Handicapping the Preakness Day Late Pick 5

May 14th, 2021

Pimlico's unfortunately high takeout rates on multi-race wagers such as the Pick 3 and Pick 4 -- an advertised 25.75% -- make those pools less appealing to dive into on this Preakness weekend. However, their 12% takeout on the Pick 5 is among the best that can be found anywhere in the country.

Here's our view of Saturday's Late Pick 5 sequence that ends with the day's feature.

Leg 1 -- Skipat S. -- Race 9 (3:25 p.m. ET)

A lot of speed signed up for this six-furlong dash for fillies and mares, so we'll lean toward closers like #2 CASUAL (9-2), who chased the relatively higher-class Kimari, Edgeway, and Frank's Rockette in recent starts at Oaklawn. #1 CLUB CAR (8-1) and stakes newcomer #8 FRENCH EMPIRE (3-1) are also worth a look along the same lines.

Leg 2 -- Jim McKay Turf Sprint -- Race 10 (4:05 p.m. ET)

Morning line favorite #4 THE CRITICAL WAY (5-2) shortens up slightly after weakening late in the Shakertown (G2) at Keeneland, and was clearly among the division leaders in Florida over the winter. #13 COMPLETED PASS (7-2) drew a tough post, but loves this course and will be coming on the scene late in an attempt to make amends for his neck loss in this event last October to #5 HOLLIS (6-1), who could wind up a bit overlooked due to some inconsistent form of late.

Leg 3 -- Maryland Sprint (G3) -- Race 11 (4:41 p.m. ET)

#8 SPECIAL RESERVE (9-2), claimed for $40,000 in early February, has done right by new connections with a lucrative allowance win first out, followed by a second in the Commonwealth (G3) to Flagstaff, who repeated in the Churchill Downs (G1) on Derby Day. #11 SEVEN NATION ARMY (5-1), if he can avoid a slow break and/or early trouble, looks fast enough with his best. An expected strong pace will also help aid his rally from a few lengths back.

Leg 4 -- Dinner Party S. (G2) -- Race 12 (5:38 p.m. ET)

We'll take a swing at singling stakes newcomer #3 KURAMATA (6-1), who is longer on potential than on proven form at this level, which is basically non-existent following maiden first-level allowance wins of late. However, it's an intriguing placement here by owner Peter Brant and trainer Chad Brown. Owns a pedigree to die for as Epsom Derby (G1)-winning sire is out of Ouija Board, while dam is kin to dual French classic winner Beauty Parlour, who in turn produced recent Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) heroine Blowout for these connections.

Leg 5 -- Preakness S. (G1) -- Race 13 (6:47 p.m. ET)

Controversy aside, #3 MEDINA SPIRIT (9-5) generally looks the most logical winner from both a speed and form perspective in this soft renewal of the middle classic. #5 MIDNIGHT BOURBON (5-1) might not want to go this far, but Fair Grounds form held up especially well in the Kentucky Derby (G1), even though he lost all chance for a respectable placing when so far back early. He possesses fewer holes than the remaining contenders.

Here's the 50-cent ticket:

  • 1,2,8 with 4,5,13 with 8,11 with 3 with 3,5 = $18.