Something Awesome

Something Awesome ran through the snow to win the Grade 3 General George. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

by Frank Vespe

In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…

Post time: 12:30 p.m.

Carryovers: Rainbow 6 – $5,630

Stat of the day: With his three wins on Thursday, jockey Trevor McCarthy, who led the colony with 45 wins in the fall, has surged to the lead during the winter meet at Laurel Park, with seven wins, three more than any other rider. McCarthy is named on six horses on Friday (races 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 9).

ANALYSIS

The first and third races today are two divisions of a $10,000 maiden claimer going seven furlongs. In the first, we did the Capt. Obvious routine, picking favored #6 Telecommunication (9-5), recently second at this level, over #3 Uncle Shaggy (2-1), who was second in maiden special company last out at Fort Erie — but that was nearly five months ago, and that was the six-year-old’s first start in nearly two years… In the third, though, we decided that the chalk had too many holes to overcome (three successive defeats vs. similar in one case, no starts since March in the other) and instead are trying to blow up the toteboard with #3 Son of Tyranny (20-1), who has the assets of having shown a bit of speed last out and having only raced twice, fewest in the group… We lean towards #5 Vicar’s Chalice (4-1) in the second, a Robbie Bailes trainee who’s been making short work of his conditions with two straight wins…

PICKS

  • RACE 1
    • 6-3-5-2
    • Scr: 7
  • RACE 2
    • 5-1-3-4
  • RACE 3
    • 3-4-5-6

ANALYSIS

In the fourth, an $8,000 claimer, it looks like #5 Lonely Drifter (9-5) is well spotted to win for the fifth time in 12 career starts. She was put up via DQ last out when Madame Tiger put the squeeze on her late; Madame Tiger, who was first past the post before being put down to second, returned to win at that same level by nine lengths and is one of two, from three to run back, who have won their follow-ups… More maidens in races five and six, a $25,000 claimer in the fifth and a $50,000 claimer in the sixth. Though there are a couple of class droppers from maiden special company in R5, we landed on the Mike Geralis trainee #9 Silver Sides (7-2) to get the money. She closed nicely last out in her first try in two months to be third and can improve again here… In the sixth, by contrast, we preferred the class droppers, particularly the Mark Reid trainee #6 Rockstar Girl (7-2), whose last was a disappointment but who two back gave a good account of herself when fourth in a maiden special that produced three next-out winners, including Fashion Faux Pas, who won a stake at TAM…

PICKS

  • RACE 4
    • 5-3-6-2
    • Scr: 8
  • RACE 5
    • 9-12-6-10
    • Scr: 1
  • RACE 6
    • 6-7-5-2
    • Scr: 3

ANALYSIS

Trainer Claudio Gonzalez wins 27 percent of the time when dropping horses from allowance to claiming company, and his patience has abruptly run out in the seventh with #3 M G Broker (2-1), who plummets from allowance company to $12,5000 claimers. He gets the nod here over another class dropper, #6 Vorian (5-2) from the Lacey Gaudet barn… You can go just about any way you want in the wide-open eighth race, which is why we’re so puzzled by our decision to land on #2 Riley’s Choice (9-5). The Horacio DePaz trainee ought to run better back on a fast track and can sit a good stalking trip here, but she’ll need to get back to her better form here — so if you want to disagree with us, we hear ya… #10 Splendor Gal (5-2) landed in nickel company last time for the first time in her career and responded with a dominant win; a reprise of that would be no surprise here. But don’t sleep on #3 Baccarat Honor (12-1), either; the Bruno Tessore trainee is the queen of in-and-out form, but her best efforts put her in the mix among these…

PICKS

  • RACE 7
    • 3-6-5-2
    • Scr: 1 (1a remains in)
  • RACE 8
    • 2-1-6-4
  • RACE 9
    • 10-3-8-5
    • Scr: 2

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