,14/2,9,14
Pimlico Race 10 Pimlico Special Stakes
13-You’re to Blame seems to relish the distance and will look to pounce at the finish line, a ploy that has worked for this one on multiple occasions. This race is a stepping stone to get this guy to the breeding shed for his next career. 2-Rally Cry finished behind the scratched 1 at Charles Town last out and today’s distance may be too far but the Pletcher/Velazquez combination wins with these. 6-Cordmaker is the local hope but he has never run this far or with this level of company. He is progressive and he was pulling away at 9f two back. 8-Tenfold ran well over this track in the Preakness last year getting beat ¾ to Justify before running a respectable race in the Belmont but fading. Distance is a question but class is not. 4-Carlino needs to show a little more but should be there at the end for a piece.
$10 W/P/S 13-You’re to Blame
$0.10 Superfecta box 2,6,8,13
$1 Super High Five 13/2/6,8/4,6,8/4,6,8
Pimlico Race 11 Black Eyed Susan
6-Always Shopping is nothing if not progressive. This is the next logical step. All the locals will be pulling for 9-Las Setas as she is the best filly that Katy Voss has trained since Wood So. Remember her? 7-Brill has shipped across the country for this spot, an angle that has worked before for the connections. 8-Point of Honor ships in from Belmont for trainer George Weaver. Her last start showed that she was not perfect but she should move up with the experience.
$10 W/P/S 6-Always Shopping
$10 S 9-Las Setas
$1 Trifecta box 6,7,8,9
$0.10 Superfecta box 6,7,8,9
Pimlico All-stakes Pick 5
Race 7: 3
Race 8: 2,5,6
Race 9: 2,3,9,12,14
Race 10: 2,13
Race 11: 6,9
Mick understands that it is a $30 commitment that may be over if Race 7 does not go to the single but the pool should be big on a big race day, one of the few times a Pick 5 makes sense.