Mr. Ed handicaps Saturday’s Preakness Day card at Pimlico


Preakness card Best Bets at Pimlico

RAIN & FIRE (with apologies to James Taylor): It’s been a little more than 51 years since Mr. Ed first visited historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. I was there in 1972 to see Riva Ridge win the 97th annual Preakness stakes. Having won the Kentucky Derby two weeks prior, my meager money was confidently bet on the strapping the 3-year-old’s nose as he attempted to capture the second jewel in racing’s Triple Crown. If not for Bee. Riva Ridge’s dreams, and my bankroll, were drowned in buckets of rain by an unpretentious local slop-specialist named Bee Bee Bee. I was soaked (and broke). However, Mr. Ed more than recovered his losses the following May when I returned to Pimlico to bet a bunch (at that time perhaps $10) on RR’s young stablemate Secretariat to win the 98th Preakness – and he did not disappoint in record-breaking fashion. Three weeks later, Big Red would go on to capture the Triple Crown, winning the Belmont Stakes by smoking Sham and other stragglers by an ever-widening 31 lengths. I was hooked on horseplaying for life. Happy 50th Preakness anniversary to the great Secretariat!


Race No. 3 (11:41 a.m. ET/8:41 a.m. PT)

It’s time for maiden #4 Weyhill Road (5-1 morning line) to fulfill his promise.  “Pricy ($1.6 million) son of Quality Road, Triple Crown-nominated colt tries turf for first time in effort to finally navigate road to Winner’s Circle. After string of strong works, Shug McGaughey recalls Tyler Gaffalione to ride. Today is payday for Weyhill Road investors. Wager: $10 to Win.” ($10)

Race No. 6 (1:29 p.m. ET/10:29 a.m. PT)

Mr. Ed likes #7 Prince of Jericho (9-2 morning line) for accomplished local trainer Brittany Russell. “Super-consistent colt returns to sprinting after dull effort as betting choice in two-turn Laurel stakes. Look for successful stalking trip from outside post under conditioner’s favorite pilot, husband Sheldon. Wager: $10 to Win.” ($10)

Race No. 7 (2:08 p.m. ET/11:08 a.m. PT)

I like a trio: #1 Whistlebeam (3-1 morning line) for Chad Brown and Irad Ortiz Jr.; #6 Bipartisanship (8-1) for Graham Motion and Johnny Velasquez; and #7 Princess Theorem (9-2) for Brendan Walsh and Tyler Gaffalione. Wager: $5 Exacta Box of 1,6,7.” ($30)

Race No. 8 (2:49 p.m. ET/11:49 a.m. ET)

Mr. Ed likes #7 Emmanuel (7-2 morning line). “Hard-charging 4-year-old filly tackles salty group in Grade 3 Dinner Party stakes. Versatile gal has earned racing stripes competing against some of nation’s best female turf routers from Tampa to Saratoga. Looking for tactical trip under talented Irad Ortiz Jr. Wager: $10 to Win.” ($10)

Race 9 (3:31 p.m. ET/12:31 p.m. PT)

My BEST BET OF THE DAY is #6 Gunning (6-1 morning line). “Son of hot sire Gun Runner is my choice in Skippat stakes under Flavien Prat. Filly will appreciate turn back to six furlongs after Placing in muddy mile at Oaklawn. Trained by Kenny McPeek, look for gal to gun down speed-favoring opponents in stretch. Wager: $20 to Win.” ($20)

Races 10-13 (4:12 p.m. ET/1:12 p.m. PT)

Mr. Ed likes $.50 Pick 4 (cost $72)
Race 10: 1,3,10
Race 11: 7,8,10
Race 12: 1,5,8,9
Race 13: 1,3,5,7

Race 13 (7:01 p.m. ET/4:01 p.m. PT)

My top pick is NOT Kentucky Derby winner #3 Mage. Morning line choice has never raced on fewer than four weeks’ rest. I applaud connections’ victory – but have trouble trusting a tired Mage to finish any better than third. My pick is sharp and steady #1 National Treasure. With super-savvy trainer Bob Baffert once again in charge of his barn following suspension, he’s going all out to successfully return to the Triple Crown spotlight. Hall of Fame jockey Johnny Velazquez goes along for the ride. I’ll bet $30 to Win on #1 National Treasure. I’ll box #1 National Treasure in $3 Exactas with the aforementioned #3 Mage and #5 Red Route One. ($48)


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