It is Black Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico, the 13-race card getting underway at noon eastern, and if you are supposed to head off to work today you have a couple of hours to final a good reason to call in sick and fire up the online wagering account.
Today’s card at Pimlico is outstanding, a great warm-up to tomorrow’s Preakness Day card, which is also an outstanding betting card.
The marquee race on Friday is the $500,000 Black Eyed Susan (G2) for three-year-old fillies that drew a competitive field of nine, but there are a couple of late scratches which will reduce the field to seven. The connections of Walkwithapurpose and Manuka Honey both announced on Thursday they would scratch out of the race.
Unlike the Preakness, which drew six runners that raced two weeks ago in the Kentucky Derby, the Black Eyed Susan did not attract any of the competitors that ran in the Kentucky Oaks.
There is no incentive for the connections of Oaks runners to come back in two weeks, but the race still drew a couple of very talented fillies.
The Bill Mott trained Emollient is the 9-5 morning liner favorite and is coming off a nine-length win in the Ashland (G1) at Keeneland.
Bob Baffert will saddle Fiftyshadesofhay, who is coming off a third place finish in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) behind Beholder in her last outing. Her last win came in the Santa Ysable (G3) on Jan. 26.
Also on today’s card is the $300,000 Pimlico Special (G3) which drew a field of seven. The Chad Brown trainee Last Gunfighter is the 8-5 morning line and comes into the race riding a five race winning streak.
His main rival will be Eightistofasttocatch, who is coming off a career top winning the off the turf Henry Clark at Pimlico on April 20.
Analysis: Jolienne gets the slight nod in the opener here as she makes her first start off the claim by the Galluscio barn that is 19% winners (with a +ROI) first off the claim. Last out the mare tracked the early pace from the outside and weakened to finish fifth against restricted $12,500 claimers over a wet track. She owns solid early and mid pace numbers and note she has won three of her four starts over the main track here.
Tahoe Tigress returns off nearly a five month break for a low profile outfit. She beat $12,500 n on-winners of two at Calder two back and then was outrun on grass last out at Gulfstream Park and put on the bench. That win two back was a good effort and the runner up, third and fourth place finishers all exited the race to win next out. The works don't tell us much but she catches a pretty slow group here.
WIN: #7 to win at 5-2 or better.
EX: 7,8 / 2,3,7,8
TRI: 7,8 / 2,3,7,8 / 2,3,6,7,8
Today's Featured Race of the Day from Belmont Park:
Analysis: Favor Factor made a good late run to finish fourth in his debut on the main track last September at the Spa and has been on the bench since. He comes back here trying turf for the Chad Brown barn that is 33% winners with runners coming back off a +180 day layoff. His pedigree leans a bit more to the main track, but we will stick with this guy. The barn is 19% winners with runners trying the grass for the first time.
Pacific Theater dueled for the early lead and weakened to finish eighth last out on poly at Keeneland going 6 1/2 furlongs. The runner up Braveman came back to graduate in his next outing on May 13 at Presque Isle. This guy ran well in his debut in a third place finish on grass at Gulfstream Park behind a pair of next out winners.
WIN: #9 to win at 2-1 or better.
EX: 8,9 / 4,5,8,9
TRI: 8,9 / 4,5,8,9 / 1,4,5,8,9
Analysis: Tread makes her stakes debut here off a game win against Alw-1 optional claimers at Fair Grounds in her first trip against winners. The runner up in that race was I Think So, who came back to win the McLeod at Hastings Park in her next start on May 11. The filly earned a solid speed fig two back in her maiden score, drawing clear to win by six lengths. She owns a solid pace profile throughout and picks up the hot riding Rosario for the first time.
I'm Mom's Favorite earned the top last out speed fig in a sharp Alw-1 win over the main track here where she drew away to win by seven lengths. She battled for the early lead and weakened to finish third two back in the Cicada on the inner track in her first go against winners. She has shown improvement in each start and if she moves forward again off her last effort everybody else in here will be running for second. She is in good hands with the Tony D. barn and will be tough to keep out of the exacta but her price is going to be on the light side.
WIN: #2 to win at 7-2 or better.
EX: 2,8 / 2,5,8,9
TRI: 2,8 / 2,5,8,9 / 2,5,8,9,10
These are price plays for exotic players looking to find a couple of extra contenders to use in their trifecta and superfecta wagers. Or for those with smaller bankrolls, you might want to get in a small win-place wager.
R2: #9 Correspondent 8-1
R5: #2 It’s Huge 10-1
R5: #1 Harrier Hill 8-1
R6: #2 Just Safe 8-1
R8: #3 Sokitumi samurai 8-1
R9: #5 Force Multiplier 8-1
R10: #6 Stoneless 12-1
Mike DempseyMike covers the New York racing circuit (Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga) year round as well as Keeneland, Churchill Downs, the Triple Crown, and the Breeders' Cup. The 2015 Triple Crown saw Mike correctly predict American Pharoah to win both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Mike nailed the Exacta and Trifecta in the Belmont Stakes. Mike had a solid 2014 Triple Crown race season, correctly picking the winning horse in 2 of 3 races. He selected I'll Have another to win The Preakness, and nailed Union Rags to win the Belmont Stakes as his top pick. Mike also had past succes in the Kentucky Derby, winning with Animal Kingdom in 2011 and rode his top picks, Super Saver and Street Sense, to the finish line in 2010 and 2007 respectively. No handicapper in the industry works harder to bring you analysis that produces profits at the track! Mike's Reports include his selections, detailed analysis, a fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for the entire card. Join Mike daily with top picks from Belmont Park or grab winners in the Weekend Best Plays Report in the horse racing Multi-Track package. Want more action? Sit at the track with him for 30 Days with his Monthly Horse Package!
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Jerry SessaJerry "Shots" Sessa has been involved in horse racing for over 30 years. He now brings his meticulous handicapping style to VegasInsider.com. When Jerry posts picks you are getting his best bets...when you win, he wins. Jerry opened the 2016 Triple Crown season by hitting his Derby Day best bet, Nyquist. He also nailed the Derby exacta for a $30.60 payout. On 4/16/16 at Keeneland, Jerry hit an $819 exacta that led to a $38k Trifecta & a $300k Super.
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