The GQ Approach – Laurel March 10

by | Mar 10, 2018 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland, MD Racing | 0 comments

Great Soul takes the 2016 Wide Country. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

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.

Today's Carryovers
  • Rainbow Pick 6: $52,584.06
  • Super High 5: none
  • Late Pick 5: $3,748.24
GQ's Handicapping Tip of the Day
Subtle Class Drop - Some class drops -- e.g. from OPEN Claiming to Conditional Claiming for same Tag/Amount -- are bigger than they look, and horses making that move may hold a distinct advantage over their rivals.
Best Bet of the Day
Race 2 / #4 – Sam Sparkle (2-1)
Longshot Play of the Day
Race 8 / #4 – Gaetano (5-1)
Multi-race Wagers
  • Race 1 – $2 Double  1, 2  w/ 3, 4  ($8)
  • Race 3 – 50 cent Pick-3  1, 2, 5  w/ 5, 6, 7  w/ 5, 7, 9  ($13.50)
  • Race 5 – 50 cent Pick-5  5, 9  w/ 2, 3, 5  w/ 3  w/ 4, 5, 6  w/ 3, 4, 5, 6  ($36)
  • Race 8 – $2 Double  4, 5  w/ 3, 5, 6 ($12)


  • Weather: Mostly Sunny, highs in the upper-40s
  • Scheduled turf races: NONE
  • Projected track conditions… Main: FAST 

1st race Post Time 12:30pm EST

Race 1

  1. #1 – Reciprocity (2-1): Suddenly the rail isn’t such a bad place to be at Lrl based on yesterday’s action; fresh off destroying bottom level maidens where the runner-up came back to graduate on Friday
  2. #2 – Xtra Wisemann (5-1): Tossing latest 34-length loss in the slop going two turns versus better; had a similar outing in the past and then broke maiden at same level in next outing
  3. #4 – Johnny Action (4-1): It’s time for C. Cedeno to win some races (5% in ’18) as she’s done in past years w/ trainer S. Lake; this T. Pletcher $200k yearling purchase cast-off is better than he’s been showing of late

Race 2

  1. #4 – Sam Sparkle (2-1): *** BEST BET *** Always a good sign to see runners reclaimed as trainer J. Ness did but especially when the runner is 10; won first off reclaim and goes for 4th in a row; gets favorable pace scenario
  2. #3 – Hey Willie (8-5): Popular claiming game participant as he’s changed barns in last two races as 84-year-old HOF conditioner KTL is still quite active at his craft; Willie goes for the natural Hat Trick but last two came on an off track, it’ll be fast today
  3. #2 – No Hiding Place (4-1): Seen this movie before… NY-based trainer G. Contessa ships in for hopefully a one-way trip the runner no longer can compete in the Big Apple; problem is it hasn’t been a winning move (11:1-1-6); needs to press #3 early to give Best Bet an ideal stalking trip

Race 3

  1. #2 – Thirsty Bird (3-1): Repole Stable NY-bred couldn’t measure up to NY-breds racing at The Big A so Teflon Todd banished this one from his barn who shows-up in a softer spot for new trainer S. Lake; second start with blinkers
  2. #5 – Be Humble (4-1): Faced a tough bunch of $40kMCL gals in debut when rightfully ignored (26-1); best thing to say is she passed a few faders late but stretch out could help after getting an education; nice 48 3/5 work last weekend
  3. #1 – Rein Supreme (8-1): All Aboard Stables must really like this home-bred to have reclaimed her at a $4k premium two back as she’s yet to be in-the-money in three career outings; keeping the faith that the fourth time is a charm

Race 4

  1. #7 – Our Gabrielle (5-2): Been facing $5k OPEN Claimers of late while today’s foes been battling beaten nickels; should be a quick enough early pace to come back to her in deep stretch
  2. #5 – Party Rock (9-5): failed at CT as Post Time favorite in first start after K. Patterson (30% in ’18) claim; wasn’t quick enough early going 4 ½ furlongs but will be in here as we know J. Pimentel can get them out of the gate quickly
  3. #6 – Fly and Flutter (4-1): Hammered down to 3-5 favorite in latest and won for fun as GQ Best Bet in latest; goes for natural Hat Trick but will need to do it on a fast track today and versus tougher

