With the eyes of the racing world fixed on Churchill Downs on Friday, where the G1 Kentucky Oaks will be run on the eve of the G1 Kentucky Derby, Pimlico Racecourse has taken up the slack from Laurel Park's temporary closure, and has put together a fine product in its own right. Our turf-man has delved deeply into the card, providing picks for every race as well as analysis of his strongest opinions throughout the day.
If you're looking for picks elsewhere on Friday, including Churchill Downs, be sure to check out our Free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below.
Most Likely Winner: (Race 7: Downcomesthenite #5, 2/1):
I don’t often think that first-time starters have much of a shot breaking their maiden in their debut race, but here is one that has a legitimate shot. The Russells have a nice filly in Downcomesthenite #5, and although her sire isn’t Into Mischief or Frosted, Seville (GER) has produced a few notable winners over the past number of years. I like her chances after Brittany has schooled her in the gate, and she gets Lasix, which is a 1st too. Sheldon knows how to handle these types, and this looks like a pretty soft field.
Wager: $100 Win, #5
Favorite I Am Against: (Race 8: Dalton #7, 8/5):
I am decidedly against Dalton #7 from the barn of Jorge Duarte, simply because he is going to be making his 2021 debut as a 3-yr-old colt. He made A's and B's last year, but that was elementary compared to the grade level he is now coming into. If you are looking for some value, why not back a pair from the outfit of Michael Trombetta? Both Silent Service #2 and Sky’s Not Falling #3 have recent attempts against credible competition. I like their prices, their jockeys, and their chances.
Wager: $2 Exacta Box, 2/3/7
Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 2: Dashing Lou #5, 6/1):
I had an uncle once named Lou and he wasn’t the fastest in a good ole fashioned foot race. I am hoping this “Lou,” Dashing Lou #5 that is, can be much better. He is part of Gary Capuano’s stable, and though he is up there in age, he can still run with the best claimers in his division. Every now and then he will toss a ringer, and win a race when you least expect it to happen. I see him offering some major value, and he could drift up towards 10/1. Could be a nice overlay . . .
Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 3: Dirt, 6F, ALLW42k, F&M 3+):
This shorter field of 6, but the race presents some interesting betting angles. With the coupled entry, money could flow into that pool, especially if both draw in. That could sway your decision. I want to look for quite a price, and I found one in Make It a Double #4. This Linda Albert runner with YO Ortiz aboard has some hidden back class dating to last year. She didn’t get to do much running in her 2021 debut at Laurel Park in a St.Opt.Clming event, so supporting her makes sense. Why not give her another shot? She might be up for this ALLW race if she can get up close and pick out a good stalking spot. Let’s use her with a couple of the favorites like Pretty Edgy #2, Larimar #3, and Stay Out #5, to see if we can get a Trifecta home!
Wager: $2 Trifecta Wheel, 2/4 w 2/3/4/5 w 2/3/4/5 and or 2/3/4/5 w 2/4 w 2/3/4/5