The GQ Approach – Laurel January 7
The GQ Approach features full-card selections from Laurel Park for the live winter racing meet, Post Time 12:30pm EST including a daily Best Bet, Longshot Play, and multi-race wagers — including the 20 cent Rainbow Pick-6, 50 cent Early and Late Pick-5s, as well as Pick-4s and rolling Doubles, Pick-3s and the Super High-5.
- Weather: Mostly Sunny and Cold; highs in the mid-20s
- Scheduled turf races: NONE
- Projected track conditions… Main: FAST
Belated HAPPY NEW YEAR – 1st Race Post is 12:30pm EST
- #2 – Imitation (5-2): With the sub-freezing temps in the Laurel area over the past week, one would think the Lrl main surface will be think running on cement yielding very fast times which also tend to favor early speed types, which points to this gelding; blinkers come off which they were two back when he should more early speed… go figure
- #4 – Wildly Clever (6-1): Adds Lasix for second career start and stretches out to two-turns after showing a nice late run sprinting when impeded at the start
- #7 – My Pal Jerry (8-5): Clear runner-up as beaten favorite to NY-shipper; could display early foot like when on turf; timely stat of the year: Trainer D. Worton has won with 25% of her “first starter of the new year” runners (2 for 8)
- #3 – Raven Rush (8-1): $$$ LONGSHOT $$$ One of two uncoupled M. Eppler runners, both have the potential to be the early speed but this one gets the nod based on his recent sprint races; unless his stablemate (#5) challenges his early, don’t see any others in here that will; looking at a gate-to-wire scenario
- #1 – Alarming (9-5): Class of this field gets the dreaded rail while both career victories came on an “off track”; takes appropriate drop to earn some barn bill money
- #5 – Absolute Pinnacle (9-2): The other Eppler runner who like his stablemate comes off a 45+ day layoff with just one work since last outing, a win v. N2L; barns go to jock takes the mount
- #6 – Day of Reckoning (2-1): Beaten favorite in second start for trainer J. Maldonado who inherited this gelded son of Shanghai Bobby from Rudy Rodriguez when shipped from NY to run here (they cannot return per NYRA rules); cut back to sprint and should be leading at 1st Call
- #5 – Robbie (15-1): MD-bred FTS by sire of precocious runners, Redeemed out of a St. Averil mare for owner/breeder who likes to see them win; gaudy trainer stats reflect that attitude; no Lasix
- #4 – Hasta Ahora (7-2): Ness barn finished 2017 on a roll so let’s see if his runners can start off 2018 on a winning note; away nearly 2 months after being very wide when dropped to this level from $30k in Lrl debut with today’s jock (J. Toledo) aboard
- #1 – Off My Stage (6-1): Must be special since her debut was in a stakes race (4th after a rough start); came back to break maiden easily; M. Reid/S. Hamilton are 4 for 7
- #3 – Pikachu Princess (8-5): Nice Redeemed filly has raced against the best of her age group here and at Del since winning debut; hasn’t conquered 6f; new hubby J. Robb appears he’ll take over training duties for bride G. Rosenthal’s runners
- #2 – Guiltywithanexcuse (5-2): Could turn out to be a smart $25k claim exiting win where SHOW runner won next outing; only filly in here with more than one win… has three
- #7 – Ogeechee (5-1): Only runner in this field with three victories… in just 8 starts; tries for two in a row for trainer C. Gonzalez with a stalking trip under E. Trujillo
- #6 – Awesome Standard (7-2): Should be the early leader and if track favors speed, he could win his third at Lrl in as many outings; recent form has been a good race, then bad; time for a good one
- #4 – Union Blues (3-1): Not a typical move for this outfit dropping off claim, a reclaim at that but has won at 20% clip when they do; bullet work since claim sends mixed signals; a you’re damned if you do (use) and damned if you don’t
- #5 – Royal Hussar (3-1): Lightbulb Theory in play here after breaking maiden in 16th career start; has faced plenty of good ones in the maiden ranks while being runner-up 5 times
- #6 – Brighton Lane (9-5): Poster Horse for Seconditis as he’s been second best in his last 5 outings; would you take 9-5 on a 1 for 23 runner?
- #1/1A – Tempestous Angel/Speaker John (10-1): Interested in the #1 as he’s only one in here to win at this 7f distance; M. Sanchez (1 for 1 w/ trainer M. Zulueta) listed on both; would be a good sign if #1A scratches
- #4 – Mid Ocean (9-2): *** BEST BET *** 5-time winner including last two qualifies for this N5L or NW2 last 6 months based on being offered for less than $5k two back; never worse than second in 6 starts at Lrl
- #1 – Brickyard Kitten (5-1): This 8 y.o. has made a career running on grass with just one start on a fast track earning a respectable 83 BRIS# when a late running 4th in a $25k claiming sprint; trainer K. Magee 40% (37 for 91) on multi-class drop
- #5 – Wrightwood (2-1): Never off-the-board in four starts at Lrl but 0 for 3 going two turns; drops off $7500 J. Robb claim a month ago without an official work
- #2 – In the Navy Now (3-1): Ultra-consistent runner always picks up a check though just 2 wins in 16 starts but lone Lrl victory was in $100k Weber City Miss; should get a nice stalking trip
- #7 – Fillupcohensapiker (3-1): Toss the one sloppy track start and this filly has been part of the Exacta in her 10 fast track starts; won latest earning career best 96 BRIS# which was first time stretching out from sprints
- #6 – Niigon’s Legacy (6-1): CT based outfit ships in with runner who tries natural dirt for first time in career and has won with 3 of 4 going synthetic to dirt; WO export has speed but so do most in here
- #6 – Homer Haps (5-2): Drops all the way to the bottom of the maiden ranks 6 races after he was runner-up in debut; been downhill ever since; shortening up from 7f to 6f should help as well
- #2 – Patriot Saint (5-1): Can a 6-year-old, 0 for 28 runner finally get to the Winners’ Circle? Stranger things have happened; like the cut back in distance after showing speed going long and gets E. Trujillo back in the irons
- #8 – The Intern (6-1): Beaten favorite in latest, hitting the gate compromised effort as bug boy rushed him to early lead he could not sustain; jock change gives hope
- Back like a bad penny from my 10-week hiatus, refreshed and ready to start 2018 off with a clean slate after a 2017 where ol’ GQ improved his percentage of top pick winners over the previous year… Top Selections in 2017 were 340 for 1,197 (28.40%) compared to 2016 when Top Selections went 304 for 1,213 (25.02%).
- BEST BET of the Day which by GQ’s personal rule must be no less than 8-5 Morning Line won at a 32.77% clip with a positive ROI in 2017, was part of the Exacta 53.78% of the time while hitting the board 69.74% (119: 39-25-19).
- LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day which by GQ’s personal rule is simply his top pick having the highest Morning Line odds, won at a 16.82% clip with a positive ROI in 2017, was part of the Exacta 28.97% of the time while hitting the board 42.99% (107: 18-13-15).