Speed play in Miss Preakness key to Black-Eyed Susan Day Late Pick 5

Profile Picture: James Scully

May 19th, 2017

Race 7, the Pimlico Special (G3), kicks off a $300,000 guaranteed Late Pick 5 Friday that concludes with the $250,000 Black-Eyed Susan (G2) for 3-year-old fillies.

Below are my thoughts on the sequence and three tickets I will be playing.

Race 7, Pimlico Special (G3):

#6 Shaman Ghost is a capable odds-on favorite following his victory in the Santa Anita H. (G1) but 5-year-old doesn’t always string together top efforts. #3 Watershed enters on the upswing for Kiaran McLaughlin, winning his last two dirt starts by open lengths and he’s eligible to receive another plum trip just off a moderate pace before finishing up strongly.

Those are my two main plays in the Pick 5 but #7 Name Changer will be added to the mix as a saver. He displayed a ton of promise for Alan Goldberg last fall and while it would have been preferable to see a tightener, the layoff will help his price.

Race 8, Hilltop (updated with scratches):

#3 Victory to Victory has an excellent chance to prove best but isn’t invincible at a price that figures to be much shorter than her 5-2 morning line. I will also use #5 Compelled and #12 Happy Mesa.

Race 9, Miss Preakness (G3):

Larry Jones excels with up-and-coming types like #11 Astrollinthepark, who has rolled home to convincing wins in three consecutive starts and makes her graded bow today. I think the 3-year-old filly can throttle her rivals on the front end with Trevor McCarthy and she is my strongest opinion in the sequence.

#1 R Angel Katelyn, #5 Our Majesty and #6 Vertical Oak will be used as back-ups.

Race 10, Jim McKay Turf Sprint:

#10 Richard’s Boy returned to the worktab 21 days after finishing fifth in the 6-furlong Al Quoz Sprint (G1) in Dubai, lodging four drills for Peter Miller, and relishes the 5-furlong distance (4-3-1-0). The front-running gray gelding is the one to beat and I will also use #4 Pay Any Price and #7 Grand Candy. It’s easy to respect everything Ben’s Cat has accomplished but I will try to beat the 11-year-old gelding off three consecutive unplaced finishes.

Race 11, Black-Eyed Susan (G2):

With plenty of pace signed on, #5 Lights of Medina should receive a proper set-up. The Eskendereya filly has thrived since stretching out to a dirt route for Todd Pletcher, breaking her maiden at Aqueduct by five lengths and rallying to capture the April 22 Weber City Miss at Laurel Park by a two-length margin, and her BRIS numbers are among the best in the field. Lights of Medina should be rolling in the latter stages. She will be singled on a back-up ticket.

Pletcher has another dangerous entrant in #7 Moana, who exits a sharp maiden tally at Keeneland. #1 Shimmering Aspen may face serious pressure but there’s a chance she’s special enough to lead all the way in her two-turn and stakes debut. #4 Full House is eligible to outrun her double-digit odds (12-1 morning line) and rates as a longshot of interest.

50-cent Pick 5 Tickets (races 7-11)

Ticket 1: 3,6 with 3,5,12 with 11 with 4,7,10 with 1,4,5,7 ($36)

Ticket 2: 3,6 with 3,5,12 with 1,5,6 with 4,7,10 with 5 ($27)

Ticket 3: 7 with 3,5,12 with 11 with 4,7,10 with 1,4,5,7 ($18)

Total budget: $81

Good luck!