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Friday, May 14: Jeff Siegel's Black-Eyed Susan Day Pimlico Full-Card Picks

by Jeff Siegel

May 14, 2021

Specifically designed for the rolling exotic player, Jeff Siegel’s “Daily Analysis and Wagering Strategies” isolates those horses that should be included in daily doubles, pick-3s, pick-4s, pick-5s, and the pick-6.

The selections are posted at 6:00 a.m. and updated later in the morning to reflect late scratches and changes (approximately 10:30 a.m.). For additional commentary, follow us on twitter @jsiegelracing.

Grade Descriptions: Grade A=Highest degree of confidence; Grade B=Solid Play. Grade C=Least preferred or pass; Grade X=probable winner but likely at odds too short to play.

RACE 1: Post: 11:30AM ET // Grade: B-
Use: 2-Golden Spear; 6-Projected; 11-Apreciado

Forecast: Black-Eyed Susan day opens with wide-open grass grab bag for older $10,000 claimers. We’ll try to survive and advance using just three, but if you feel the need to spread deeper, go right ahead. Golden Spear, freshened since November but sporting a sharp recent series of workouts that should have him fit and ready, has fired fresh in the past and seems likely to enjoy a good second flight, ground-saving trip. He has several back numbers that are better than par for this level, so at 8-1 on the morning line there’s good wagering value to be found. Projected won a similar affair at Gulfstream Park last month in what already has proven to be a productive race and he’s always been a pro’s pro, having finished first or second in 23 of 44 career outings. He’s another that should be within striking range throughout and then have every chance from the quarter pole home. Ex-classer Apreciado was a winner two runs back at Gulfstream Park with a competitive speed figure and drops to his lowest level ever for new trainer J. J. Toner. If he’s feeling good, the veteran gelding will be heard from late.

RACE 2: Post: 12:01PM ET // Grade: B
Use: 7-Dr Jack; 8-Royal Number; 10-Johnny Sack

Forecast: Dr Jack was a first-out winner at Gulfstream Park last month, doing so with a pace-pressing trip and with something left at the finish to indicate today’s stretch-out in trip should be within his capabilities. Bred to run long (Pioneerof the Nile from a mare by A. P. Indy), the 3-year-old colt can handle this one-level raise in class under the assumption that he vans down from his home based at Belmont Park, where he is also entered to run today in the eighth race that carries a purse of $92,000 compared to the $52.000 that is being offered at Pimlico. But if he remains up north, Dr Jack will have to face the highly-regarded Stage Raider, who is certain to be odds-on owning to 22-point edge on Beyer figures. As of this writing, we’re not sure which race trainer T. Pletcher will opt for. If Dr. Jack fails to show up, top billing in this race should go to Royal Number, a respectable third in the Federico Tesio Stakes here three weeks ago. The son of Palace Music is a one-paced grinder but has speed figures that are gradually rising and actually won at this level fourth races back before being pitched too high in three subsequent stakes. Johnny Sack stretches out after a pair of solid sprints and has the bloodlines to handle the extra ground, though it’s possible he’s just a late-running sprinter. We’ll find out today.

RACE 3: Post: 12:33PM ET // Grade: B+
Use: 3-Digital Dream; 7-Response Time; 8-Miranda’s Desmond

Forecast: Unless there is a hot-shot first-time starter in the field (and there very well could be), Response Time should be hard to beat in this five furlong turf sprint for older fillies and mares. The daughter of Mosler was extremely well-meant in her debut when finishing fast to be second after severe traffic trouble on the turf severely compromised her chances, but with better luck today the H. Smith-trained sophomore should be along in time. The shortening in trip and switch to grass shouldn’t be an issue but a pair of promising first-timers in the field have to included as well in rolling exotic play. Miranda’s Desmond, a first-timer from the B. Perkins, Jr., stable (superior stats with debut runners) is another daughter of Mosler and attracts F. Geroux, so the evidence suggests she can run some, while Digital Dream, a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid, shows an intriguing series of workouts at Fair Hill for M. Trombetta.

RACE 4: Post: 1:03PM ET // Grade: B
Use: 3-Dinosaur Ben; 5-Benandjoe; 8-Prodigious Bay

Forecast: Dinosaur Ben shows a unique pattern in his past performance charts. In each of his seven starts, the son of Blame has achieved a career speed figure, most recently when easily handling a starter optional claiming field at Laurel Park with a thoroughly convincing performance over seven furlongs in mid-April. The versatile gelding stretches out to a middle distance today but has run very well in the past around two turns, so the added distance and the raise to a first-level allowance event should be well within his capabilities. The A. Aguirre-trained sophomore is listed at 3-1 on the morning line and we’ll take that if we can get it. Prodigious Bay earned a strong figure when second in an overnight race Oaklawn Park last month and with another forward move today will be right there. The son of Bayern attracts J. Rosario and from his outside draw should be able to drop in and secure a comfortable pace stalking position. We’ll also include Benandjoe on a ticket or two in rolling exotic play. A clever winner on grass vs. state-bred foes two weeks ago, the son of El Padrino is quite capable on dirt as well and has back numbers that put him in the picture. In a race that projects to be slowly run early, the H. McMahon-trained gelding could inherit the role as the controlling speed and be tough to catch if not respected.

