The best way to play the Pimlico Special

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

May 12th, 2021

A very good field of 11 will travel 1 3/16 miles over the Pimlico main strip in Friday’s $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3). The Todd Pletcher-trained #2 Fearless (9-5) is a deserving favorite in the field coming off a fine second in the Oaklawn H. (G2), but he is not attractive to me at that price with other legitimate contenders in the cast. I will undoubtedly use the lightly raced gelding in my wagers, but defeating him will spike the vertical exotics in a major way and that’s the course of action that I will take.

My top pick is #1 Modernist (6-1) for conditioner Bill Mott. The Wygod homebred put in a solid three-year-old campaign in 2020, led by a score in a Risen Star S. (G2) division at Fair Grounds. By Uncle Mo, Modernist was very impressive last time out in his 2 1/2-length tally in the Excelsior S. (G3) at Aqueduct when making his second run off the long layoff. While it’s true that the dark bay colt endured a perfect trip in that contest, he still looked the part from a visual standpoint, and the added ground on Friday will benefit him as well. Regular pilot Junior Alvarado gets the return ride.

I am also very intrigued with #6 Prioritize (10-1) at a nice price. The six-year-old son of Tizway came to hand in a fine way when switching to dirt racing, which included a strong third-place result in the Woodward S. (G1) at Saratoga last summer. Trained by James Bond, the Kentucky-bred has trained well in advance of his 2021 debut, and I love that this oft-conservative barn pointed for this particular race off the seven-month layoff. Joel Rosario taking the mount is a bright sign as well.

My plan of attack is to play trifectas, and superfectas, using the pair of aforementioned contenders on top for value.

Pimlico Special Wagers

  • $.50-cent trifecta 1,6 with 1,2,6 with all ($18)
  • $.50-cent trifecta 1,6 with all with 1,2,6 ($18)
  • $1 trifecta box 1-2-6 ($6)
  • $.20-cent superfecta 1,6 with 1,2,6 with 1,2,6,7 with all ($12.80)
  • $.20-cent superfecta 1,6 with 1,2,6 with all with 1,2,6,7 ($12.80)