Our picks

Whether you're a seasoned bettor or it's your first day at Pimlico, this pull-out guide could give you an edge in today's races.

May 20, 2006|By KENT BAKER | KENT BAKER,SUN REPORTER

RACE 1

ANALYSIS

Hesa Big Star (4) is one of two Howard Wolfendale trainees in the mix with a good shot to prevail. This gelding has speed, always tries and is going a furlong shorter after faltering late last time. He has plenty of competition from fellow Wolfendale charge Roth Ticket (9), Wise Diplomat (1) and Sure You Can (3).

SUN LONG SHOT

Bettin On M J (7) has flashed a lot of speed at Charles Town and is coming off a strong effort in allowance company. He can close if necessary.

WHAT TO BET

Win -- Hesa Big Star (4)

Exacta -- Box Hesa Big Star (4) with Roth Ticket (9) and Sure You Can (3).

RACE 2

ANALYSIS

Regent Spirit (4) is a well-bred but lightly raced 3-year-old by Concerto, a Triple Crown runner. From George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable, he could give trainer Nick Zito his first win on the Preakness card. Proud Allen (9) and Fleet Valid (13) could argue, but the former has a penchant for runner-up finishes and the latter did not draw a good post for a sprint.

SUN LONG SHOT

Cub Reporter (7) is trained locally by Larry Rao and performed creditably last time while stepping up in class. He is always willing.

WHAT TO BET

Win -- Regent Spirit (4)

Exacta -- Box Regent Spirit (4) with Proud Allen (9) and Fleet Valid (13)

RACE 3

ANALYSIS

This optional allowance-claimer shapes up as a wide-open race with no clear standout. As many as six horses could be in the mix, but a jockey switch to Rosie Napravnik could swing the tide toward Bluesman (6) with Colby Cat (5), fourth in the Tesio, Serious Lightning (8) and Two Terms (9) among the strong contenders.

SUN LONG SHOT

Hello Jerry (11) may not qualify as a long shot at post time with Edgar Prado scheduled to ride. The son of Malibu Moon has a penchant for running second, but won easily in allowance company last time out.

WHAT TO BET

Win -- Bluesman (6)

Exacta -- Box Bluesman (6) with Colby Cat (5), Two Terms (9) and Hello Jerry (11).

RACE 4

ANALYSIS

The day's first stakes brings together veteran routers with modest credentials and could be a spot for an upset. With Kent Desormeaux due to ride, One Tough Dude (12) could overcome a poor post position to prevail, but Off the Glass (1) and Evil Storm (10) should provide stiff competition.

SUN LONG SHOT

Dixie Colony (4) came back from a rest with a victory at Philadelphia Park for the Ricky Hendriks barn and could be sitting on a repeat.

WHAT TO BET

Win -- One Tough Dude (12)

Exacta -- Box One Tough Dude (12), Off the Glass (1) and Evil Storm (10)

RACE 5

ANALYSIS

Southern Missile (8) has been highly impressive since converting to turf three races ago, gets Jeremy Rose in the saddle and has the foot to get out of the gate. But he'll have to deal with Procreate (2) and perhaps Abbondanza (6), who is a steady local competitor but is making his debut on the grass.

SUN LONG SHOT

Sarah's Prospect (3) is making a second start since returning from a winter layoff and has the speed to be a major factor in this one.

WHAT TO BET

Win -- Southern Missile (8)

Exacta -- Box Southern Missile (8) with Procreate (2) and Sarah's Prospect (3)

RACE 6

ANALYSIS

The first graded stakes features 3-year-old sprinters, who will have to contend with Urban Guy (6) trained by Tim Ritchey of Afleet Alex fame. He is the most experienced of the group and has earned nearly $155,000. There are several who can make him uncomfortable, including the unbeaten My Dynomite (7), who has made just two starts.

SUN LONG SHOT

Pagan Moon (3) is another son of Malibu Moon who has defeated several in this field and rates a serious look.

WHAT TO BET

Win -- Urban Guy (6)

Exacta -- Box Urban Guy (6) with My Dynomite (7) and Pagan Moon (3)

RACE 7

ANALYSIS

The Gallorette for female runners on the grass has a crowded field of contenders and French and Italian imports. The class appears to be My Typhoon (9), a consistent sort trained by Bill Mott who has fared well in graded events. But Amorama (11) isn't far behind and Laurafina (3) has kick as well.

SUN LONG SHOT

Don't count out Humoristic (10), who gets Ramon Dominguez and brings an impressive turf record.

WHAT TO BET

Win -- My Typoon (9)

Exacta -- Box My Typhoon (9) with Amorama (11) and Laurafina (3)

RACE 8

ANALYSIS

King Leatherbury opted to run Tesio victor Ah Day (2) in the Sir Barton Stakes instead of the Preakness and he looms as the favorite after three wins and a narrowly beaten second in his past four outings. The gelding has never been worse than third since his first race. The major challenge should come from Ultimate Goal (7) and Arkansas Derby also-ran High Cotton (3).

SUN LONG SHOT

Vegas Play (1) was second to Ah Day in the Tesio and has Bud Delp of Spectacular Bid fame as his conditioner.

WHAT TO BET

Win -- Ah Day (2)

Exacta -- Bet Ah Day (2) over Ultimate Goal (7), High Cotton (3), Vegas Play (1) and Our Peak (4).

RACE 9

ANALYSIS

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