BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Arindel homebred Clapton will try to duplicate his victory in the Grade 3 Ghostzapper when he takes on seven rivals in the Grade 3 Pimlico Special presented by Bulleit Bourbon Friday at Pimlico Race Course. The Pimlico Special, for 3-year-olds and older, will be run at a mile-and-three-sixteenths and offer a purse of $250,000.
Clapton will also be trying to become the second Florida-bred in three years to win the historic race following Last Judgment in 2021.
Trained by Juan Alvarado, Clapton won the Ghostzapper in his third start of the year after finishing third behind winner Charge It in an upper tier, $62,500 optional claiming on Feb. 5 and third again in a second level, $62,500 optional claiming won by Milliken with Pimlico Special rival Cooke Creek second on March 12, both at a mile-and-a-sixteenth at Gulfstream Park.
The Ghostzapper was his second career stakes victory after winning the $150,000 FTBOA Gil Campbell Memorial Handicap going a mile in October of last year.
Clapton is by Arindel’s stallion Brethren, out of Alexandra Rylee, by Florida-bred Afleet Alex and the 4-year-old colt has won five of 20 career starts with three seconds and five thirds while earning $427,890.
Emisael Jaramillio & Florida-bred Clapton – Jeff Zamaiko Photo
Emisael Jaramillo will ride Clapton from post three and they are 6-1 on the morning line.
Favored at 9-5 in the program is Rattle N Roll, a winner of the Grade 3 Ben Ali, going the Pimlico Special distance of a mile-and-three-sixteenths at Keeneland, in his last race.
Trained by Ken McPeek for Lucky Seven Stable, Rattle N Roll makes his third start of the year after also finishing fourth in the Grade 2 New Orleans Classic won by West Will Power going a mile-and-an-eighth at Fair Grounds on March 25.
The 4-year-old son of Connect out of the Johannesburg mare Jazz Tune has three graded-stakes victories to his credit having also won the Grade 3 Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park in September and the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland as a juvenile. He also won the $200,000 American Derby at Churchill Downs in July and the St. Louis Derby presented by FanDuel Sportsbook at FanDuel Sportsbook and Horse Racing in August.
Rattle N Roll has won six with a second and two thirds from 16 career starts with earnings of $1,215,861.
Flavien Prat will ride Rattle N Roll from post two.
The second choice in the program at 5-2 is Law Professor from the barn of trainer Rob Atras.
The 5-year-old gelding comes into the Pimlico Special off of a four-and-a-half-length victory in the $125,000 Excelsior over a muddy mile-and-one-eighth at Aqueduct on April 1.
Owned by Twin Creeks Racing Stable LLC, Law Professor started the year with a seven-and-a-half-length romp in the $150,000 Queens Country at Aqueduct on Jan. 7. His only loss this year came when third in the Grade 3 Razorback won by Last Samurai over a mile-and-an-eighth at Oaklawn Park on Feb. 18.
Law Professor has won six of 16 career starts with two seconds and two thirds while banking $851,890,000 and will carry Manny Franco from post five Saturday.
Others set for the Pimlico Special from the rail out include Kuchar and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., Armando R with Hector Karamanos up, Joel Rosario rides Cooke Creek, Speed Bias with jockey Luis Saez and Keystone Field with Tyler Gaffalione named to ride.