The Smell Of Horsecrap and Money: Saturday At Pimlico, The Bluegrass, and The Arkansas Derby

Featured, Sports and Bets — April 12, 2014 at 11:54 am by

The Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland and the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park are the last two of the major Kentucky Derby preps.  Both are this weekend.  After this, it’s only three weeks until the best 3-year-olds in the country show their stuff at Churchill Downs.  Which means, believe it or not, that Charm City will be hosting the second leg of the historic Triple Crown in just five weeks.  Here at Charm City Wire, we can’t wait.

With the Preakness so close it means that Pimlico is up and running.  My love for Old Hilltop is well documented and with a day forecasted in the mid 60’s- it’s a perfect day to go old school Baltimore and head to the track.

As a bonus this weekend, the Decanter Wine and Racing Festival is at Pimlico.  This means you can keep your lady happy and gamble at the same time.  Or if she likes to gamble too, you can both get half lit on Maryland wine while you win a fortune on the ponies.  Wine, food, and thoroughbreds; it’s a can’t miss formula for spring time Baltimore fun.

Whether you’re cruising the infield and chugging Boordy Riesling or chilling in the dilapidated clubhouse with your fellow degenerates and the old railbirds, tomorrow is a good day to go to the races.  Big cards elsewhere, and the live racing here, makes for plenty of wagering opportunities.  We’ll pick the card here on the home dirt and turf and we’ll give our picks for the Bluegrass and the Arkansas Derby.  Let’s go get ’em.


Race 1 CLM 16K-  #4 Devil’s Peak ships up from Gulfstream to be entered in this open claimer for 3 year olds.  Ness/McCarthy connections have won both races in which they’ve paired.  Have a feeling Ness will have this gelding ready to stalk and run down the leaders.  Lack of published works is annoying but at 6-1 I’m willing to take a shot here to open the day.  Hunch.  2nd- #5 King Racer. 3rd- #2 Golden Rings

Race 2 CLM 15K- #4 Chamber’s Bay has never won at a mile and 1/16 but neither has any other horse entered in this mile and 1/16th claimer. Dane Kobiskie  claimed this guy two back and we’re looking on an improvement off the last, a race which he almost won.  Dane gets him there this time.  2nd – Hanky Doodle 3rd- Idle Spur

Race 3 MDM CLM 16k-  Unbettable race, but if you must play, play the #7 Mary’s Mystique on top of exactas. Ugly.

Race 4 CLM 15K NW3-  We like the #6 Sandbag in this chalky affair.  Improving Beyers since joining the Ferris outfit.  Has won here at Old Hilltop and pilot Karamanos is off to a nice start here.  2-1 for fun.  2nd- #3 Flashy Eyed Pearl.  3rd- #2 Irish Irene

Race 5 MSW 40k- #3 Careless Cat. Gulfstream shipper, Graham Motion.  Storm Cat on one side of the pedigree and underrated Polish Numbers on the other side.  Chalky winner.  2nd- #5 JJ’s Pattern 3rd- #8 Recoupe   Here’s Polish Numbers:

Race 6 OC 40k-  #2 City In The Sky.  Favorites in short fields. Welcome to Pimlico. 2nd- #5 Antietam Creek #4 New Zone

Race 7 ALWS –  #12 Atlantic Seaboard  Love this gelding’s form at the end of last year.  Solid works in preparation for ’14 debut.  Looks primed. Wire to mile on the mile long lawn.  Player in a nice race.  2nd- #9 Brickyard Kitten  3rd- #11 Countryman.

Race 8 OC 25K- Mile contests back to back on the lawn.  We’re looking for value, and in order to get it we’re going to have to beat the Florida favorites.  It may be tough to do since both are in good form, but we’ll try with the #2 Love’s Not Fair.  ’14 Debut, but barn does well with the move.  Great ’13 form and colt may be in for a real nice year.  Love the strong works and this colt may have been born to go a mile on grass.  Distance lover and I have a feeling he’ll be 5-1 or even better.  Calculated risk.  2nd- #6 Going To Market 3rd- #8 Guts and Glory

Race 9 OC 25K-  #5 Kennesaw Mountain.  Improving colt won last out in the mess and is looking for more dollars here.  McCarthy in the saddle and 4-1 is nice.  The colt he beat popped an 88 Beyer next time out in a win.  He’ll see hem again here.  Our boy will be trying to hold off the late comers.  Interesting race.  2nd- Wealth To Me. 3rd- Stolen Love

Race 10- CLM 7500-  #8 Senor Quickie.  Betting strictly because I love this freakin’ name.  Double meaning and stuff.  Hahahahaha.

The Bluegrass Stakes G1

There’s an old horse racing axiom that says never bet a favorite trying something for the first time.  The favorite, Bobby’s Kitten, is doing just that, racing on synthetic surface for the first time ever after starting his promising career on the lawn in stellar fashion.  Time to try and beat him here.  I’m going to think outside the box and go with a longshot.  The #8 Dance With Fate is an intriguing prospect.  He’s got nailed late at the distance in his last and he’s got some stakes experience on the synth.  Like the blow out work and like his stalking style for this.  He’ll make first run at Bobby’s Kitten and hold off the calvary late.  12-1 odds.  Risky playa.  2nd-  Medal Count  3rd- Gala Award  Dance to the winner’s circle, babes.

Arkansas Derby

Ten Years ago Smarty Jones won this race en route to a Derby and Preakness double only to get nipped at the Belmont. This guy should have been a Triple Crown winner, and he’s one of the best three-year olds of a generation.

Curlin is another great horse of the last decade, and while he never ran in the Arkansas Derby, his son is entered in the storied Derby Prep today.    Ride on Curlin is 12-1 and looks primed.  He’s obviously got the breeding, and his rating style should benefit him here.  He’s had a couple of solid thirds in some pretty loaded races, and he feels like a horse that could take a big step forward in this spot.  All systems go.  Heavy action.

Good luck and have fun at the races!



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