05/16/2008 12:06PM

45 Late Scratches

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There are 45 late scratches so far on the rain-soaked Black-Eyed Susan/Pimlico Special card today in Baltimore. Maybe scheduling six grass races for the second-biggest day of the year at Pimlico was not such a great idea. All have been moved to the main track, including the Woodlawn and The Very One. So here's what's left of the all-stakes pick-4 (which I'll update with results during the day:)

The rain, scratches and surface switches have altered the complexion of the first three races in the sequence:

Race 9 (Woodlawn): Now at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, the Woodlawn had been a two-horse race on paper between graded stakes-winners Hatta Fort and Prussian, both scratched along with Hugo. It now looks like there may be a legit heavy favorite in Malibu Kid, the only one of the remaining six starters to have even run in a stakes race this year. He and MJ's Enchanteur are the only entrants who have exceeded Beyers of 75, both with three races in the 80-to-85 range to their credit.

Race 10 (Pimlico Special): The scratch of Wanderin Boy and the wet track make a race that seemed sure to melt down late a lot more wide open. Favorites A.P. Arrow and Grasshopper are the most accomplished entrants, but the former returns from a race in Dubai seven weeks ago and the latter has never raced on a wet track (though he's bred to handle it well.) I was going to take a big shot with 20-1 ML Xchanger here before the rain, but given how poorly he ran in Monmouth slop in the BC Dirt Mile, I'll probably make only a token insanity-insurance bet on him if he stays in.

Race 11 (The Very One): The two logical favorites on turf (Smart and Fancy and Cat On a Cloud) stayed in. The former ran her career-best race against Oprah Winney in the slop, but the latter appears better on turf. The other filly who now deserves consideration is 15-1 ML All Giving, who is 3 for 3 on wet tracks.

Race 12 (Black-Eyed Susan): I'm playing against 9-5 ML favorite Bsharpsonata, a gritty filly who handles slop but who has yet to win beyond a mile on the dirt and who may be headed in the wrong direction. While she ran against a much stronger field in the Oaks last time, she got an easy lead through soft fractions and tired. Instead I'll try Highest Class, She's All Eltish and a little Sweet Vendetta.

Coverage is scheduled to run from 3:30 to 6 pm ET on ESPN2.

AJV More than 1 year ago
Sorry to be past posting, Steve, but I tried a lotta Sweet Vendetta in the BE Susan! Woohoo! Gotta love Channing! And Contessa! Score one for the NY home team!
dunco More than 1 year ago
[Steve Asmussen] has one horse today and bang $$16.00+++
Dennis More than 1 year ago
My Pimlico approach: I believe BB will win, but playing exactas or even triples will not yield much. Therefore, I'm going for a superfecta and treating it like a triple behind BB. Gayego is a logical horse but if he winds up 2nd (or even 3rd) the super will be very deflated especially since I'm using Kentucky Bear. and so I'm hoping to beat him. 7 - 1,6,8 - 1,2,6,8 - all. In this intra-race exotic I see no harm in hitting the "all" button in the 4th spot since many of these horses seem equally qualified to grab that spot. Good luck all.
callmetony More than 1 year ago
i was just about to go over to the meadowlands and bet BEL and PIM . Then the skies opened up and I changed my mind . Glad I did . My new rule in torential rain storms find something else to do then bet horses . This game is hard enough .
Scott More than 1 year ago
Right idea, wrong horse in race 9. Malibu Kid had a perfect trip behind the 5 & 8 and still flattened out. Termsofengagement did have a good race against older last time, which is an angle I usually play in 3YO races. But Malibu Kid looked too good on paper. So much for my pick 4...
Andy More than 1 year ago
I'm guessing you have read this already, but if not I'd love to hear your reaction to this article by Bill Nack. http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/triplecrown08/columns/story?columnist=nack_bill&id=3399004&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos2
Floppydog More than 1 year ago
Any inside info on what the track conditions might be for the opener tomorrow?
Arazi More than 1 year ago
Gotta bet something.... so here I go :( Miss Preakness: Beau's Valentine (Win and Exacta with Palanka City) Pim Special: Ryan's for Real (Win, Exacta with Grasshopper and A.P Arrow on top) Black Eyed Susan: Sherine (Win, Exacta with Highest Class, Shes All Elthish on top)