Jeremy Plonk: Pimlico Pick 4, Pick 5 Analysis | Saturday, May 20, 2023

Saturday’s Preakness Day card offers a multitude of attractive wagering options. The all-stakes pick 5 from races 9-13, and subsequent pick 4 in Races 10-13, are anchored by the middle jewel in the Triple Crown.

Pimlico | Race 9 | Skipat
A very hot pace in this 6-furlong sprint sets up nicely for Preakness favorite Mage’s older sister #6 Gunning. Look for her to be traveling best late. #7 Edie Meeny Miny Mo was freakishly good over this track to start her career and may wake back up with a return off the layoff.  Others in here have plusses and minuses and aren’t worth expanding the cost of the ticket to me, though #1, #2, #5 make some argument if you’re not sold on the lead pair.

Pimlico | Race 10 | Jim McKay Turf Sprint
There’s a ton of early speed in this 5-furlong grass dash and I’ll take my chances with the few finishers in the field. #10 Coppola was dynamite late against Churchill allowance foes and likely won’t have momentum broken with the wide draw. Has to lose some ground, but that’s a fair trade if clear sailing. #8 Grateful Bred was a good fourth in this race last year while coming off a similar layoff. #5 Smokin Jay likely has to find a seam while saving ground, but is a good late puncher with strong-riding Tyler Gaffalione. If you had to add some speed, #1 That’s Right, #12 Breakthrough and #3 Artemus Citylimits are best of the front-runners.

Pimlico | Race 11 | Maryland Sprint
#2 Prevalence is as inconsistent as he is talented, and they’ve moved him all around trying to figure out what he does best. He showed up here with blinkers on and firing bullets in the morning for a Brendan Walsh barn doing everything right since Keeneland started 6 weeks ago. Tyler Gaffalione jumps to ride #7 Nakatomi, but Irad Ortiz Jr. lands on Prevalence. Nakatomi should be finishing strong. They likely all have to catch #8 Straight No Chaser off a sparkling win at Oaklawn and previous west coast speed.

Pimlico | Race 12 | James W. Murphy
#9 Nagirroc is the most talented runner in the field and the addition of blinkers should help his focus in finishing the deal after a couple of narrow losses. The third-place finisher in his last at Keeneland came back to win the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill. #1 Funtastic Again is a threat to go wire-to-wire from the rail, but Nagirroc should have him in his sights throughout. He’s the single for me.

Pimlico | Race 13 | Preakness 148
#3 Mage is going to be underlay price on the tote in the win pool, but that’s of no concern if you’re playing the pick 4 and pick 5.  He makes a ton of sense and there is not a big knock in terms of win chances. The value play and horse with upside is #6 Perform. He was visually fantastic in his last two and at 15-1 in the morning line is my intra-race play. If we can get him there, it makes for a strong finale to these sequences in terms of price boost.

The Tickets
Pick 5: 6,7 with 10,8,5 with 2,8,7 with 9 with 6,3 = $18 for $.50 play
Pick 4: 10,8,5 with 2,8,7 with 9 with 6,3 = $9 for $.50 play

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