Scully: Late Pick 4 play on Preakness Day

May 20th, 2023

The 148th running of the $1.5 million Preakness anchors a guaranteed $2 million Late Pick 4 at Pimlico, and I will take a swing at the sequence.

Here are the runners of interest in the Pick 4.

50-cent Pick 4: 1,3,5,6,8,10,11,13 with 2,7,8 with 1,8,9 with 1 = $36

Race 10 – Jim McKay Turf Sprint S., 4:12 p.m. (ET)

In a speed-packed field, I’ll use the expected speed of the speed, #6 That’s Right (12-1), and spread with #1 Nothing Better (3-1), #3 Artemus Citylimits (5-2), #5 Smokin’ Jay (6-1), #8 Grateful Bred (10-1), #10 Coppola (6-1), #11 Noble Emotion (15-1), and #13 Beer Can Man (8-1).

Race 11 – Maryland Sprint (G3), 4:53 p.m.

#8 Straight No Chaser (3-1) rates as the one to beat from the outside following a sharp frontrunning win at Oaklawn that netted a 104 Brisnet Speed rating, but the pace looks hot. I won’t let #2 Prevalence (8-1), who adds blinkers and sports a sharp worktab, beat me from the inside, and #7 Nakatomi (5-2) may deliver a formidable late punch.

Race 12 – James W. Murphy S., 5:51 p.m.

#9 Nagirroc (8-5) adds blinkers and appears ready for his best following a runner-up in his seasonal opener, the Transylvania (G3) at Keeneland, and he’ll be rallying from an outside post. #1 Funtastic Again (3-1) will be forward from the inside, and he’s eligible to run well if John Velazquez can nurse his early speed. #8 Wonderful Justice (5-1) exits a troubled trip, and he’ll be closing from off the pace with Luis Saez.

Race 13 – Preakness (G1), 7:01 p.m.

First Mission’s scratch removes a pace player from the second leg of the Triple Crown, leaving five late runners among the seven contestants, including Kentucky Derby winner Mage, who has failed to break promptly in all three stakes appearances. #1 National Treasure (4-1) will look to take advantage of the favorable set-up as the controlling speed.

Multiple Grade 1-placed at two, National Treasure missed a plan prep for the Santa Anita Derby (G1), recording a respectable fourth after a rough start, and the Bob Baffert-trained colt has worked forwardly since, recording back-to-back bullet moves in preparation. National Treasure appears to be geared for speed in a race lacking pace, adds blinkers, and John Velazquez will save plenty for the final stages.