Horse Racing picks for Pimlico race track on Saturday, May 21: Epicenter can strike in Preakness

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Martin Pennington

Horse Racing

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American racing handicapper for Pickswise with decades of experience tipping on horse racing all around the world. My favorite ever horse was British runner Quevega and always on the lookout for the next one to capture my attention. Have contributed to the Racing Post newspaper in the UK and now bringing my handicapping talents to Pickswise. For Martin Pennington media enquiries, please email

There is plenty of great horse racing action to look forward to across America on Saturday, including at Pimlico race track, where the highlight is the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes. We have been in fine form with our picks for a long time, and are up +293.45 units on our race selections to our recommended stakes dating back to August 5.

Here are our favourite plays for today’s Pimlico meeting.

12:16 pm ET Pimlico (Race 4) – Disco Pharoah 5/2 (2-star play)

Disco Pharoah got off the mark at the third attempt when winning by a wide margin in a 6 1/2 furlong maiden special weight at Aqueduct in early March. The son of American Pharoah proved he is up to racing in stakes company when delivering a 3 1/4 length success in the Frank Y Whiteley Stakes over an extended 7 furlongs at Laurel last month. 

The drop back in trip today should prove no issue and he is taken to register a first Graded stakes triumph.

12:51 pm ET Pimlico (Race 5) – Crystal Cliffs 2/1 (2-star play)

A winner on a synthetic surface when trained in France, the daughter of Canford Cliffs has made just 5 starts since moving to the Graham Motion barn in 2020. She placed in a couple of stakes, including a Grade 3 last year, and the 5-year-old impressed when winning by  2 3/4 lengths in a Listed stakes contest over a mile and 1/16th at Gulfstream Park on her seasonal debut early last month.

She as a good draw today and looks capable of completing a double with Tyler Gaffalione up. 

2:49 pm ET Pimlico (Race 8) – Atone 5/2 (2-star play)

An allowance optional claiming race winner over a mile at Aqueduct in November, this Into Mischief gelding has since delivered 3 good efforts in Graded company including when a length 4th in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile on a good turf track at Keeneland last month.

That effort sets the standard in this field and the Michael Maker-trained gelding is taken to score following a 1:00.20 5-furlong breeze on the Churchill Downs training track recently.

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3:31 pm ET Pimlico (Race 9) – Old Homestead 2/1 (2-star play)

Unbeaten in 3 starts, Brett A Brinkman’s charge followed up impressive maiden special weight and allowance race victories over 5 furlongs at Delta Downs when delivering an all-the-way 3 3/4 length triumph in the Lafayette Stakes over 7 furlongs on a wet fast track at Keeneland last month.

The drop back in trip today is no issue and the son of Overanalyze looks likely to prove hard to beat from gate 5 with regular pilot Thomas L Pompell in the saddle. 

7:01 pm ET Pimlico (Race 13, Preakness Stakes) – Epicenter 6/5 (2-star play)

Epicenter was strongly fancied in the market for the Kentucky Derby and led in the stretch prior to going down by 3/4 length to the strong-finishing 80/1 outsider Rich Strike.

That rival skips this contest and Steve Asmussen’s charge, who was a dual Grade 2 company prior to that, including over this trip in Fair Grounds Louisiana Derby in March, looks capable of registering a first victory at the highest level with regular pilot Joel Rosario retaining the ride.   

Check out our guide to every runner in the Preakness Stakes here


Early Pick 3

Race 1: 6, 7
Race 2: 2, 6
Race 3: 4, 5
Stake: $2
Total stake: $16

All of our horse racing predictions and handicapping information at Pickswise come with full analysis, brought to you by industry leaders with decades of experience. Check out our latest Horse Racing Picks today!

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