by Frank Carulli
May 12, 2022
Pimlico will offer lucrative Pick 4 guaranteed pools on Preakness weekend. No guarantees when the meet opens this weekend, but Friday’s 50-cent Late Pick 4 could get the party started with what appears a challenging sequence. Here’s an early look at the action, with an update to follow after scratches:
PIM 5th race (2:41 EST) -- JIMMY THE KID, idle since he was claimed two months ago at Tampa for $8,000, was the beaten favorite in 5 of his last 8 starts, but he has speed and can use it well from the rail in this spot. DESHACKLED was fractious in the gate, bumped with the runner-up and didn’t change leads as the favorite, but he gets blinkers, gets in light-weighted and draws favorably. Not crazy about LOADED SNIPER (9-2), who gained inside at the 1/8 pole in a long sprint but benefitted from bumpy trips by the three rivals surrounding him, including Deshackled. If the pace falls apart, FRANCIS X looms a late-running threat if he duplicates the ‘nice rail run’ on the turn to finish second behind the 6-to-5 favorite in a higher-tagged claiming sprint.
PIM 6th race (3:12 EST) -- ROYAL WHISPER, a $90,000 sales buy for a 23-percent barn with first-time starters, shows a series of bullet workouts that includes a :47.3 move April 10 when only 8 of 76 started from the gate. Her sire has produced 32 debut-winning 2-year-olds from 203 starters but her dam only won once while racing at smaller tracks. LA SAMANA LAURA raced close up early before back-pedaling in a November turf route that produced two Maiden Special Weight winners and two Grade 3 runners-up. She’s worth using on the ticket at double-digit odds.
PIM 7th race (3:42 EST) -- ROYAL NUMBER arrives for his first turf test off an allowance victory going long on the main track. His dam won a Maryland-bred stakes race sprinting on the grass. But if he doesn’t handle the change of surface, it’s anybody’s race, so go deep in this leg.
PIM 8th race (4:12 EST) -- GOLDEN GULLY is re-united with trainer Gary Capuano, who coaxed a runner-up finish from the then 3-year-old in a productive 6F sprint 10 months ago. ON THE ENGINE stayed on the rail and ‘eagerly drew off’ from a pair of sub 2-to-1 favorites to win off an eight-month layoff. MUGSY MALONE will need to improve to contend, but he sheds 17 pounds and could do so for a sharp claim barn.
Suggested 50-cent Ticket
PIM 5th Race: 1, 4, 8
PIM 6th Race: 2, 5
PIM 7th Race: 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11
PIM 8th Race: 5, 6, 7