Pimlico Special Stakes 2021 Picks: Modernist Strikes Quite an Impression

The Grade III Pimlico Special is a tough test for older males. See who makes the grade for J.N. Campbell below ...
The Grade III Pimlico Special is a tough test for older males. See who makes the grade for J.N. Campbell below ...

Preakness Weekend is finally upon us, and the run-up had its share of drama. Bob Baffert and his Kentucky Derby Champion, Medina Spirit, became the focal point. His hubris, mismanagement, and outright audacity taxed the sport in a way that has yet to be realized or understood. Now, as the scene shifts to the home of the Maryland Jockey Club at Pimlico, its oldest signature race takes center stage.

Before we get to a Super Saturday, the day before brings us Black-Eyed Susan Day. A full slate of contests appears on tap, and we at HorseRacing.net/us, have you covered with a bevy of selections, and our focused analysis. Both our turf-man and our in-house handicapper are on hand to offer their “expert” opinions. Stay tuned …

Fearless for Todd Pletcher has been installed has the short 9-5 favorite for the Grade III Pimlico Special this Friday in Baltimore. There are plenty of good horses however in this deep field of 11.

Our man J.N. Campbell has handicapped the race. You can read his full analysis and preview below.

The team at HorseRacing.net put together slates of selections for most thoroughbred tracks racing in the US every single day. The Picks page (linked to below) is updated at 3AM ET every day with all the selections for the upcoming slate...

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Race 12: Dirt, 1 3/16ths, Pimlico Special Match Series S. (G3), $250k, 3+

The Pim Spcl is a highlight race when it comes to Preakness Weekend. The Grade III race brings together older male runners who will be tracing the same distance that the 3-yr-old colts will tomorrow in the 2nd Leg of the Triple Crown. In the past, some budding legends have come to Baltimore and relived the “glory days.” You might have heard of Invasor (ARG), Revolutionary, Commissioner, Nobel Bird, Shaman Ghost, Irish War Cry, and Tenfold. Of course, last year’s race had to be postponed till October because of COVID-19.

Speaking of the 2020 contest, Harpers First Ride #7 returns to defend his title after an impressive win on Preakness Day. He bested Owendale and Cordmaker #8, but he was no match for the Pegasus World Cup field in January. Switching barns from Claudio Gonzalez to Robertino Diodoro was an interesting move since he challenged a pair of tough opponents in the Essex 500k and in an OC75k at Oaklawn. The Paynter gelding could be more than a square price in the double-digits come post time @PIM.

Others might sway though … Take a look at Fearless #2 for Todd Pletcher. This Ghostzapper product was awfully good against Silver State in the Oaklawn Hcp (G2) back in mid-April. He just ran out of real estate with Irad Ortiz aboard. He has a major opportunity to come and get this win, and he should be the prohibitive favorite at 9/5 for Winstar Farm and their ownership group. If you want another “salty type” then consideration must be given to Last Judgement #11. Mike Maker snags the other Ortiz brother, and he has the Michael Dubb-owned gelding looking sharp after a 2nd place in the Ghostzapper (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Those types of races are on par with Oaklawn, which is high praise indeed. We could have an Ortiz battle down the lane at Old Hilltop.

For my money, I am particularly fond of Bill Mott’s Modernist #1. I backed this horse during his 3-yr-old career before the 2020 split Risen Star (G2), when he won impressively on the engine at 13/1. The HOF trainer then proceeded to shut him down after the July Peter Pan (G3). This son of Uncle Mo has major talent, and he is coming to Maryland off a pair of nice rides at Tampa and Aqueduct. His price will be right, and the fact that the colt is getting the only jockey to ever ride him back once again, Junior Alvarado, is key. Who doesn’t want to stake a runner from the Mott Stable?

Top Selection: Modernist #1

Creative Wager: $1 Trifecta Wheel, 1 w 2/7/8/11 w 2/7/8/11 and/or 2/7/8/11 w 1 w 2/7/8/11

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Preakness Stakes 2021
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