Maryland racing analyst Gabby Gaudet has thoughts on this afternoon’s big all-stakes Pick 4, as well as a live longshot in a maiden race!
Laurel Park has a 50-cent Pick Four beginning in race 6. Post time for the 6th is 2:56.
- Race 6 – 3, 4, 5
- Race 7 – 3, 6, 9, 12, 13
- Race 8 – 3, 5, 6, 7
- Race 9 – 2, 8
- Wager cost: $60
“Race 6, the Geisha for Maryland-bred fillies and mares, has drawn sort of an odd group of horses: it’s a one-mile dirt race, but most of the horses here seem either to be turf horses switching surfaces, sprinters trying to stretch out, or horses coming off long layoffs. All of that leads me to #5 Vianney Lane. She’s proven on the dirt and proven at this distance; in fact, her last race was a win in the Maryland Million Distaff Starter at the same distance… A horse who scares me #4 Access to Charlie. She’s tough, and she’s seen better horses than these, but she hasn’t race since mid-June, and that was her only start since March.
“Race 7 is the Safely Kept, a seven furlong dirt race for three year-old fillies. I think this is a tough race, and that’s why I went five deep. But there could be value here. One horse I’m especially interested in here is #3 Lady Sabelia. She’s a late foal, and it seemed like as a two year-old she was just OK. But they gave her a huge layoff — from last December until a month ago — and when she came back, they added blinkers, and she almost set the track record. I think she could be something special, and at 8-1, the value is there. But some of these others won’t make it easy, and #6 Fully Living might be the one to beat; she has the right style to win here, and she’s coming out of tougher company. If the pace is really hot — and it might be — then #9 Flattering Bea could make a good run of it. She almost won the Miss Preakness at Pimlico, and I think she could run well here.
“My top pick in Race 8, the Japan Racing Association Stakes on the turf, is #5 Utley. There’s just so much class to him, and he always seems to run well. He’s been seeing better horses than these, and he ran well in his only try at Laurel; I’m not sure how much he beat then, but he won pretty easily… I saw #6 Riding the River schooling in the paddock earlier, and he just looks fantastic.
“I love the #2 Bond Vigilante in the City of Laurel Stakes and, in fact, was tempted to single him. I thought he ran OK in the Researcher at Charles Town — third behind Take It Like a Man — but I wouldn’t put too much stock in that race either way, since Charles Town is a bull ring and that was on a sloppy, sealed track. I think this horse a lot more to offer than he showed that day, and I think he has the speed to get a good stalking trip.”
- Today’s live longshot comes from Race 3, a one-mile maiden special weight event on the turf for three-and-up. She’s looking for #10 Chief Falco (12-1) to run well here. The horse’s debut — sprinting on the dirt — was not a bad first out at Gulfstream (fourth of 11 with mild trip trouble) — but more importantly, he’s not bred to sprint on the dirt. His breeding (by Falco out of an Anabaa mare) is all about going long on the turf.
AND DON’T FORGET TO HANDICAP FOR THE HEROES TODAY!
(Featured image, of Ben’s Cat, by Laurie Asseo.)