April 16, 2024

Distance key for Rattle N Roll in Pimlico Special

Rattle N Roll wins the Ben Ali Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

Rattle N Roll has carried his form to a variety of tracks from Kentucky to Oklahoma, but on Friday the Grade 1 veteran will march eastward, to Maryland, in an attempt to plunder the $250,000 Pimlico Special (G3).

Winner last month of the Ben Ali (G3) at Keeneland, his second graded win at that track following the 2021 Breeders’ Futurity (G1), Rattle N Roll should again be well suited to the 1 3/16-mile trip of the Pimlico Special, the same distance as the Ben Ali.

“He’s a beast at a mile and three-sixteenths,” trainer Kenny McPeek said. “That’s the main reason we looked at it. We were originally looking at the Blame (S. at Churchill Downs), but I decided to go ahead and put him in the Pimlico Special because of the distance.”

Law Professor has himself been a beast, at Aqueduct anyway, with recent wins in the Queens County S. and Excelsior S. He was less so the last time he took his show on the road when finishing a distant third in the Razorback H. (G3) at Oaklawn two back.

Clapton enters off of a 21-1 upset of the Ghostzapper (G3) at Gulfstream, while the dual stakes-placed Kuchar finished only two lengths behind Rattle N Roll in the American Derby at Churchill Downs last summer.

Interstatedaydream will look to make a triumphant return to Pimlico in the $100,000 Allaire du Pont Distaff (G3), a nine-furlong test for fillies and mares. The Brad Cox trainee captured the Black-Eyed Susan (G2) last season and later added the Indiana Oaks (G3), but enters Friday’s feature off three defeats.

Third to the classier duo of Secret Oath and Clairiere in the March 11 Azeri (G2) in her season debut, Interstatedaydream was most recently fourth as a 6-5 favorite the Doubledogdare (G3) at Keeneland.

Her primary challengers figure to be Falconet, who won or placed in the Ladies S., Heavenly Prize S., and Top Flight S. at Aqueduct in her last three, and Chilean import Le Da Vida, fifth in the Azeri most recently.

Cox has another strong favorite in Key of Life, who heads a field of three-year-old fillies in the $150,000 Miss Preakness (G3) over six furlongs. Key of Life enters off back-to-back stakes wins at Oaklawn and Keeneland, the latter being the Beaumont (G2) over an elongated seven furlongs.

Maple Leaf Mel and Bound by Destiny have multiple stakes wins to their credit, albeit in state-bred or restricted affairs, while Afternoon Tea steps up following a narrow maiden victory at Keeneland.

Breath Away, who captured the Sanibel Island S. on April 1 on the Florida Derby Day card, is the probable favorite for the $100,000 Hilltop S. for three-year-old fillies at one mile on the turf.

Aunt Shirley, fifth in the Sanibel Island following a layoff dating to September, should come on from that season debut, while Into Mischief fillies After Eight and Well Into also remain with upside. The Chad Brown trainee Up and Down also figures to attract support following her graduation at Keeneland four weeks ago.

Can the Queen is back for a title defense in the $100,000 The Very One S. for fillies and mares over five furlongs on the turf. Unraced since October, the now seven-year-old was a dual stakes winner over course and distance last term, also having notched the Sept. 24 Sensible Lady S. in another mild upset.

The lightly-raced Her World figures to be the horse bettors will gravitate toward the most. The Wesley Ward charge has won or placed in both stakes attempts, and exits a photo-finish allowance win at Keeneland over next-out winner Nota Bene.

Train to Artemus and Thundering Creed turned in sub-par performances in their respective last starts, but both appear capable with a return to their best form.