Race 5

  1. #9 – Bannon (2-1): Geez, the Toddster sure is picky as this one graduated at GP by 5+ lengths in second career start but at the bottom there so this ones’ purse potential won’t pay the barn bills; lands in MD where trainer K. Magee got him to Winners’ Circle v. $25k claimers; like the tenacity    
  2. #5 – Oldfashioned Club (7-5): Goes from a Triple Crown nominee to $25k tag; after a troubled trip in the $100k Whiteley was eased in the $100k Miracle Wood last month; no works since leaves q huge question mark at these odds; getting leading rider helps calm those fears a bit
  3. #7 – Wonder How (10-1): Has been taking baby steps forward as BRIS# continues to climb over his last five races; will need to shake off #3 early to get a gate-to-wire triumph

Race 6

  1. #3 – Royal Hussar (4-1): Amazed that this 1 for 17 gelding was sent off PT favorite in last effort where he once again, for the seventh time was runner-up but to a very nice runner; in here I’m a buyer that he can get win #2 stretching out to two turns
  2. #5 – Special Intention (7-2): A game second in the Lrl slop in local debut behind a really nice runner in Twin Valor; though he’s yet to race on a fast track (3 on turf; 3 on an off track) but bullets in the A.M. on a fast surface have put to rest any doubts
  3. #2 – Brighton Lane (3-1): Jock from past two outings opted for the #5 but has been ultra-consistent being part of Trifecta in last seven starts and runner-up in 4 of 5 at this distance

Race 7

  1. #3 – Delta Outlaw (2-1): Speed, speed, speed but if he loses the lead at any point of call, he’s toast; doesn’t have too many in here who might challenge him early; only entry on the card for trainer D. Jacobson (8:3-1-2 at Lrl)
  2. #1 – Worth His Salt (8-1): Need to find a price somewhere on this card so going with the strangest angle in horse racing, “Eased in last race”; misconception is the horse has an issue whereas many times the jock knows there is no hope so just doesn’t ask the horse for anything; hope that was the case here on a sloppy track going long; cuts back to 6f a distance he last won on a fast track
  3. #6 – Earned It (12-1): Trainer G. Brooks has turned this longtime Also-Ran into a winner off the claim two back; takes an aggressive step up in second start v. N3L

Race 8

  1. #4 – Gaetano (5-1): $$$ LONGSHOT $$$ Comes off a 10-month layoff to race in a soft spot while being protected thanks to having raced for less than $16k tag back when he was a maiden; still a colt so connections still think he can be a good one
  2. #5 – Gato Dolce (3-1): First start after trainer K. Magee claim from race where he ran off the TV screen; finds the perfect spot to win for new barn (23%)
  3. #6 – My Train (7-2): Willing to toss that latest at Pen in the slop when sent off 2-1 second choice; jock S. Hamilton stays aboard and will get a nice stalking trip in hopes of the early speed coming back to him

Race 9

  1. #3 – Belle ‘n Tonic (7-2): Hasty steep drop from $40k after just 3 starts and latest was on an off track and against what has turned out to be a very tough group; E. Trujillo bails to ride #4 but Ye of little faith, veteran S. Hamilton could be a breath of fresh air and get the job done
  2. #6 – Starship Yenta (12-1): A rare Belterra Park (OH) export makes first start for trainer F. Leatherman and second with blinker… an angle that often results in improvement; what’s not to like about that 48 flat work (2nd fastest of 17) at Pim?
  3. #5 – Fortunate Queen (7-5): This royally home-bred Zayat Stables filly can be yours for just $10k… and was wen trainer R. Rodriguez shipped her into Lrl last Dec. and she failed as 1-1 PT favorite though not the cleanest of trips


  • On Friday March 9th at Laurel had 5 winners from the 9-race card (1 Top Selection; payoff in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $5.80 (1st race), $17.40 (2nd), $7.60 (3rd), $8.40 (4th) and $8.60 (9th). Top Selections are 84 for 256 (32.81%). In 2017, Top Selections went 340 for 1,197 (28.40%).
  • BEST BET of the Day (28:9-6-3; in 2017 119: 39-25-19) Disco Express (5th race: 7-2 M/L; 3-1 PT) stumbled at the break, saved ground on the turn and was outrun to finish seventh.
  • LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day (27:4-6-3; in 2017 107: 18-13-15) Polar Outbreak (7th race: 10-1 M/L; 16-1 PT) chased the pace and gave way to finish seventh.

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