The GQ Approach features full-card selections from Laurel Park, including a daily Best Bet, Longshot Play, and multi-race wagers — including the 10 cent Rainbow Pick-6, 50 cent Jackpot Pick-5 and rolling 50 cent Super High-5’s.


[su_heading size=”21″ align=”left”]Multi-race wagers[/su_heading]

  • Race 1: $2 Double  1, 4, 5 w/ 1, 5, 9 ($18)
  • Race 3: $0.50 Pick-3  4, 6, 7 w/ 3, 5, 6 w/ 7, 9, 10 ($13.50)
  • Race 6: $0.10 Rainbow Pick-6  4, 6 w/ 1, 5 w/ 3, 7 w/ 4, 5 w/ 6, 11 w/ 1, 8 ($6.40)
  • Race 7: $0.50 Jackpot Pick-5  1, 5, 6 w/ 3, 4, 7 w/ 4, 5, 9 w/ 6, 11 w/ 1, 2, 8 ($46)
  • Race 10: $2 Double  3, 6, 11 w/ 1, 2, 8 ($18)


[su_box title=”SPECIAL PLAYS” style=”glass”]
  • Best Bet: Race 6 / #4 – Flash McCaul (7-2)
  • Longshot: Race 7 / #5 – Dance With Gio (12-1)

[su_heading size=”21″ align=”left”]Analysis[/su_heading]

* Laurel Park on Maryland Million Day has four (4) races (3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th) scheduled to be run on the TURF. Forecast for the northern D.C. suburbs on Saturday is for Sunny skies with high temps near 60 and no chance of precipitation. The below selections are based on the TURF being “Firm” and a “Fast” main dirt track.  

Race 1 – Maryland Million DISTAFF STARTER Handicap        

  1. #1 – Wild for Love (6-5): Is no slam dunk here; she’s been OTB in both efforts her at today’s one mile distance but holds the class edge over her 5 rivals; ran 5th in this event last year earning the unflattering comment “even effort”      
  2. #4 – Miss Speak (12-1): 2 for 6 and w/ highest Brisnet# (91) at this distance; runner-up as beaten fav. last time, but best finish in her career over sloppy track from 6 tries     
  3. #5 – Northern Cherokee (3-1): Perennial, low-level CT claimer but MD Million eligible runner was claimed out of last race most certainly to take a shot at a piece of this $50k purse; a Sprinter most of her career, but her bloodlines indicate the added distance should be no problem; like the recent 7f work


Race 2 – Maryland Million LASSIE

  1. #1 – Head Games (12-1): Someone in the ownership group is a fan of Foreigner; staged a strong rally from back in the pack in debut sprinting on grass, much like his sire (Warrior’s Reward) did on dirt when competing in Breeders’ Cup Sprint (5th in 2010); so she should improve with the switch to dirt in her 2nd career start which seems to be trainer Tom Iannotti’s MO (32%)  
  2. #5 – Maryland’s Love (7-2): Less than a month ago, Maryland lost longtime breeder & owner Howard Bender, owner of this filly; Mr. Bender’s spirit will be felt throughout MD Million Day and this appropriately named filly could get a little help via divine intervention and take this field from gate-2-wire
  3. #9 – Table Jumper (3-1): Off as the to Post Time favorite in both starts; breaking maiden easily then looking sluggish in the slop in the $75 Selima Stakes; if the slop was his excuse, then she might be the best in here, but we won’t know that until after the race


* Race 3 –  Maidens  

  1. #6 – Irina Baranova (3-1): Can boast the top Brisnet Prime Power rating & Speed figure in this field on turf; seems to have figured out what her job is… today is her best chance to get first win
  2. #4 – Dancing Magician (6-1): Been sprinting on turf in 7 of 9 races with just one runner-up finish to her credit; grandsire (Street Cry) offspring seem to relish racing two-turns, which fits this race perfectly;
  3. #7 – Flit (4-1): When looking at the rest of the field, and tossing each for various reasons, you go with the one who has yet to show any flaws… a first time starter. The fact jock/trainer combo wins at 31% clip is a no brainer


Race 4 – Maryland Million SPRINT

  1. #6 – It’s a Bang (10-1): Looking for this event to produce a gate-2-wire winner as the X-Man (jock Xavier Perez) stays on instead of the more logical, lower M/L odds #7 in here; only others who could challenge him early are the #1 and/or #2 who are in over their head; if he can hold “The Cat” in deep stretch he’ll pay a big price to WIN… and THAT is my “Big Bang Theory”      
  2. #3 – Ben’s Cat (3-5): HOF Trainer/owner King T. Leatherbury Pre-Entered his star runner the Turf as well, but the prudent handicapper that he is, figures this race as the easier route to the Winners’ Circle; IMHO the 9-year-old has lost a few steps and is a vulnerable favorite even though his rivals lack a strong resume’  
  3. #5 – D C Dancer (7-2): The returning champ comes into this event having last raced nearly 5 months ago; usually a tall order but he won 1st race off a layoff last year when prepping for this race; been training in earnest per A.M. work tab which boasts a few bullets


* Race 5 – Maidens

  1. #9 – Daniel Le Deux (7-2): Toss that last race in the slop; adds blinkers, like that two-turn turf effort to get 3rd as he galloped out strong past the wire well ahead of the winner and runner-up    
  2. #7 – Minor Legend (12-1): Steps up from MCL $25k to MSW, stretches out from sprint where it took him ½ mile to get out of 1st gear and gets major jock upgrade as Keefe will give a leg up to his “go to” turf rider (Boyce)    
  3. #10 – Tempt Me Twice (6-1): FTS by Temple City whose offspring have performed quite well on the turf; interesting that Serpa gets/takes the call on this one after riding trainer A. Merryman’s other runner in here (#9)

