God's Tipster's Saturday Pimlico picks: 8 races including the Preakness, Skipat, Sir Barton, Chick Lang, more
Friday’s Race Recap from Pimlico:
(All odds US)
Race 3: 1st@ 6.90/1 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Race 7: 3rd@ 1.80/1
Race 9: SCRATCH
Race 11: 9th@ 6.40/1
Race 12: 5th@ 4.70/1
Race 13: 1st@ 11.00/1 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Race 14: 2nd@ 4.40/1
Our Preakness weekend began with a bang as first time starter Caroline Krystyna broke from the gate like a shot and never looked back enroute to a three length score at 6/1. In Race 7, Shadown Sphinx sat off the pace and came with his run but the pace stayed on and we had to settle for third. In Race 9 we scratched. In Race 11, Aunt Shirley was rank early then faltered late before being eased in the lane. In Race 12, Kuchar prompted outside early before fading late. In the Grade 2 Black Eyed Susan it was Taxed who raced 4 wide most of the journey before making her move on the far turn and winning off by nearly four lengths at 11/1 odds. In race 14, Covert Kat stalked early pace from the rail while the heavy favorite scooted away to an uncontested lead. Covert Kat was reeling the favorite in late but had to settle for second.
Two firsts (7/1 and 11/1), a second and a third place finish from six selections after a scratch gave members a successful start to Preakness weekend!
It’s time to get your PREAK on!!! Preakness Day 2023 and we’ve got another stakes-packed race card to handicap. As of now there’s a 50% chance of rain in the forecast. I’m handicapping for fast and firm conditions anyway. Let’s get started!!!
Race 1: Tapio - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 15/1)
Turf sprinters race 5 furlongs to kick off our day! A few in here have shown moderately decent efforts but nothing overwhelming so I’m opting for a new face at what I hope will be a big price. Tapio is lined at 15/1 on the morning line off two career starts. He won his debut (something I always love to see) and he was immediately vaulted into stakes competition while racing first time turf while racing a route of ground for the first time off a 9 month layoff. He understandably didn’t put forth his best effort that day but today they cut this Virginia bred back to a more appropriate distance while adding blinkers and gelding him in March. This guy has three siblings who have won on the turf including a full sister who won six turf starts including 5 stakes races. Top notch connections are the cherry on top for a runner who may be overlooked based on a single turf start where the deck was stacked against him.
Race 3: Headline News - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 8/1)
*BREAKING NEWS* - Headline News makes his debut today for the always dangerous barn of Jimmy Toner who’s won with 10 of 30 starters this year. He doesn’t catch any world beaters in this debut race and he’s been working bullets. This guy is a half to Masterofthesenate, who’s won three of five starts on turf in his career so far and who won his debut race. It’s interesting that the normally conservative Toner decides to start this runner on the Preakness undercard and this four-year-old gelding who has a year on most of his competitors has the look of a live runner.
Race 4: Tapit’s Conquest - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 4/1)
According to the morning line odds, the Sir Barton for three-year-olds at a mile and a sixteenth has already been run and Arabian Lion has won the race. Or so his 2/5 morning line odds might have you believe. He’s fine and maybe he’s just best but I haven’t loved any of Baffert’s three year olds this year and at 2/5 I’d rather take a shot to beat him with Tapit’s Conquest - a horse I LOVED early in the season on the Kentucky Derby trail. Things didn’t work out but he didn’t embarrass himself in the Grade 2 Risen Star or Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. I still think there’s more to this runner than we’ve seen so far, I think he’s still developing and I look for him to have a strong second half of the year. He may need some help up front with some pace pressure on Arabian Lion but do not overlook Tapit’s Conquest.
Race 6: Prince Of Jericho - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 9/2)
The Grade 3 Chick Lang at six furlongs for three-year-olds brings together a competitive field of seven runners. Once again I don’t trust the Baffert runner on the rail who’s likely to go favored. The horses shipping from California just haven’t been as fast as some of the East Coast horses and the last time he sprinted he was handed an easy lead and coasted. He’s likely to face more pace pressure today and Prince of Jericho fits the profile of a runner who will capitalize from a speed duel. His trainer is currently winning at an impossible 64% so getting 9/2 on him would be a gift. He’s kept decent enough company as several of those he’s faced will be running in the Grade 1 Preakness later on in the card.
Race 8: Hurricane Dream - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 7/2)
The Grade 3 Dinner Party at a mile and an eighth on turf features the return of Grade 1 Pegasus Turf winner Atone, who finished third in this race last year. Atone’s most recent start at Fair Grounds wasn’t pretty and Hurricane Dream looks like a formidable rival for him. A Multiple graded stakes placed runner in France and Germany, Hurricane Dream shipped in for the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf earlier this year and finished 10th after a slow start, only losing by 4. He returned to blast an allowance field in his most recent start and a similar effort will make him tough here. Top connections are at the helm and it’s possible we may actually see the 7/2 morning line on this guy.
Race 9: Cheetara - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 12/1)
The Skipat Stakes will be run at 6 furlongs and features an abundance of early speed and I sided with the elder stateswoman of the group - the six year old Cheetara. There are only a few in here with higher lifetime speed figures than she has but those fillies and mares are dyed in the wool speed types who may just duel one another into defeat. Cheetara’s top races may be behind her but it may not take a career best effort to topple these. She’s already shown an ability to win from just off the pace and she’s been working well at Keeneland for connections that are capable of springing an upset.
Race 12: Fadethenoise - 1 pt win (US Morning Line Odds: 20/1)
Bombs Away for us in the JW Murphy stakes at a mile on the turf for three-year-olds. Funtastic Again is breaking from the rail at 3/1 on the morning line but his last career turf start was dreadful and he’s not as fast early as Fadethenoise is. Fadethenoise is a HUGE price for a Mike Maker barn that’s won 5 of 18 turf route starts (28%) here at Pimlico - most of those being stakes races. Many will dismiss Fadethenoise at first glance because his speed figures have been considerably lower than the best in here but he’s also been sprinting against stakes company. He went to the sidelines after a sprint stake at Saratoga and returned in a sprint stake at Keeneland. He’s sharp now and I see a scenario where he’s dangerous on the front end for top connections.
Race 13: Mage - 2 pts win - BEST BET (US Morning Line Odds: 8/5)
The Grade 1 Preakness at a mile and three sixteenths on the main track is our middle jewel of the Triple Crown. First Mission, our second choice on the morning line was a vet scratch early on Friday morning. In my mind this boiled down to a two horse race between Grade 1 Kentucky Derby winner - Mage and First Mission. Now that First Mission is out I think this race is in Mage’s lap. He’ll still have to do some work. National Treasure will be motoring on the front end and will need some pace pressure. Mage probably won’t have the same perfect trip he had last time he raced, two weeks ago in Kentucky, but he’s been lightly raced thus far and is versatile enough to sit the right trip. Red Route One looks like he’ll close for a share but to me Mage offers significant value at his 8/5 morning line. As of the writing of this email he’s actually 9/5 on the U.S. betting boards. Let’s get Mage home in front so we can root home another Triple Crown in three weeks!
Best of luck to all our members playing Saturday’s races from Pimlico!