Nine go to the post in Friday’s $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3) on Preakness Stakes eve led by the Brad Cox trained Owendale, the 8-5 morning line favorite.
The colt is coming off a solid runner up finish in the Alysheba (G2) at Churchill Downs behind the tough By My Standards. The colt drew the eight post and picks up the services of Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez for the first time.
Among his foes is defending champion Tenfold from the Steve Asmussen barn. The son of Curlin won last year’s edition by a neck at 5-1 over You’re to Blame. Since that win he has come up short in nine starts, his last outing a fourth in the Charles Town Classic (G2).
His other start at Pimlico came in the 2018 Preakness Stakes (G1) where he came with a good late rally to finish third, beaten just three-quarters of a length behind the winner Justify, who went on to win the Belmont Stakes (G1) and the Triple Crown in his next start.
“The Preakness in the fog was one of the most exciting races I’ve ever witnessed,” Winchell racing manager David Fiske said. “The fog added another layer of suspense, and to be that close to a Triple Crown winner. I don’t think he was beaten more than a length.”
Cordmaker (8-1) draws the rail and is one of the few in here that has some tactical speed. The Rodney Jenkins trainee was the runner up in the Deputy Testimony last out at Laurel Park going sprint to route. He ran a close up third in this race last year which was at 1 ¼ miles.
The Pimlico Special is the first half of a special daily double along with the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.
Eight of the first 10 races on Friday’s card are Claiming Crown qualifying races. This year’s Claiming Crown is set for Dec. 5 at Gulfstream Park.
Get a $300 Risk Free Bet at TVG.
Let’s head out to Pimlico for Friday’s featured race of the day:
Pimlico Race 11 The Pimlico Special G3 Post time 6:23 ET
1 Cordmaker 8-1
8 Owendale 8-5
4 Someday Jones 9-2
5 Tenfold 5-1
This gelding looks ready for a top effort here after showing improvement last out on the stretch out to two turns in the Deputed Testimony. The gelding chased the early pace, took over the lead and could not hold off Harper’s First Ride in the stretch in a runner up finish. He had finished fifth in his three previous starts, all going one turn. Last year this guy won five of his eight starts and made a good late rally to finish a close up third in this race. He won a couple of two turn races at Delaware Park including the restricted Governors Day Handicap in his final start in 2019. He draws the rail here in a race void of much early speed. He has been close to the pace in several of his races last year and the strategy could be to send him here. He looks capable of moving forward off his last effort and his 8-1 morning line looks more than fair.
The likely favorite is coming off a solid runner up finish to By My Standards in the Alysheba (G2) at Churchill Downs. The winner had run second in the Whitney (G1) and Stephen Foster (G2) in his two previous starts and earlier this year won the Oaklawn ‘Cap (G2) and New Orleans Classic (G2). The Asmussen trainee owns a solid pace profile throughout and runs very consistent figures, between a 96 and a 99 Beyer in eighth of his last 10 starts. He made a good late run to finish third in last year’s Preakness (G1) in his lone trip here at Old Hilltop. Johnny V. picks up the call for Cox and he looks tough but is going to end up a short price.
The seven-year-old stalked the early pace and made a mild late run to finish in the runner up spot last out in the state bred Storm Cat, unable to get to the winner in the stretch. The winner was Wait for It who was a distant third in the restricted Governors Day ‘Cap in his next start on Sept. 26. The Servis trainee landed in the exacta in six of his seven starts last year and had five races in a row earning a 99 or 100 Beyer including winning the nine-furlong Native Dancer at Laurel Park last December. He makes just his third start since March and looks primed for a top effort in this spot.