Gabby Gaudet's analysis and racing tips for Thursday's race card at Pimlico Race Course:
Race 1, 1:10 p.m. post time
Selections: No. 4 Figaro Figaro, No. 1 Outfielder, No. 3 Keepuriondabalado
Outfielder will be heavily favored against this group due to his consistency, but I think he has the potential to be vulnerable given his pace-dependent running style. I wouldn’t hold his last race too much against him however, the winner went gate to wire on a good, speed track. Figaro Figaro on the other hand, gained confidence when going to the lead last out and could apply those tactics again today. Keepuriondabalado fits on the drop.
Race 2, 1:38 p.m.
Selections: No. 2 Rafidain, No. 1 Zipping By, No. 8 Ripplz
Rafidain attempted to turf last out, unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans. Finally gets to the intended surface where the barn excels and has the pedigree to like the surface switch. He looks to making a late move. Zipping By I think must “go” from the rail post. He chased last out but could have the upper-hand if he breaks well. Ripplz has really been off form lately but his lone turf sprint is intriguing enough to use at a price. Hopefully today, unlike the last time he tried the turf, he can manage to stay a straight course.
Race 3, 2:06 p.m.
Selections: No. 7 Fair Shake, No. 1 Miss Glengar, No. 3 Colonel Melissa
Miss Glengar is even money today against this field of six others. She’s 5-7 at the distance and should be respected, but that isn’t the easiest of post positions for her running style. I like Fair Shake to try to beat her, now posted outside and could turn the tables with a cleaner break. Her form is muddied by subpar efforts on wet tracks and longer distances but this is the best spot here. Colonel Melissa could be a danger on the lead.
Race 4, 2:34 p.m.
Selections: No. 10 Smart Power, No. 2 Annawon, No. 7 Empower
Smart Power exits a 7-month layoff, but time away never was a concern for him in the past. I like that he has positional speed which will help given outside post, and this group is much easier than what he faced last turf season. Annawon improved last out getting back to a firmer turf. Visually that effort was strong, splitting horses and closing from way out of it. Could be sitting on a big race today. Empower could be powered by the Prado power who fits this type of turf closer to perfection.
Race 5, 3:02 p.m.
Selections: No. 3 Topara, No. 8 Gem Twist, No. 6 Itsallaboutthebens
Topara has a lot of room to improve. This will be his second start off the layoff, now back to (hopefully) a fast track, and dropping in class. All systems go. Gem Twist should be able to sit the trip, pressing and controlling from the outside. Fits with this company but can make stronger cases for better priced horses. Itsallaboutthebens could benefit from a potential pace battle between Saint Eddie, Louis the Great and Gem Twist.
Race 6, 3:30 p.m.
Selections: No. 9 Don’t Make Me Cry, No. 6 Mr. Magician, No. 11 Slick William
Don't Make Me Cry stretched out in distance to two-turn on the turf for the first time last out, and proved to be the right move. He closed willingly from off the pace but unfortunately was caught on a turf that wasn't conducive to deep closers. He could also get a better setup in terms of pace with the presence of questionable speed. Mr. Magician drops to arguably the easiest field he's ever faced. Now with a better post than last two, he may find himself closer to the lead. Slick William shouldn't be as far back as he's been in his last two turf routes - the blinkers go on to sharpen him up out of the gate and he's been hampered by trouble in the past two.
Race 7, 3:58 p.m.
Selections: No. 4 Read All About It, No. 2 She Rolls, No. 3 Oh What a Delite
I'm not giving up on Read All About It just yet. She's capable of rebounding off of subpar performances and her races against equal and tougher last year are too good to overlook. Seems to be a solid amount of pace to help compliment her late, closing style. She Rolls was simply outclassed last out. Now dropping back down to an appropriate level, and has a useful stalking style. Oh What a Delite also needs a little help in the pace department but I like that she's been freshened since early April. She seems to do her best running when fresh.
Race 8, 4:26 p.m.
Selections: No. 2 Quiet Kitten, No. 6 Bobbi Grace, No. 1 Candida H.
Not only does Quiet Kitten come out of the strongest races, but she also should love the cutback in distance. She was forwarded placed in the Orchid last out, in a pace that fell apart. Today, she should be able to utilize her best attribute shortening up and has the advantage of this field. Bobbi Grace sprinted off the layoff last out, probably not her preferred distance but she ran her best number at that distance. The logic here is that if she ran that well at an unpreffered distance, she should be sitting on one of her best races now. Giving her the benefit of the doubt in the Mrs. Revere - many hated that boggy course and exited to drastically improve over the winter. Candida H. Should show speed from the rail. Looks like distance has helped her on the main track and might do the same on the turf.
Race 9, 4:55 p.m.
Selections: No. 5 Icy Miss, No. 10 Whatifiwaswilling, No. 2 Mezmerize
Icy Miss gets the needed class relief back down to the maiden claiming level. Her races against similar company going long on the turf was strong and she’s fast enough to sit close to the pace. Whatifiwaswilling ran gamely behind Desert Princess last out who went on to repeat sharply facing winners. This is the right level, but still her running style makes it tricky to always have a problem-free trip. Mezmerize will have to improve from her last effort, 3rd in a 4-horse field. Think turf is more her game and maybe going to the lead here will help give her more confidence.
Best bet: Race 8, No. 2 Quiet Kitten
Price play: Race 9, No. 5 Icy Miss