There are no stakes in the mid-Atlantic this weekend. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to watch. Here what’s on tap: Saturday’s runners we’ll be watching:
- Time Out (3-1), Laurel Park, R7 (3:27), Maiden Special Weight, 3yo, 1 1/16 miles
- Boy, this Graham Motion trainee sure did a lot wrong in his debut. This $420,000 Tiznow colt was green as a Granny Smith, throwing his head around and dropping out of contention after breaking alertly enough. But a funny thing happened on the way to disaster: once he found clear running room, he actually came running, and though finishing fifth, was beaten less than four lengths for all the money — and just one for second. The race has produced one next-out winner, and that horse did it against non-maidens. He’s been working well (and frequently) since that November debut and enters off a bullet work a week ago. Motion does well with horses off a similar layoff (24 percent wins and a positive ROI from 85 starts), and Sheldon Russell jumps aboard for the injured Trevor McCarthy.
- Kiss On Command (12-1), Charles Town Races, R4 (8:23), Allowance N2L WV-breds fillies and mares, 7 furlongs
- Jeff Runco runner has been the favorite in both career starts, running second in her debut before winning off by six to leave the maiden ranks three weeks back. It’s not clear how great the fields have been — one runner from her debut won next out, and a couple have the look of lifetime maidens — but then again, it’s state-bred company. Looked to be outfooted a bit in her debut going 4 1/2 furlongs but then stalked in comfy position before drawing off — in hand late — to break her maiden at today’s distance. Her BRIS speed figure fits nicely with these, and she belongs on class. That, plus a top trainer and one of the track’s leading riders, points to value.