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HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

Pimlico Special: The Time Is Now for Revolutionary

Revolutionary allw 615 X 400
Photo: Coglianese Photos


It’s been a long time between drinks for Revolutionary. Just barely over a year ago, the WinStar Farm charge was my top pick for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. My confidence in the well-bred colt was bolstered by brave wins in consecutive starts in the Withers and Louisiana Derby. He ran a decent enough race on the first Saturday in May, finishing third, but since then, the reviews on Revolutionary have been mixed at best. In fact, his grand total of stakes win since that Grade 2 Louisiana Derby victory nearly 14 months ago, is a big fat goose egg. If my handicapping is solid, though, that winless streak in stakes racing will not last into the weekend.

Revolutionary may have skipped last year’s Preakness, but he gets a chance to prove himself over the same trip in tomorrow’s $300,000 Pimlico Special. Listed as a lukewarm favorite in a field of nine, it looks to me like the son of War Pass and Runup the Colors is well spotted to kickstart a once promising career.

In fairness to the Todd Pletcher trainee, he has only had a limited number of chances since taking third place money in the Derby. In last June’s Belmont Stakes, Revolutionary made a move on the turn, before flattening out to finish fifth of fourteen, as another Pletcher runner, Palace Malice shot to the forefront of the division. Perhaps not 100% afterwards, Revolutionary was sent to WinStar Farm for some R&R, with designs on bringing him back as a serious older runner.

2014 started well for the relatively lightly raced four-year-old, as he scored a facile half-length victory over the graded stakes winner, Falling Sky in a one mile allowance race at Gulfstream Park. It was his first start in seven months, and the determined performance looked that much better when Falling Sky came back to win a graded stakes in his next outing. Revolutionary, on the other hand, was not as fortunate.

There were high hopes for him against a stellar field in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap on February 9, but Revolutionary’s second race after the layoff was nothing but a bust. Running the first truly bad race of his career, he checked in a well beaten seventh at Gulfstream. Undeterred, Revolutionary came back two months later for the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap. He ran big. As a matter of fact, many onlookers believed that he deserved the victory after being bothered in the stretch by the 2013 three-year-old champ, Will Take Charge. Ultimately, after finishing second by three-quarters of a length, the stewards at Oaklawn Park left the decision alone. It may not have ended in victory, but this one looked the real Revolutionary.

With plenty of speed to set his table, Revolutionary should have every opportunity to uncork his best rally in the 1 3/16 miles of the Pimlico Special. Among that speed is the horse he will most likely need to beat in Moreno. Remember, the Ghostzapper gelding came within a whisker of winning last summer’s Travers. He has made only one start so far this season, a solid third place finish in the rich Charles Town Classic.

Others looking to keep Revolutionary from winning his third graded stakes victory, include the always threatening Bourbon Courage, a lightly raced up and comer from the Bob Baffert barn, Cat Burglar, and a pair that did not finish too far behind Revolutionary in the Oaklawn Handicap, in Carve and Golden Lad.

All in all, it’s a strong field for a grade 3, probably more of a grade 2 in quality, but one that I believe Revolutionary can handle on his way to bigger and better things in 2014.



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Older Comments about Pimlico Special: The Time Is Now for Revolutionary...

That was exciting!
I still think WTC should have been DQ'd.
Revolutionary ran well on the slop at CD. I was one of the people that thought he took the worst of it at Oaklawn.
The double will be Pimlico Special - Preakness ... Great information, tmallios, good luck today!
Brian , based on all accounts we will be getting our slop fest . Although the price will suffer a bit , i now think that Vitale may not equip Orlando with a break and let him hit the highway . Vyjacks baby sis Tepin looks to be in a very good spot for her return. There is a trememdous amount of early speed in the race that she can track and pounce on at the top of the lane. Do you know if the DD is the Black Eyed Susan /Preak. or is it The Pim. Special / Preak. Joint Return is a very nice option.
rain along the East tonight
I agree, tmallios ... Valid is interesting on a fast track, but on a sloppy track, he is a downright must use.
At the least 10-1 on the ML looks very possible and enticing. I will take my shot with Valid . A wet track would be the icing on the cake. Not as much speed as some may anticipate. He will track most likely pacesetter Moreno. Might even be a nice speed play exacta box.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

As Editor of Horse Racing Nation, Brian authors a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and adds his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves on the Board of Directors of The Exceller Fund. Brian also consults for leading contest site Derby Wars, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 
A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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