05/17/2012 9:42PM

Pimlico: Maryland Sprint looks like anyone's race


BALTIMORE -- There may not be a more inscrutable race on Saturday’s program at Pimlico than the Grade 3, $100,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap. There are no standouts in its 10-horse field.

Ravalo, an 8-year-old gelding, won this race in 2009 and was third in 2010. However, he has not started since finishing last in an overnight stakes at Aqueduct in January, from which he emerged with a quarter crack and then a bruised foot.

“He’s an old horse, runs when he’s ready,” trainer Don Barr said. “This doesn’t look to be a bad spot. The 10 post I’m not in love with, but you can’t get all your druthers.”

Bandbox is a stakes-winning New York-bred who hasn’t been out since finishing second in an open company allowance race at Laurel on Jan. 11. His trainer, Rodney Jenkins, said Bandbox has missed time because he popped a quarter crack coming out of that race.

Bandbox has a bullet-laden worktab, and Jenkins chose to stay home for this rather than ship to New York for Saturday’s Affirmed Success Stakes for statebreds.

“The race is a hair short for him, but he’s doing awfully well,” Jenkins said. “He always seems to find trouble. We’re hoping for a clean trip. I think he’ll run real well.”

Hamazing Destiny wheels back two weeks after finishing seventh in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs. Trainer D. Wayne Lukas said his horse got off poorly that day and is better at six furlongs than at seven, the distance of the Churchill Downs. He was second in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, which is run at six furlongs.

“If he likes the track, he’s a factor in this one,” Lukas said.

Immortal Eyes, Diski Dance, and Wildcat Brief are other contenders in this field.