Horse Racing Predictions Pimlico $150,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap

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THE RACE, $150,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap (G3) Pimlico. Race 5 (Saturday, May 17, 2014: 1:11 p.m./ET; 10:11 a.m./PT). 6 furlongs (three-year-olds and up)

Horse Racing Predictions The first of eight stakes races at Pimlico on Preakness Day begins with six veterans enter the starting gate to strut their stuff going three quarters of a mile. Let’s get right to the analysis of this small, but competitive, field:

#1 SNEAKING UPONYOU has made 46 career starts with 10 of them resulting in victory. This eight-year-old veteran gelding posted a sharp 59.1 work at Bowie earlier this month, suggesting he is ready to repeat his last effort in April when he dominated to win by about a half dozen lengths.

#2 HAPPY MY WAY is a consistent four-year-old that has posted four straight 100+ Beyer speed figures while sprinting on the main track at Gulfstream Park, something the others in this field have not been able to accomplish. This is his graded stakes debut, but appears to be the one to beat.

#3 LEMON DROP DREAM is the only graded stakes winner in the field, having won the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) last time out at Oaklawn Park. Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. and trainer Steve Asmussen connect together at a 24% win percentage and they look to continue their winnings ways here with a runner who is four for five at this distance.

#4 SALUTOS AMIGOS has won three straight races since David Jacobson took over the training duties of this four-year-old gelding by Salute The Sarge.

#5 SERVICE FOR TEN has been freshened for this start, having not raced since February, and this multiple stakes winner has only failed to hit the board once during his 14-race career.

#6 ACTION ANDY broke from the rail and finished a well beaten eighth in this race last year, but draws a good outside post today.

SELECTIONS

1. #3 LEMON DROP DREAM – Three visits to the winner circle from four starts this year.
2. #2 HAPPY MY WAY – Terrific recent form.
3. #6 ACTION ANDY – His best makes him competitive.

LONG SHOT VALUE PLAY: #1 SNEAKING UPONYOU – Old veteran has a shot.

WAGERING STRATEGY
#3 LEMON DROP DREAM figures to get a perfect trip off the early speed. I’ll make a straight win bet on him and also box him in an exacta with #2 HAPPY MY WAY, who has run “lights out” his past few starts.

BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)
$20 Win: #3 LEMON DROP DREAM
$15 Exacta Box: #2 HAPPY MY WAY and #3 LEMON DROP DREAM ($30).

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