Race 8 | Allaire DuPont Distaff (G3)
3:07pm ET | $150,000 | 3YO and Up F&M | 1 1/8 Mi Dirt
(8) Lucky Stride | (2) Dreamalildreamofu | (6) Mrs. Danvers
Lot of speed in this race with more than half the field going to the front. I’ll take the third place finisher in the Top Flight last out with Lucky Stride. Would’ve placed better had it not been for an awkward break that put her well behind. If she breaks sharp, she should be well placed behind the early speed and her late kick is one to watch. Should enjoy Pimlico. Behind, I’ll use a price in Dreamalildreamofu with Florent Geroux aboard – last out winner of the Latonia at Turfway Park returns in good form and on fire with two easy victories. Good price for a horse that should be one of the better ones in the F&M division this year. Then add in Mrs. Danvers who really needed these last two runs on her return to the races – eligible to improve this out.
Race 9 | The Very One
3:38pm ET | $100,000 | 3YO and Up F&M | 5 Furlongs Turf
(3) Caravel | (2) Gogo Shoes | (10) Dendrobia
Elizabeth Merryman is not a trainer that I’m very familiar with, but she has one horse that has peaked my interest a lot, and enough that Florent Geroux hops aboard. I love Caravel on the cutback in distance – she was spectacular early in her career at 5f and, while stepping up, showed a lot of early pace at longer. The cut back should help her sustain and go gate to wire. Gogo Shoes also is improving and returned to the races well – this is a big step up for her but should enjoy the continued move to sprinting. Finally, taking a price near the outside to hit the board with Dendrobia, who was stealing ground left and right in this race last October; the last two starts have been against tougher and should enjoy the cut back down to her class – not a win contender in the slightest, but chance to hit the board with this hot pace.
Race 10 | Miss Preakness (G3)
4:09pm ET | $150,000 | 3YO Fillies | 6 Furlongs Dirt
(7) Inject | (5) Street Lute | (2) Red Ghost
This is a major step up for this Brad Cox trainee – but Inject looks the part here as she takes on tougher after her strong victory last out at Keeneland. She has come a long way since her 8th place finish in the Pocahontas last fall, improving in each start. The local horse Street Lute is a must use – she has been a top sprinter in her class in the region and looks to show it off against out of town foes. Finally, nothing worse than losing to a Wesley Ward sprinting filly – and Red Ghost looks to play the part – going to be a tough one to beat if she is on her game with John Velazquez aboard.
Race 11 | Hilltop
4:40pm ET | $100,000 | 3YO Fillies | 1 Mi Turf
(5) Bubbles On Ice | (9) Journeytothemoon | (13) Phantom Vision
Christophe Clement has the clear favorite here in Bubbles On Ice, and after her brilliant US debut, it is hard to doubt her. She won the Memories of Silver after a very troubled trip and going wide throughout, needing to make a huge sweeping move to win. Her inside draw should help and now should improve in her second start here. Journeytothemoon makes her first start on turf and honestly that couldn’t be a better move; her pedigree on both sides suggest she will love the turf, and a mile is exactly in what her real chances fall at. If she responds well to the turf, she could be one to hit the board or even win at a price. Last out didn’t go so well for Phantom Vision, but this speedy daughter of Declaration of War should improve upon the step up in distance – her form suggests she is right where she needs to be to possible steal this one.
Race 12 | Pimlico Special (G3)
5:12pm ET | $250,000 | 3YO and Up | 1 3/16 Mi Dirt
(11) Last Judgement | (10) Alwaysmining | (1) Modernist
An up and coming handicap division horse, Last Judgment, looks to be one to contend with the top – he was impressive in victory in the Challenger and then couldn’t hold on last out in the Ghostzapper on what was a tiring course. Now he gets a favoring course and lone speed – a huge matchup for success. Training really well coming into this races is the Maryland-bred Alwaysmining. Although not in the same form as he was a few years ago, this five year old son of Stay Thirsty has put in some very good bullet workouts as we enter into this race – should be sharp and could stalk and pounce. Finally going to put in the Excelsior winner Modernist – loved him last out and should improve off that start.
Race 13 | Black-Eyed Susan (G2)
5:44pm ET | $250,000 | 3YO Fillies | 1 1/8 Mi Dirt
(9) Adventuring | (4) Forever Boss | (1) Army Wife
Could the other top Godolphin 3yo be poised for success on a Triple Crown weekend? Adventuring looks solid entering here off a romping 6.5 length maiden breaking score and then a dominant win in the Bourbonette Oaks. Even though they kept trying to put her on the turf, the dirt has been her home and she has relished it in each start. She fits very well here and should do really well moving forward. I’m very intrigued by Forever Boss as this daughter of Tapiture moves onto conventional dirt for the second time off a huge maiden breaking score at Keeneland. Finally throw in Army Wife and Joel Rosario who should improve on the switch to a more favorable course – has lot of previous races that put her up in the charts.