The GQ Approach – Laurel April 16

by | Apr 16, 2017 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland, MD Racing |

Mizz Money (#9) held off Vielsalm (in between) and Heath (#12) to win the Grade 3 Gallorette. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

The GQ Approach features full-card selections from Laurel Park (w/ live racing every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through May 7, 2017; Post Time 1:10pm EDT), including a daily Best Bet, Longshot Play, and multi-race wagers — including the 20 cent Rainbow Pick-6, 50 cent Jackpot Pick-5, as well as Pick-4s and rolling Doubles, Pick-3s and the Super High-5.

Today's Carryovers
  • Rainbow Pick 6: $9,886.06
  • Super High 5: $1,044.93
  • Late Pick 5: no carryover
GQ's Handicapping Tip of the Day
House Silks - This is a “play against” angle, especially in a maiden race. If the connections did not make their own silks available to the track for the jockey to wear, then what are the odds any of them will show in hopes of getting in a Winner's Circle photo with the jockey not donning the barn's silks?!
Best Bet of the Day
Race 3 / #6 – Shirleys Curls (5-2)
Longshot Play of the Day
Race 8 / #4 – Fellowship (12-1)
Multi-race Wagers
  • Race 1: $2 Double  3, 4  w/ 1, 2, 7 ($12)
  • Race 3: $0.50 Pick-3  2, 5, 6  w/ 3, 7, 8  w/ 2, 4, 5 ($13.50)
  • Race 5 $0.50 Pick-5  2, 5  w/ 1, 2, 3  w/ 3, 4, 5  w/ 3, 4  w/ 7, 9 ($36)
  • Race 8: $2 Double  3, 4, 9  w/ 1, 7, 9 ($18)


  • Weather: Mostly Sunny; highs in the upper-70s
  • Scheduled Turf races: 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th
  • Projected track conditions… Main: FAST  Turf: FIRM


Race 1

  1. #4 – Magic Cookie (2-1): This 4-year-old as the early speed to fend-off a couple 3-year-olds who face their elders for the first time; cut back from 6f to 5½f is key
  2. #3 – Hanalei Sunset (3-1): Went toe-to-toe or would that be hoof-to-hoof, with a very nice 3-year-old filly (Next Street) twice before giving way late; will challenge top pick every step of the way
  3. #2 – Brook’s On Fire (10-1): First time facing elders but the most experienced 3-year-old (12:1-0-3) sheds blinkers after past two less than stellar starts with them

Race 2

  1. #2/2X – Hurler/Seve (5-2): One of these entrymates will likely scratch; both are nice candidates as they always hit the board but prefer #2 as he drops from open $7,500 company
  2. #7 – Cho Time (6-1): Disaster in latest when broke in air then bug boy lost irons then never engaged rivals, giving up at the start in open $8k claimer at Pen; 5 of 9 lifetime at distance
  3. #1/1A – Jacapo/Baby Cat (9-5): #1 makes first start after claim out of a N2Y at Prx while entrymate drops back to this level after failing three times against $11k open claimers       

Race 3 is ON THE TURF

  1. #6 – Shirleys Curls (5-2): *** BEST BET *** Been away since late January supposedly waiting for turf season; last win came on Lrl lawn v. better earning her best career Brisnet# which is tops in this event; needs an honest pace to get up in deep stretch
  2. #2 – Goldies Tale (5-1): Used up early in 7f dirt race at this level after bad start; should contribute to early pace with clean start seeking first turf win in sixth try
  3. #5 – Street Miz (10-1): Showed some turf talent last Fall but only managed Also Ran status when double-digit longshot in all six outings on grass; maturity and M. Salazar/L. Glaser combo (31%) should help her compete here             

Race 4

  1. #3 – All Blinged Out (5-2): Second time blinkers and start for trainer L. Gaudet (3 for 8 on multi-level class drop) who got this one after he went south, form-wise coming off 5-month layoff and failed to threaten on synthetic at TP
  2. #8 – Some Promises (3-1): Have to think he participated in OC$25k just to help fill race as the last place showing was no shock; back to spot where he came up a neck short two back as favorite
  3. #7 – Don’t Be Scared (5-1): Fresh off $10kMCL score in fifth career effort; connections are being realistic in placing him at Lrl bottom claiming level  

Race 5 is ON THE TURF

  1. #5 – Oak Bluffs (5-1): 7-year-old turf specialist can win in first start of ’17; ultra-consistent runner is always right there in the final strides regardless of class level; loves distance (12:7-3-0) and Lrl lawn (7:3-2-0)
  2. #2 – Theycallhimthekid (5-2): Lone entry and mount on the card for trainer M. Stidham and jockey M. Murrill as this gelding overcame in race issues at FG in latest to prevail; third race after layoff
  3. #4 – Easy River (8-1): Will be heard from late in ’17 debut; runner-up in minor turf sprint stakes at Mth last spring; dirt few dirt tries were far from clean trips            

