Pimlico Pick 3: Spread, Spread, 'Susan favorites

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

May 20th, 2016

The most appealing multi-race wager on Friday's card at Pimlico might be the 50-cent Pick 3 that covers races 9-11. The first two legs, the Allaire duPont Distaff (G3) and the Hilltop, are undoubtedly the "spread" races in the all-stakes Pick 5 that begins two races earlier, but the chance to potentially catch price horses early in a Pick 3 sequence rather than the middle of a Pick 5 makes the former a little more interesting to me.

Here's my ticket:

Race 9: Allaire duPont -- THEOGONY (#1, 6-1) gets some needed class relief after facing Forever Unbridled twice earlier this year, and might get some pace to run at as well. AHH CHOCOLATE (#5, 5-1) was a little farther back and wider than she needed to be over an inside-favoring track at Keeneland in the Doubledogdare (G3). The Falls City H. (G2) heroine can move forward in her third start off the layoff. SAVINGS ACCOUNT (#6, 7-2) enters in peak form and should be able to work out a favorable stalking trip. JOINT RETURN (#8, 12-1) has a bit of back class, nearly earned the place in this race a year ago behind an eventual Breeders' Cup winner, and has been working super for John Servis, who's winning at a 35 percent clip this year. SUPER MAJESTY (#9, 15-1) showed tremendous promise early in her career, winning three of her first four including the Dogwood (G3). Much more capable than what she's shown in her last two, but an unknown at two turns.

Taking a stand against 3-1 morning line favorite MEI LING.

Race 10: Hilltop -- SPINAMISS (#4, 9-2) narrowly missed in the Sweetest Chant (G3) two back, then ran into the near-impenetrable Catch a Glimpse at Keeneland last time. Tough on the drop. MISS KATIE MAE (#5, 5-1) closed fast behind a tepid pace in her U.S. bow at Keeneland. Group 3-placed in Ireland at two, she's capable of improving. Locally-based fillies KOALA QUEEN (#8, 10-1) and CHANNEL REGATTA (#9, 12-1) have a shot to surprise. The former ditches blinkers, adds Lasix and is a half-sister to local turf stakes winner Woodwin W and a close relation to Preakness (G1) entrant Collected, while Channel Regatta exits a very sharp allowance score at Laurel. GONE AWAY (#11, 10-1) has struggled over soft turf in half her starts, but fits in this spot with the turf expected to be dry and firm.

Taking a stand against lukewarm morning line choice FAMILY MEETING as well as recent debut winner WESSEX.

Race 11: Black-Eyed Susan (G2) -- Try as I might to find more possible upsetters in a field of 14, it's really hard to look past LAND OVER SEA (#3, 2-1) and GO MAGGIE GO (#5, 5-2). They really tower over this field on class, and only need to work out better trips than they had at Churchill Downs two weeks ago. Easier said than done, I know, but it's hard to make a strong case for anyone else.

$.50 Pick 3: 1,5,6,8,9 with 4,5,8,9,11 with 3,5 = $25.

The final stakes of the afternoon, the Miss Preakness (G3) which goes as race 13, is overloaded with speed. SHE'S ALL READY (#1, 6-1) is definitely one of those with early gas, but I have a hard time believing she'll outbreak others with a similar profile from post 1. She's a bit of an unknown trying to rally from off pace -- the one time she tried she drew post 10 around one turn at Belmont -- but I do like the way she's coming into this race. Her comeback effort at Aqueduct was very solid and she breezed a bullet over the Belmont training track five days ago for trainer Jim Ryerson. I'll take a shot with her at a price.