Preakness Day Stakes Picks

- -

Maryland My Maryland. They’ll be singing that tune a little before dusk Saturday at Pimlico Race Course during the post parade for the 147th Preakness Stakes, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

A stakes-filled card awaits fans and horseplayers, topped by the headliner with a field of nine, along with four other graded events and a Grade 1 Arabian stakes. The day starts early at Bloody Mary time, at 10:30 a.m., and rolls along through the finale scheduled for 7:43 p.m. Perhaps the longest day in sports.

The handicappers are back in action, searching for winners after another spotty effort during Friday’s Black-Eyed Susan Day card.

Charles Bedard led the way with three winners – Super Quick in the Grade 3 Allaire du Pont Distaff, Lady Scarlet in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness and Pizza Bianca in the Hilltop. He was one of six handicappers – everyone but Jessica Paquette and Joe Clancy – that took the center square with Pizza Bianca.

Joe and Jessica did come up with First Captain in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special, their one winner apiece on the day. John Shapazian picked two winners – Pizza Bianca and Lady Scarlet in the Grade 3 Miss Preakness, while Rob Whitlock picked Interstatedaydream in the headlining Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan.

The tally heading into Saturday’s Preakness Day card – Charles 8, Sean 7, John 7, Joe 6, Rob 5, Tom 4, Jessica 4 and Paul 4.

Here are the picks for Saturday, May 21. Good luck.

Maryland Sprint (G3). $150,000, 3-year-olds and up, 6 furlongs. Post time 12:16 p.m. ET.
Jaxon Traveler, back home in his native state, looks for first win of the season and first since last August at Pimlico. He’s one of seven here who all look like they could win. Disco Pharoah earns slight favorite’s role off victory in Frank Whiteley last time out for Ray Handal.

Rob: Disco Pharoah, Jaxon Traveler, Mr Phil.
Jessica: Jaxon Traveler, Mr Phil, Disco Pharoah.
John: Mr Phil, Jaxson Traveler, Sir Alfred James.
Charles: Jaxon Traveler, Mr Phil, Disco Pharoah.
Paul: Jaxon Traveler, Sir Alfred James, Mr Phil.
Sean: Disco Pharoah, Mr Phil, Jaxon Traveler.
Joe: Jaxon Traveler, Disco Pharoah, Mr. Phil.
Tom: Jaxon Traveler, Disco Pharoah, Mr Phil.

Gallorette (G3). $150,000, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/16 miles, turf. Post time 12:51 p.m.
First grass stakes of the day and it looks like Crystal Cliffs versus Technical Analysis. The former won the Sand Springs in early April at Gulfstream while the latter comes off a second to Plum Ali in the Plenty Of Grace in mid-April at Aqueduct. Both were the lone starts of the year. Scarabea finished fourth in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley last time and deserves a long look.

Rob: Crystal Cliffs, Technical Analysis, In A Hurry.
Jessica: Crystal Cliffs, Technical Analysis, In A Hurry.
John: Technical Analysis, Crystal Cliffs, Scarabea.
Charles: Technical Analysis, Scarabea, Crystal Cliffs.
Paul: Technical Analysis, Crystal Cliffs, Scarabea.
Sean: Crystal Cliffs, Technical Analysis, In A Hurry.
Joe: Crystal Cliffs, Technical Analysis, Scarabea.
Tom: In A Hurry, Technical Analysis, Crystal Cliffs.

Skipat. $100,000, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 6 furlongs. Post time 2:08 p.m.
Tough group of 10 fillies and mares to sort out, with Cilla the slight favorite over Kaylasaurus, Fille d’Espirit and Time Limit. Steve Asmussen continues his annual assault of Old Hilltop with Joy’s Rocket, second in an Oaklawn optional last time and proven stakes competitor.

Rob: Cilla, Oxana, Cheetara.
Jessica: Cheetara, Kaylasaurus, Joy’s Rocket.
John: Cilla, Time Limit, Oxana.
Charles: Fille d’Esprit, Street Lute, Kaylasaurus.
Paul: Kaylasaurus, Cilla, Fille d’Espirit.
Sean: Kaylasaurus, Time Limit, Joy’s Rocket.
Joe: Time Limit, Cheetara, Fille e’Esprit.
Tom: Fille d’Espirit, Kaylasaurus, Street Lute.

Dinner Party (G2). $250,000, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/16 miles, turf. Post time 2:49 p.m.
Set Piece figures to appreciate the class relief after three straight starts in Grade 1 company, including a close seventh last time in the Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland. A multiple stakes winner, Juddmonte homebred will be tough in field that also includes Beacon Hill, English Bee and Atone.

Rob: Atone, Set Piece, Beacon Hill.
Jessica: English Bee, Tango Tango Tango, Set Piece.
John: Set Piece, Beacon Hill, English Bee.
Charles: Set Piece, Beacon Hill, Atone.
Paul: English Bee, Set Piece, Atone.
Sean: Atone, Beacon Hill, Set Piece.
Joe: Set Piece, Atone, Beacon Hill.
Tom: Set Piece, Atone, English Bee.

Chick Lang (G3). $200,000, 3-year-olds, 6 furlongs. Post time 3:31 p.m.
Whelen Springs and Coburn, 1-2 in the Bachelor Stakes last time at Oaklawn, renew budding rivalry in field of nine sophomores. Steve Asmussen sits tied with Ben Perkins Jr. for the all-time lead in Chick Lang victories with four and sends our Cogburn and Chasing Time. They all might be chasing Delta Downs shipper Old Homestead, unbeaten in three starts for Brett Brinkman.

