Garrity's Saturday Preakness Undercard Picks: The Gallorette, Dinner Party, Skipat, Maryland Sprint, more

Garrity's first post is 2:08 PM EDT.
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The Preakness may be the day’s biggest race, but it’s not the only one: there are some good stakes on the undercard at Old Hilltop this afternoon. We have selections in five, and expect fast dirt and firm turf in all. Let’s go.

Pimlico, Race 7, 2:08 pm ET

Grade 3 Gallorette Stakes, 1 1/16 miles, Turf, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Seven filly and mare turfers go in the Gallorette, but we have eyes for just one: 1-Whitebeam, a Chad Brown trainee who ran in England and France last year, and made her North American debut at Gulfstream Park last month, where she finished second in a minor stakes. We might like her for those reasons alone, but we move her up – way up – for having closed into a slow pace last out, and doing so on Gulfstream’s speed-favoring turf course. We think she blows this field away, and will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Pimlico, Race 7, $60 to win on 1-Whitebeam.

Pimlico, Race 8. 2:49 pm ET

Grade 3 Dinner Party Stakes, 1 ⅛ miles, Turf, 3 & Up

Pace is a huge factor in all horse races, but it will be doubly so in the Dinner Party, as it looks like 1-Atone is going to get a ridiculously easy early lead, galloping on the front end while setting slow early fractions. That will leave him with plenty of reserve energy to outrun the closers down the stretch; we see a wire-to-wire victory, and will bet Atone to win at 9/5. The bet: Pimlico, Race 8, $40 to win on 1-Atone.

Pimlico, Race 9, 3:31 pm ET
$100,000 Skipat Stakes, 6 furlongs, Dirt, Fillies & Mares 3 & Up

Ten female sprinters go to the game in the Skipat. The pick is 3-Beguine, who has had buzzard’s luck in her last two starts, finishing as the runner up both times despite running very well. She gets a field here that she should handle, especially since the shape of the race should favor her stalking running style. Look for her to be just behind the first flight of horses early, to move to the lead at the top of the stretch, and to hold off the closers late. We will bet her to win at 3-1. The bet: Pimlico, Race 9, $40 to win on 3-Beguine.

Pimlico, Race 11, 4:53 pm ET
Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Stakes, 6 furlongs, Dirt, 3 & Up

A field of ten goes in the Maryland Sprint Stakes, and the first impression we got running through the past performances is how many of them have abundant speed: We see a wickedly fast pace that will play against the speed horses, and in favor of horses coming from behind. That makes the pick 7-Nakatomi, who is the best late runner in the group. We will bet him to win at 5/2. The bet: Pimlico, Race 11, $40 to win on 7-Nakatomi.

Pimlico, Race 12, 5:51 pm ET

$100,000 James W. Murphy Stakes, 1 mile, Turf, 3-Year-Olds

The race before the big race is the Murphy, a mile race for 3-year-olds on the Pimlico turf. It drew a field of nine. We are taking a shot on 6-Moonstrike, who began his career in on the synthetic surface at Turfway Park, but who has a pedigree that suggests he will be much better on turf. He actually ran on the grass last out, in an allowance at Keeneland, but had a nightmarish trip that ended in a next-to-last finish. We think he will rebound today, and that makes him worth a flutter at 20-1 odds. We will bet him to win. The bet: Pimlico, Race 12, $35 to win on 6-Moonstrike.

That’s all for today. Until the next time, enjoy the racing, be safe, and, as always, good luck at the windows.

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