RACE 5: Post: 1:34PM ET // Grade: X
Use: 1-Pretty Lori; 8-Beantown Baby

Forecast: Beantown Baby is listed as the 6/5 morning line favorite in this first-level allowance turf sprint and on paper looks it. The Artie Schiller mare crushed a starter’s optional claiming field last summer at Laurel Park while earning a career top speed figure but then was turned out. She returns with a steady, healthy work pattern for a barn that shows superb stats with layoff runners, and with J. Rosario taking the call the lightly-raced 5-year-old gives every indicating of being fit and ready. Pretty Lori might be worth including on a ticket as a saver in rolling exotic play. She’s extremely quick, draws the rail, and is trying grass for the first time. She should be in front early and on grass may be able to carry her speed a bit farther.

RACE 6: Post: 2:05PM ET Grade: B-
Use: 1-Jeopardy James; 2-Belle Tapisserie; 10-Stroll Smokin

Forecast: Let’s go for a bit of a price in this difficult allowance optional claiming sprint that offers several legitimate contenders. Jeopardy James earned a career top speed figure when winning his first start off a nine month layoff at Tampa Bay Downs in late March, doing so in game fashion from a next-out winner while pressing a hot pace throughout. He’s been given sufficient time in between races to recover from what had to be a hard, taxing race, and if he can improve just a bit and enjoy a trouble-free journey from the rail the A. Delacour-trained son of Speightstown may be able to repeat on the raise at 8-1 on the morning line. D. Centeno stays aboard and knows him well. Win machine Belle Tapisserie is the likely choice and one to beat. Winner of five of his last six starts including his most recent four, the Tapizar gelding goes for new connections today following a $25,000 claim just two weeks ago and pure speed figures certainly appears capable of winning once again. He’s always been most effective on the lead but can stalk and pounce if the pace flow dictates. Stroll Smokin, first or second in 15 of 33 career starts, is comfortably drawn outside and should be prominent throughout, perhaps even on the lead. This is a slightly easier group that he’s been used to seeing of late, so at 10-1 on the morning line the Stroll gelding might be worth including somewhere as a saver.

RACE 7: Post: 2:37PM ET // Grade: B-
Use: 1-Lucky Ramsey; 7-On a Spree; 12-Street Copper

Forecast: Here’s another challenging turf race, a second-level allowance middle distance affair with possibilities up and down. Lucky Ramsey has been rested since January and shows just two easy breezes since then, but the veteran Lookin At Lucky gelding is a perfect one-for-one over the Pimlico turf course and goes for the red-hot K. Magee barn while drawing the good rail post. First or second in 26 of 52 career starts, he’s an old pro that always can be counted on, especially following a freshening. Street Copper, listed at 8-1 on the morning line and attracting J. L. Ortiz, is a Gulfstream Park invader that has finished second in his last pair with strong numbers for the level. He can drop over from his outside draw, secure some cover and then be produced late. On a Spree is winless in three starts this and was overmatched at Keeneland last time out, but this group is within his range, especially with a repeat of his sharp runner-up effort at Fair Grounds to races back.

RACE 8: Post: 3:07PM ET // Grade: B 
Use: 5-Horologist; 6-Mrs. Danvers

Forecast: Horologist just beat Mrs. Danvers on the square in the Top Flight Invitational Aqueduct last month and there’s little reason to believe she won’t do it again over this same nine furlong trip in the DuPont Distaff at Pimlico. It’s possible that Mrs. Danvers can turn the tables – she’s reunited with “win rider J. Rosario and is likely to be the controlling speed once again – but Horologist has the good stalking style that allows J. Alvarado to place her wherever he wants and then have dead aim on her rival from the quarter pole home. We’ll include both in our rolling exotics and then have an extra ticket or two keying Neurologist on top.

RACE 9: Post: 3:38PM ET // Grade: B-
Use: 3-Caravel; 5-Victory Kingdom; 12-Gotta Go Mo

Forecast: Gotta Go Mo gets the worst of the draw – she’s hung up in the 12-hole in the five furlong sprint – but if the daughter of Uncle Mo can secure any type of trip she can win this highly competitive turf stakes sprint for fillies and mares. Improving with each outing and fresh from a career top win in a state-bred allowance dash at Aqueduct lats month, the J. Kimmel-trained four-year-old seeks her fourth straight win while moving into added money company for the first time. We’re hoping she can be quick enough to get over and into a pace prompting position before the far turn and then have her chance from there. Caravel, away since October when finishing third in the License Fee stakes at Belmont Park two weeks ago, returns off short rest while switching to F. Geroux. She fast enough on numbers to win if she produces a forward move and was third in last year’s Hilltop Stakes over a mile in her only previous outing over the Pimlico lawn. We suspect Victory Kingdom prefers patient handling and with the switch to F. Prat should get just that. The Australian-bred mare is a fit on figures and though sparingly raced shows a good recent work tab that should have her primed for a major effort.

