In the second installment of our new weekly feature, it’s Gabby Gaudet’s best longshots and exotic plays for Saturday! Good luck to all!
Laurel Park has a 50-cent Pick Three beginning in race 5. Post time for the 5th is 3:14 p.m.
- Race 5 – 2, 4, 6, 7
- Race 6 – 2, 3, 5
- Race 7 – 4, 8, 10
- Wager cost: $18
“In race 5, a maiden special weight going long on the turf, I start with #2, Defining Product (5-2), primarily because his last race was so impressive; he ran second to Gallivanting that day. Gallivanting came back and was fourth in the Laurel Futurity, and I think he wanted to stretch out to a longer distance. He might be something special, and this horse was right there in that race. Plus, trainer Graham Motion has already won a couple of maiden turf races here at Laurel, and he and rider Matt Rispoli have done well together… Number 4, Greek Star (8-1), ran third in his debut, and the top two finishers came back and won their next races. His dam, Willa On the Move, was a nice filly who won the Honorable Miss a few years ago, and while she was best on dirt, she’s produced a long line of turf runners… That last race for #6 Greek God (3-1) was more impressive than you might think. The winner returned in the G2 With Anticipation, and the show horse won a maiden race next out at Belmont… I think #7 T Mac could run really well here. He’s a second time starter making his first start on the turf. His debut was not too bad of a race for a first start — third beaten four lengths — and the breeding has strong turf, with Rahy on top and a dam, Pat’s Image, who did her best running on the lawn.
“Race 6 is a $7,500 never-won-two claimer, and these can be tricky; you get horses changing surfaces and dropping in off tough races, and it can be hard to know who will fire and who won’t. That said, you have to look at #2 Beyond Midnight (6-5). She’s dropping out of $16,000 company, and while her last here wasn’t very good, it was against maiden special weight horses — better than she should see here. She’s 6-5 for a reason… I really like that #3 Yolanda’s Dream (12-1) is stretching out for the first time. She’s run some decent races and often rallies too late; I think the stretchout will let her lay a little closer to the early leaders and might give her a shot to run them down here… #5 Talk Me Into It (5-2) is another class dropper, like Beyond Midnight. Like Beyond Midnight, her last race or two weren’t the best, but I think you can’t ignore a Hugh McMahon-trained horse dropping in her first try for him.
“In race 7, #4 Sky Given (8-1) is one of the horses I like. I always like to see when a trainer tries to get a horse on the grass and can’t do it — as trainer Ollie Figgins did with this horse last year — and then finally is able to get them on it. I think from a class perspective, she fits here, and I think there’s some inclination of turf breeding… Todd Beattie is having a really good meet here at Laurel — two-for-two so far — and I think his horse, #8 Storming Rage (7-2) should be tough in here. I thought her last was a really good race. The winner came back to win a first allowance here yesterday, and the second- and fourth-place horses both also won their next races. So that was a pretty steep field, and she ran really well… It’s a first turf for #10 Walk Off Winner (6-1) for trainer Damon Dilodovico. She’s lightly raced, and you have to look at that breeding: Grand Slam on top and High Moment on the bottom. High Moment won the Dahlia on turf, so there’s turf on top and bottom of her pedigree.”
- Her longshot play of the day is T Mac, the 7-horse in the fifth race, who’s 12-1 in the morning line. The horse enters off a serviceable debut, in which he ran third in maiden special weight company at Timonium, beaten a bit over four lengths. He opened a long lead that day before faltering and has every right to improve. The winner that day, King Racer, ran a solid third in last week’s Laurel Futurity (at 40-1), and another from that race also returned to run well on the lawn. T Mac’s breeding suggests he’ll like the grass, as grandsire Rahy is a strong grass influence; sire Lewis Michael, though best known for his work on dirt, won a grass stake; and dam Pat’s Image won over $100,000 on the green. Throw in Trevor McCarthy in the irons — the hot apprentice earlier this year now coming back from injury — and you have the recipe for a strong performance.
(Featured image, of Ben’s Cat, by Laurie Asseo.)