Race 6

  1. #3 – Never Stop Looking (4-1): Compromised at the start in latest when sent off as 7-5 favorite; beaten favorite; jock switch and an extra 1/16th should help this 8-year-old get back to the Winners Circle
  2. #2 – D C Dancer (7-2): Tough luck runner-up in last two seems to have regained old form but still lacks killer instinct to win (4 wins, 13 runner-up finishes) but makes first start for trainer D. Dilodovico who turns to H. Karamanos to turn tables as these two have won with 8 of 9 starters
  3. #1 – Classic Salsa (5-1): TP shipper seeks natural dirt and easier competition in second start after trainer J. O’Dwyer claim who has won with 1 of 3 previous shippers to Lrl this meet 

Race 7 is ON THE TURF

  1. #3 – Triple Burner (7-2): A group of 6 foes have entered to ruin the unofficial Ben’s Cat Invitational as the 11-year-old fan favorite makes his ’17 debut; call this Capper a Doubting Thomas but “The Cat” ain’t the horse he used to be; both Jordan and Favre couldn’t recapture their glory days when they came back, and it’s hard to believe that at age 11 he’ll be able to pull a Lazarus… even on Easter Sunday… so give the nod to the #3 who can get it done in first start since Nov., hoping Y. Ortiz takes advantage of the lack of early speed and tries a gate-to-wire performance
  2. #5 – Sonny Inspired (5-1): This amazing 6-year-old can and does win at any distance and surface; runner-up to local buzz saw Laki two back, made short work of similar at Prx on April Fools Day
  3. #4 – Elusive Joni (8-1): This late runner made first start of ’17 at GP going 5f on speed favoring turf; been part of Exacta in all races on Lrl lawn (3:2-1-0)  

Race 8

  1. #4 – Fellowship (12-1): $$$ LONGSHOT $$$ Will need some pace help as this ’16 Preakness participant makes first start since that race; may not be totally cranked up for this one but on natural talent alone, his resume’ with three SHOW placings in graded stakes should be able to make him a threat to upset
  2. #3 – West Hills Giant (9-2): Classy runner has made over $600k from 38 career starts and at age 7 is as good as ever; though 0 for 9 at this middle distance, catches a group whose best top out at 6f
  3. #9 – Laki (5-2): Modestly bred 4-year-old gelding has yet to taste defeat on the Lrl main track (4 for 4); earned an eye-popping 101 Brisnet# in state bred stakes last month; only question is can he carry his speed an additional furlong

Race 9 is ON THE TURF

  1. #9 – La Murette (4-1): Going against handicapping logic in that this gal has lost more races than her competitors in here combined, so why not pick a FTS? Reason: KTL; the octogenarian has been patience with this one all winter and must have figured out how to get her to the Winners Circle, right?!
  2. #7 – No Love Lost (6-1): MD-bred FTS by Not for Love out of a Valley Crossing mare sows a nice work tab that indicates she’ll be quick from the gate; trainer J. Egan has had a debut claiming winner from three such starters over the past year, though she’s protected based on condition of race
  3. #1/#1A – Holiday Prayer/Whenallelsefails (7-2): The ultimate hunch play for Easter Sunday as #1A is on Also Eligible, post #14 and likely scratch; both are bred for the turf and sent out by trainer M. Trombetta who is 11% with firsters on turf



  • On Saturday April 15th at Laurel had 7 winners from the 10-race card (3 Top Selections; payoff in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.80 (1st race), $3.00 (2nd), $9.60 (3rd), $4.80 (7th), $4.20 (8th), $5.00 (9th) and $5.80 (10th). Of the suggested multi-race wagers hit the R9-R10 $2 DOUBLE for $19.60 (cost: $8). Top Selections in 2017 are 100 for 385 (25.97%). In 2016, Top Selections were 304 for 1,213 (25.02%).
  • BEST BET of the Day (43: 13-10-8; in 2016 127: 31-29-19) Indebted (7th race: 4-1 M/L; 3-1 PT) saved ground both turns, advanced inside horses to gain the lead in mid-stretch then flattened out and got the worse of a 3-way photo for the win to return $2.20 to SHOW.
  • LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day (39: 3-4-8; in 2016 124: 13-13-16) Cousin Stephen (5th race: 6-1 M/L) was a late scratch during the Post Parade.

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