RACE 10: Post: 4:09PM ET // Grade: B
Use: 2-Red Ghost; 4-Paradise Song; 5-Street Lute

Forecast: This is a very difficult edition of the Miss Preakness S.-G2 for nine 3-year-old fillies who are at various stages of development and improvement. Red Ghost made her sophomore debut at Keeneland last month and was a visually pleasing winner of a first-level allowance race when rallying from mid-pack to drew clear in the final furlong without being knocked about. The daughter of Ghostzapper can build on that performance today for the W. Ward/J. Velasquez team and perhaps settle in the second flight and then produce another winning late kick. Street Lute won seven of her first eight races before failing at 3/5 in a mile stakes at Laurel Park in mid-March. Freshened, training sharply and backing up to six furlongs, the J. Robb-trained filly seems likely to rebound with her best effort and be in the thick of things every step of the way. Paradise Song obliterated a much softer allowance field last time out with a career top speed figure. These are considerably tougher, but the Frosted offers good price value at 10-1 on the morning under the assumption that her improving pattern will continue in what will be just her fifth career outing.

RACE 11: Post: 4:40PM ET Grade: B+
Use: 1-Tracy Flick; 5-Bubbles On Ice

Forecast: Tracy Flick technically is still a maiden, but she can run, and we suspect the addition of blinkers will really move her up. Disqualified out of a winning debut race at Gulfstream Park in February, the daughter of War Front returned at Keeneland last month and ran quite well in a hot race to miss by a nose, only to get taken down again for racing greenly and causing interference in mid-stretch. She’s worked well since, draws the rail, is a fit on speed figures and retains J. Rosario, so if she performs mistake free she can pull off a mild surprise at 6-1 on the morning line in this year’s edition of the Hilltop S. Bubbles On Ice won the Memories of Silver S. at the Big A in her U.S. debut with a last-to-first rally from the top of the lane to mid-stretch last month and today gets Lasix while seeking a repeat victory. She was a bit headstrong early in the race but finally settled and then accelerated impressively when turned loose. Similar tactics will be employed today by J. Castellano, so if she switches off early, gets cover, and is produced late the C. Clement-trained filly should be hard to contain. These are the two we’ll be using in rolling exotic play with slight preference on top to Tracy Flick.

RACE 12: Post: 5:12PM ET // Grade: B+
Single: 2-Fearless

Forecast: Fearless, even in defeat, performed admirably when finishing second in the Oaklawn H.-G2 last time out, earning a career top speed figure despite going down by a half-length to Silver State in a race that verified his sharp 2021 debut when winning the Gulfstream Park Mile-G2 in February. Today the son of Ghostzapper stretches out to nine furlongs, a distance that should be well within his range though his two previous outings at this trip have been sub-par. In a race that should have reasonable early splits, the T. Pletcher-trained gelding should be able to secure an ideal second flight, stalking position and then go on with it when asked. At 9/5 on the morning line, he’s a win play and rolling exotic single in this year’s edition of the Pimlico Special-G3.

RACE 13: Post: 5:44PM ET // Grade: B
Use: 9-Adventuring; 10-Beautiful Gift

Forecast: The Black-Eyed Susan S.-G2 should boil down to the two fillies drawn on the far outside. Adventuring is improving with every start, breaking her maiden in sharp style two runs back and then a listed stakes race over the all-weather surface at Turfway Park. Her numbers have risen with each outing, though she’ll need another big of improvement to handle the West Coast shipper Beautiful Gift, winner of the Santa Ysabel S.-G3 two runs back and then going down by a half length to Soothsay in the Santa Anita Oaks-G2. The B. Baffert-trained filly had every chance in that race but missed but against this group she deserves the favorite’s role. Will go with Adventuring on top – she’s sure to be the better price – but include both in our rolling exotics.

RACE 14: Post: 6:25PM ET // Grade: B-
Use: 4-My Dream Girl; 6-No Down Days; 7-Fred’s Sheila

Forecast: The finale is a messy maiden claiming turf miler for older fillies and mares with price chances galore. Fred’s Sheila, in the frame in both starts and a closing second (nearly five lengths clear of the rest) in her comeback last month following a less-than-ideal trip, has the pedigree to improve going long and switches to the barn’s “go-to” rider H. Karamanos while being raised from maiden $16,000 to maiden $25,00 in what we’ll take as a sign of confidence. She’s a fit on speed figures and likely capable of better, so at 6-1 on the morning line we’ll put her on top. My Dream Girl has a similar pattern. The daughter of Congrats makes her third career start (but just her second this year) while adding blinkers in her first start off a $25,000 claim for a clever outfit. From where she’s drawn she should draft into a stalker’s position and be a strong factor throughout at 15-1 on the morning line. No Down Days is a sprinter-stretching-out class dropper with the kind of early speed that makes her dangerous in her first try on grass. As a daughter of Blame from a mare by Dixie Union, she’s bred to route and could easily make the most of the opportunity. At 5-1 on the morning line, she’s a “must use.”