A $2 million-guaranteed Late Pick 4, encompassing the most important and historic stakes held at Pimlico on Preakness Day, is a good sequence we’re hoping doesn’t chalk out. Here’s how we’ll play it.
Race 10 — Gallorette (G3)
#1 I’M SO FANCY (7-2) brings solid European form to the table. Note she finished a clear second to the top-class Magical in a Group 2 last July. #2 INFLEXIBILITY (3-1) ran some good races early last year before tailing off later in the season. Castellano was riding out of his mind on Friday. #7 IN THE LEE (10-1) looks like a live longshot and should take a step forward second off the layoff.
Race 11 — Chick Lang (G3)
Unless a dead heat unexpectedly occurs, either #7 PYRON (7-2) or #8 PREAMBLE (5-2) — perhaps both (which would be unfortunate for us) — will taste defeat for the first time. The latter has more experience, but note the former’s connections, who won this race a year ago with the superstar Mitole.
Race 12 — Dixie (G2)
#12 Catholic Boy seemingly the horse to beat, but drew a tough post and is ostensibly prepping for a race like the Suburban (G2) going longer. Will try and beat him here with logical second choice #11 INSPECTOR LYNLEY (7-2) and the relatively less exposed #3 ADMISSION OFFICE (12-1), first or second in all five starts and who can provide a strong late kick with an honest pace in front of him.
Race 13 — Preakness (G1)
Will take a stand against another likely favorite — #4 Improbable — and take a pair of closers in a race where the pace figures to be, on paper, rather honest. #5 OWENDALE (10-1) turned in one of the better prep races for this impressively taking the Lexington (G3). Showed a great turn of foot on the far turn at Keeneland, and that’s the kind of move that has won many Preaknesses in the past. #2 BOURBON WAR (12-1) is a “buzz” horse and will probably start at half his ML price. Exits the strong Gulfstream prep program and chances in Florida Derby (G1) were diminished by the lack of pace set Maximum Security. More favorable scenario expected here.
The 50-cent ticket:
1,2,7 with 7,8 with 3,11 with 2,5 = $12.