TC Summer Squall has run only once this year.
But the 1990 Preakness winner so impressed track oddsmaker Jeff Weissman with a morning workout yesterday that Weissman probably will make Summer Squall the early-line favorite to beat Unbridled, Jolie's Halo and Farma Way in the Pimlico Special Saturday.
"I'm still going to take another look at it," Weissman said. "I'm torn between Summer Squall and Jolie's Halo, but I think I'll end up picking Summer Squall."
Seven horses are listed as definite starters. The top five runners are considered the best older horses in the nation.
Summer Squall breezed five furlongs at Pimlico yesterday morning, and was timed in one minute flat over a muddy track. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 and seven-eighths in 1:25 2/5.
"But when he came back, he was missing a shoe," Weissman said. "That made the work even more impressive."
Summer Squall did not return to action until about three weeks ago, when he won a 6 1/2 -furlong allowance race at Keeneland, equaling the track record of 1:15 2/5. In his final start last year, he bled badly in the Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 12 and was given plenty of time to recuperate.
Weissman said he probably would list Summer Squall at 5-2 odds and make Jolie's Halo and Unbridled equal second choices at 3-1. He will announce the official morning line later today.
/# Jolie's Halo was unbeaten until
he finished third in the Oaklawn Handicap. Unbridled, last year's 3-year-old champion, finished fifth in that race, but previously beat champion sprinter Housebuster in his seasonal opener at Gulfstream Park.
Wayne Lukas, who won the Special last year with Criminal Type, is represented by Farma Way. He will most likely be the fourth choice at 7-2, followed by Festin, the upset winner of the Oaklawn Handicap, at 5-1.
The other two horses, Silver Survivor and Reputed Testamony, are extreme long shots at 30-1.
The Pimlico Special lineup
Horse .. .. .. Wgt .. .. .. Jockey .. .. Odds
Summer Squall.. 120 .. .. .. P.Day .. .. 5-2
Jolie's Halo .. 119 .. .. .. R. Platts ..3-1
Unbridled .. ..122 .. .. .. C. Perret .3-1
Farma Way .. .. 119 .. .. .. G. Stevens .7-2
Festin .. .. .. 116 .. ..E. Delahoussaye 5-1
Silver Survivor 114 .. .. .. Undecided ..30-1
Reputed Testamony 112 .. .. .A. Seefeldt .30-1