05/19/2011 1:22PM

Pimlico's Chick Lang has no clear-cut favorite


Chick Lang wasn’t much of a gambler, but he did appreciate a well-matched horse race. It’s fitting, then, that there is no clear-cut favorite among the nine 3-year-olds entered to run Saturday in the $100,000 Chick Lang Stakes (race 6), named for the late Pimlico general manager who died in March 2010.

Vengeful Wildcat has been pegged as a lukewarm 3-1 morning-line choice in the six-furlong Lang, with several others following closely on the odds line. Vengeful Wildcat, based in New Jersey with trainer Ben Perkins Jr., comes off a sharp runner-up effort in the April 9 Bay Shore at Aqueduct. Carlos Marquez Jr. has the mount from post 5.

A couple of potential challengers will be trying to rebound off subpar attempts in the same April 16 sprint over Polytrack at Keeneland: Escort (post 4, John Velazquez) was fifth as the odds-on favorite, and Ghost Is Clear (post 1, Robby Albarado) barely got out of a gallop when eased as the second choice.

“All we can figure is that he was having trouble getting a hold of the track,” said Mike Maker, trainer of Ghost Is Clear. “He came out of it just fine. We’re just going forward with him.”

Other possibilities in the Lang include Chipshot (post 2, Mike Smith), a last-out winner of a Churchill Downs allowance; Road Ready (post 6, Garrett Gomez), winner of the Bachelor last out at Oaklawn Park; and the overachieving Diski Dance (post 7, Angel Arroyo), first or second in all but one of his nine starts.