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Jeff Siegel: Best Plays for Preakness Day at Pimlico | Saturday, May 21, 2022

by Jeff Siegel

May 21, 2022


Pimlico – Eighth Race. Post time: 2:49 ET
4-Beacon Hill (9/2)

Although unproven in graded stakes race company, this lightly-raced and improving son of Blame has a chance to make some serious noise in this year’s edition of the Dinner Party Stakes. After taking the worst of a wicked head-bob when beaten a nose with a career top speed figure in a stakes-quality allowance race at Keeneland last time out, the Michael Matz-trained gelding retains Joel Rosario and should step forward considerably in his second race off a layoff. We’re expecting to see him closer to the pace and if so he’ll have every chance to be along in time at 9/2 on the morning line.


Pimlico – Tenth Race. Post time: 4:12 ET
7-Riot House (4-1)

Seeks his third straight win while moving into listed stakes company after a pair of impressive grass victories at Gulfstream Park, most recently a smart allowance score with a career top speed figure that makes him a strong threat again despite the class hike. The son of Violence has plenty of early speed but can stalk and pounce if the race flow dictates, so Luis Saez can assess the early fractions and choose his strategy on the fly. The Danny Gargan-trained sophomore is listed at 4-1 on the morning line and offers good value in the win pool at or near that price.


Pimlico – Twelfth Race. Post time: 5:51 ET
9-Hollis (6-1)

This tough-as-nails sprinting gelding won the 2020 edition of the Jim McKay Turf Sprint over this course and distance and could do so again with anything close to his best race. Successful in 10 of 25 career starts, the veteran son of Street Sense has been freshened since mid-March, shows a healthy, steady series of recent workouts, and projects to be just where he wants to be, on or near the lead throughout. At 6-1 on the morning line, he is worth a gamble as a win play and in the various rolling exotics.


Pimlico – Thirteenth Race. Post time: 7:01 ET
5-Early Voting (7/2)

The lightly raced (just three starts) son of Gun Runner lost a toughie when missing by a neck in the Wood Memorial-G1 in early April and was wisely held out of the Kentucky Derby-G1 and instead was pointed for this race during the last several weeks. The Chad Brown-trained sophomore has looked terrific in the morning, projects as the controlling speed, and seems certain to produce yet another career top performance under conditions that appear ideal. We’ll consider a straight play at or near his morning line of 7/2 and also key him in the various exotics with the other main contenders (Epicenter, Secret Oath, Creative Minister).