Race 6 – Maryland Million NURSERY  

  1. #4 – Flash McCaul (7-2): *Best Bet* Friesan Fire first crop progeny have performed well early in their career; this guy got left at the gate in his debut, spotting rivals a few lengths yet was very professional in making his way to the Finish Line first               
  2. #6 – Captain Alex (4-1): Runner-up in Laurel Futurity at 19-1 in the slop had a strong gallop out but will need the early speed to set a fast pace in hopes of pouncing on them in deep stretch          
  3. #11 – Sultry Encounter (8-1): Son of Outflanker seeks 1st career win in 2nd start for connections (Hillwood Stable/Rodney Jenkins/Victor Carrasco) who won this event last year; runner-up in debut here in August where winner (Jeezum Jim) came back to SHOW in a stakes at Delaware Park


* Race 7 – Maryland Million LADIES  

  1. #5 – Dance With Gio (12-1): $Longshot Play$ Smart claim for $20k out of most recent effort knowing this mare was eligible and competed in MD Million Ladies in ’13 (6th) and ’12 (3rd), both times not having the cleanest of trips; like the recent 1 mile workout; could be the price horse you are looking for
  2. #1 – Magician’s Vanity (9-2): Took 13 tries to get this 3-year-old daughter of Street Magician to the Winners Circle, but the lightbulb must have come on then as she took to the Laurel lawn like a duck to water with 2 runner-up efforts while stepping up in class  
  3. #6 – Monster Sleeping (9-5): Makes 3rd consecutive appearance in this event; won it in ’13 but couldn’t repeat last year (5th); seems to prefer a “firm” turf course which helps her kick into high gear as the field turns for home to rundown the leg-weary front runners      

Race 8 – Maryland Million DISTAFF Handicap

  1. #7 – My Magician (12-1): Was full of run late in last outing when stopped behind horses along the rail at 1/16th pole, rider just took a hold as she finished on her own will, 5th just 3½ lengths behind the winner; that was her first race since Feb., looking at it as a prep for today      
  2. #3 – Smitten by Gold (7-2): Ships in from FL for 22% trainer (M. Ferraro) making Lrl debut; 6-year-old mare hails from MD Million top sire, Not For Love family line; will stalk early pace & be prominent in deep stretch  
  3. #4 – Miss Bullistic (12-1): Thrown to the wolves in the G3 Commonwealth Oaks last start; 2-year-old season was filled with promise, but two OTB efforts to kick off her 3-yr-old campaign made connections rethink game plan; back on dirt here v. softer company makes her worth using in your exotics


* Race 9 – Maryland Million TURF   

  1. #4 – Phlash Phelps (7-2): Was cross-entered in the Classic, but goes here after starting his 4-year-old campaign with 3 consecutive victories on turf course at Pimlico and Laurel; sky’s the limit for this son of Great Notion who should get a perfect stalking trip odds  
  2. #5 – Havelock (5-2): Hard-knocking, well-traveled 8-year-old is a multiple graded stakes winner on turf, makes first start at Laurel; toss that last race which was taken off the turf; 3rd race after a layoff is often the charm
  3. #9 – Barrel of Love (6-1): NY shipper makes Laurel turf debut after closing ground late in a 6 furlong prep for today; rarely throws in a clunker as this 8-year-old has made a nice living racing on the grass though he’s is just 1 for 10 at this distance; a must use in your exotic wagers


Race 10 – Maryland Million CLASSIC

  1. #11 – Talk Show Man (5-2): Winner of ’14 MD Million Turf passes on chance to repeat; connections looking for the big fish; has never won going 9f in 4 tries but those were v. much better than he’ll face here        
  2. #6 – Not Abroad (6-1): Michael Jordan did it. Brett Favre did it twice. This 8-year-old came out of a 3 year retirement 2 weeks ago to run 4th, in what was simply a prep to see if he was fit enough to recapture the Classic he won in ‘12
  3. #3 – Bullheaded Boy (5-1): “Teflon Todd” has this one cross-entered in the Turf, but may not ship for either as this Bullsbay colt is nominated for four (4) other races next weekend in NY; if he runs here, he’s a threat


 * Race 11 – Maryland Million STARTER Handicap

  1. #8 – Lunar Rock (8-5): Just 1 for 8 at this distance but has been facing much better lately      
  2. #1 – Stolen Love (2-1): Eligible for this condition based on route win last Nov. for $8k  
  3. #2 – All Alone (6-1): Won career debut back in Jan. by 3¾ going this distance on fast track; that was the last time he ran in the fast dirt track as his next 7 have been on turf or an off track



  • Friday October 16th, at Laurel Park with had just 5 winners from 11 races (2 Top Selection; payoffs in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-off of $12.60 (2nd race), $4.00 (5th), $5.60 (6th), $6.00 (8th) and $3.60 (11th).
  • BEST BET of the Day (104: 28-24-15) Dixie Deputy (8th race: 3-1 M/L; 2-1 PT) bobbled outward at the break and was away last, regrouped and progressed four wide into the far turn, rated past the three eighths, angled five wide for the drive, closed steadily under pressure, overtook the dueling leaders soon past the sixteenth pole and kicked clear to win by 2 lengths and return $6.00 to WIN, $3.60 to PLACE and $3.00 to SHOW.
  • LONGSHOT PLAY OF THE DAY  (99: 13-12-19) Two Punch Too (1st race: 15-1 M/L; 6-1 PT) the odds were compromised when the 3-5 M/L favorite was scratched, but that became a moot point as he tried to put pressure early on the eventual winner and could not keep pace, gradually dropping back to finish 6th (aka dead last).
Long-time racing fan and analyst Gary Quill brings his ‘capping insights to The Racing Biz. Follow him on Twitter @HorseRacingNut.