Rob: Cogburn, Ole Homestead, Whalen Springs.
Jessica: Cogburn, When Springs, Alottahope.
John: Old Homestead, Cogburn, Whelen Springs.
Charles: Cogburn, Old Homestead, Alottahope.
Paul: Old Homestead, Cogburn, Whelen Springs.
Sean: Whelan Springs, Old Homestead, Cogburn.
Joe: Old Homestead, Cogburn, Little Vic.
Tom: Cogburn, Old Homestead, Whelen Springs.

James W. Murphy. $100,000, 3-year-olds, 1 mile, turf. Post time 4:12 p.m.
Back to the grass and another big field of 11. The connections of Joe considered the Preakness but opt for a return to the turf, where son of Declaration Of War finished mid-pack fifth in his debut last October. He’s a two-time stakes winner since and very live here against the returning Ready To Purrform and Riot House. Shake Em Loose was also considered for the Preakness but lands here instead.

Rob: Riot House, Joe, Local Motive.
Jessica: Wow Whata Summer, Joe, Ready To Perform.
John: Riot House, Ready To Purrform, Joe.
Charles: Joe, Riot House, Ready To Purrform.
Paul: Riot House, Ready To Purrform, Joe.
Sean: Ready To Purrform, Joe, Riot House.
Joe: Joe, Ready To Purrform, Riot House.
Tom: Joe, Ready To Purrform, Wow Whata Summer.

Sir Barton. $100,000, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles. Post time 4:53 p.m.
The not-quite-ready for the big time crew or the prepping for things down the road gang. Take your pick here. Ethereal Road might fit into the latter category – especially if you ask D. Wayne Lukas. He scratched from the Kentucky Derby and paved the way for Rich Strike to draw into the race. Now Lukas hopes to use this as a prep for the Belmont Stakes. B Dawk blasted an about 7-furlong maiden field last time and would be tough running back to that effort.

Rob: Unikee, B Dawk, The Addison Pour.
Jessica: B Dawk, The Addison Pour, Mr Jefferson.
John: Unikee, B Dawk, Ethereal Road.
Charles: Mr Jefferson, B Dawk, Ethereal Road.
Paul: Mr Jefferson, Unikee, Brooklyn Diamonds.
Sean: Mr Jefferson, Ethereal Road, Goldenize.
Joe: Goldenize, B Dawk, Mr Jefferson.
Tom: Ruggs, Mr Jefferson, B Dawk.

Jim McKay Turf Sprint. $100,000, 3-year-olds and up, 5 furlongs, turf. Post time 5:51 p.m.
Field of 10 and a good puzzle. Carotari comes off the bench for Brian Lynch, Seven Scents returns to stakes company after allowance win at Keeneland for Brad Cox, Grateful Bred looks to improve off second in King Leatherbury last time out for Madison Meyers and Hollis goes back to the grass for John Ortiz. That covers the main contenders on the morning line. Maybe time to search for a price?

Rob: Carotari, Seven Cents, Hollis.
Jessica: Carotari, Grateful Bred, Hollis.
John: Carotari, Grateful Bred, Seven Scents.
Charles: Hollis, Carotari, Concrete Glory.
Paul: Seven Scents, Carotari, Smokin’ Jay.
Sean: Grateful Bred, Carotari, Hollis.
Joe: Grateful Bred, Smokin’ Jay, Carotari.
Tom: Carotari, Seven Scents, Grateful Bred.

Preakness (G1). $1,650,000, 3-year-olds, 1 3/16 miles. Post time 7:01 p.m.
The main event. Second jewel of the Triple Crown without the Kentucky Derby winner. That doesn’t happen much, so no sweep even in the offing. Epicenter stands out off his runner-up in the Derby, where he did everything but win. Secret Oath surely will attract attention trying to join Swiss Skydiver, Rachel Alexandra and others as female winners. She ran lights-out in the Kentucky Oaks and the distance will suit. Early Voting and Simplification, a good fourth in the Derby, round out the top four. The others would be a surprise, but we know the drill there.

Rob: Epicenter, Early Voting, Simplification.
Jessica: Epicenter, Secret Oath, Early Voting.
John: Secret Oath, Early Voting, Epicenter.
Charles: Early Voting, Epicenter, Skippylongstocking.
Paul: Early Voting, Epicenter, Simplification.
Sean: Epicenter, Early Voting, Secret Oath.
Joe: Epicenter, Secret Oath, Creative Minister.
Tom: Epicenter, Simplification, Secret Oath.

The UAE President Cup (G1). $100,000, Arabians, 4-year-olds and up, 1 1/16 miles. Post time 7:43 p.m.
Finish the day with our Arabian friends. Field of eight led by the 9-year-old 16-time winner Quick Sand Aa, 5-year-old Hiab Al Zaman and the 5-year-old last-out stakes winner Like Mouli Rouge.

Rob: Sniper De Monlau, Kissour, Uptown Lady Arabella.
Jessica: Like Moulin Rouge, Hiab Al Zaman, Uptown Lady Arabella.
John: Quick Sand Aa, Like Moulin Rouge, Hiab Al Zaman.
Charles: Hiab Al Zaman, Quick Sand Aa, Like Moulin Rouge.
Paul: Quick Sand Aa, Hiab Al Zaman, Like Moulin Rouge.
Sean: Like Moulin Rouge, Hiab Al Zaman, Quick Sand.
Tom: Hiab Al Zaman, Quick Sand Aa, Like Moulin Rouge.
Joe: Uptown Lady Arabella, Quick Sand Aa, Hiab Al Zaman.