by Jerry Shottenkirk
July 4, 2021
Pimlico’s Sunday card includes a mandatory Rainbow 6 payoff (Races 6-11) and nicely tucked into that sequence are four stakes races, and standing out the most is strong Steve Asmussen-trained duo that will get some heavy play.
There’s $1.4 million in the carryover kitty heading into the weekend’s activities, and there will be plenty more to target on Sunday.
Asmussen is bringing back to Baltimore the last two winners of the track’s Grade 3 Chick Lang Stakes -- Mighty Mischief and Yaupon. They’ve made for some happy times for Bill and Corinne Heligbrodt, and more should come today.
Mighty Mischief – probably odds-on in the Concern Stakes (eighth race) -- won the 2021 Chick Lang on May 21 and has taken three of his four career starts. The Heligbrodts bred the Into Mischief colt, and after narrowing losing his career debut at Oaklawn, he broke his maiden and won an allowance in Hot Springs and then cruised home over slightly favored local runner Jaxon Traveler. He’s already bankrolled $255,200, which is slightly more than the $225,000 stud fee for Into Mischief. It took only four trips to the track.
Two races later, Yaupon leads the pack postward in the Lite the Fuse Stakes and looks to get back to winning ways after a couple of non-Yaupon-like performances.
However, those losses came in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (won by Whitmore) and the Golden Shaheen in Dubai (won by Zenden, who broke down after the race and was euthanized), and he can be forgiven. He’s running for 100 grand, not millions, and is the one to beat.
Yaupon won the 2020 Chick Lang, which along with the rest of the Preakness Day card was moved to October due to the pandemic. He was 3-5 when he won the race and went off as the 6-5 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Yaupon’s Chick Lang win was by four lengths, and that kind of performance in his only start over the Pimlico strip was memorable enough to make him a solid favorite in his return.
Here’s a look at the suggested 20-cent Rainbow Six ticket, which totals $72:
RACE 6 (3:09PM ET) // STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT)
HUFFLEPUFF always gets well played, and the reason for it is that she’s almost always in the hunt. She has five consecutive second-place finishes, and two of those were by a neck. The day will come for her second career win, and maybe this is it. Despite her good form, spreading out looks like a necessity here.
Also on the ticket: DEVILISH AFFAIR, BEHIND THE COUCH and DESPEIGHT ALL ODDS
RACE 7 (3:46PM ET) // JAMEELA STAKES // 5 FURLONGS (TURF)
INTRODUCED closed to fourth in the License Fee Stakes at Belmont two races back and was in a good spot for the Politely Stakes at Monmouth in a race that came off the turf and was contested in the slop. She’s won on off dirt-tracks as well as turf and has kept some decent company. Her latest win came in the Smart N Fancy last August at Saratoga, and a similar effort would make her tough here. However, she’s got plenty of proven competition.
Also on the ticket: PAISLEY SINGING, SPUN GLASS
RACE 8 (4:17PM ET) // CONCERN STAKES // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT)
MIGHTY MISCHIEF is on familiar footing today The only time he didn’t have the lead came at the very end of his debut. He hasn’t needed long, easy advantages, though, and has been pressed at some point in each of his three wins. Regular pilot Ricardo Santana (also aboard Yaupon) is scheduled to ride and will get the lead along the rail. Passing him will be a monumental chore in this one.
Also on the ticket: None, he’s a single
RACE 9 (4:48PM ET) // CAESAR'S WISH STAKES // 1 1/16 MILES (DIRT)
LANDING ZONE had a four-race win streak from August through October last year and hasn’t won in her last six races. She lands in a good spot to get back to top form and can be a big player on the front end. This is the biggest spread race in the sequence, as there are plenty of others to like. There’s enough talent here to spread out the chips. Lots of talent solid runners, and this could go a number of ways.
Also on the ticket: ARTFUL SPLATTER, SWEET SAMI D, HIS GLORY, MRS. ORB
RACE 10 (5:19PM ET) // LITE THE FUSE STAKES // 6 FURLONGS (DIRT)
YAUPON has the cred to be the favorite, but he’ll get some early company and will have to dig in. He didn’t have a lot of fight in his last two, but those certainly can be forgiven (Breeders’ Cup Sprint, Golden Shaheen). It’s a good day for him to get back to the winner’s circle, but he’ll have to work for it. CHATEAU is probably as quick as any horse he’s faced and will make the pace seriously fast.
Also on the ticket: CHATEAU
RACE 11 (5:50PM ET) // MAIDEN CLAIMING // 5 FURLONGS (TURF)
LEAVE ‘EM LOADED heads a group of maiden claimers in the last one and has been fairly close in his two races over the strip. He ran fourth for this price two races back and then improved to third last out. He can carve out a good trip and looms as a strong challenger to these. A couple of others are worthy of consideration, but they’ll have to bring their best to deny him a maiden win. It’s not a gimme.
Also on the ticket: ONE MORE FACTOR, GLEAMING SWORD
PIMLICO RAINBOW 6 TICKET
Race 6: 2, 4, 5, 7
Race 7: 8, 9, 12
Race 8: 1
Race 9: 3, 4, 5, 7, 8
Race 10: 5, 7
Race 11: 4, 8, 10
Cost: $72 for 20-cents