The GQ Approach features full-card selections from Laurel Park (live racing Friday-Monday through Feb. 15th; Post Time 12:25pm), including a daily Best Bet, Longshot Play, and multi-race wagers — including the 20 cent Rainbow Pick-6 ($737 carryover), 50 cent Jackpot Pick-5 ($2,675 carryover), as well as Pick-4s and rolling Doubles and Pick-3s.

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

  • Race 1: $2 Double  3, 4, 6 w/ 2, 6, 8 ($18)
  • Race 3: $0.50 Pick-3  3, 6, 8 w/ 1, 3, 5 w/ 3, 6, 8  ($13.50)
  • Race 6: $0.50 Pick-4   2, 3, 7 w/ 3, 5, 8 w/ 3, 4, 9 w/ 1, 3 ($27)
  • Race 8: $2 Double  3, 4, 9 w/ 1, 3, 7 ($18)


[su_box title=”SPECIAL PLAYS” style=”glass”]
  • Best Bet: Race 4 / #5 – Karen’s Silk (5-2)
  • Longshot: Race 8 / #4 – Any Court Inastorm (12-1)
[/su_box] [su_heading size=”21″ align=”left”]Analysis[/su_heading]

* Laurel Park has closed the turf courses for the season. As far as condition of the main track… the forecast for the northern D.C. suburbs is for Mostly Cloudy skies with temps in mid-40s after overnight rain forecasted to end early A.M. The below selections are based on the main track condition being listed as “Good.”

Race 1

  1. #4 – Bull Bat Time (7-2): Steps up a level after encouraging debut (3rd by 5) in mud; track conditions for early races today should sloppy/muddy today    
  2. #6 – Field Sense (8-5): Drops to lowest MCL level in 11th career outing; last two duds in mud leaves doubts in this ‘capper’s mind 
  3. #3 – Mighty Mac (5-1): 5-year-old VA-bred FTS by Grand Slam has an extensive work tab; D. Capuano does well (20%) w/ Debut Maiden Claimers  


Race 2  

  1. #6 – Burning Mandate (6-1): 2nd race off KTL claim; cuts back to preferred distance and retains Toledo      
  2. #2 – Peaceadaaction (5-2): Loves the “off” going (11:5-2-0) and won’t be pressed early on lead; McCarthy was 3 of 4 on this 8-year-old gray in ‘15     
  3. #8 – Risky Guy (3-1): Drops back to level where S. Lake claimed him last July out of 5-length win; Brisnet Speed Figures (BSF) have been consistent  


Race 3  

  1. #6 – Legal Precedent (1-1): Runner-up in both career outings at this level; interesting that Carrasco takes over for McCarthy (on #3)    
  2. #8 – Biography (9-2): NY shipper disappointed in debut (6th by 15) when sent off 9-2; gives M. Hushion his 1st start at Lrl meet who is 30+% “2nd career race” and “MSW to MCL”       
  3. #3 – Kat Lion (6-1): Lynch at his best in Maiden Claimers (23%); workout on “good” track on Jan. 9 indicates he’ll handle “off” going


Race 4  –   $75,000 Marshua Stakes       

  1. #5 – Karen’s Silk (5-2): *Best Bet* Should get the perfect set-up here as most rivals want to be on or near the lead; goes for the natural Hat Trick for trainer M. Dilger, whose only other shipper into Laurel placed         
  2. #1 – Lost Raven (7-5): Pletcher runners usually do not come south from New York unless they plan on picking up a win purse; not to say they always do (4:1-1-0 at meet) but when the owner is Mike Repole, you know they will be ready  
  3. #3 – Aye a Song (5-1): One word: Speed; One phrase: Catch me if you can; One problem: This ain’t the CT bull-ring; with that said 6 wins in 7 starts in a span of 5 months is nothing to sneeze at… has speed figs that rival M/L favorite           


Race 5

  1. #6 – Street Swagg (3-1): NY shipper for J. Englehart will have a better chance if the track remains “off” by R5 (6:3-1-2)
  2. #8 – Twelve Stone (9-2): Drop from allowance company should be to 6yo gelding’s liking
  3. #3 – Harbor Kid (8-1): At first glance this 8-year-old is going up in class; not so, he’s just regaining the back class and rediscovered sprinting


Race 6   –   $75,000 Frank Whiteley, Jr. Stakes         

  1. #3 – Never Gone South (6-5): Been part of the Exacta in all four starts (4:2-2-0); boasts big edge in Brisnet Prime Power#; runner-up two back to a monster (Awesome Speed) who came back to win Mucho Macho Man Stakes @ GP      
  2. #7 – Moon Over a Beauty (4-1): Surprise winner (14-1) at first asking for trainer R. Violette who not only ships this colt in from The Big A, but gets jock (A. Gryder) to make the trip to retain the mount as well; candidate to go gate-to-wire  
  3. #2 – Henry the King (12-1): Late running sprinter stretches out to 7 furlongs, putting perfect 2 for 2 record on the line; will be a nice price to use in exotics    


Race 7  

  1. #5 – Flatter’s Secret (5-1): Away for 2 months following two dreadful efforts in PA at higher levels; the good news is she loves Lrl (3 for 4)        
  2. #3 – Breaking the City (6-1): Only runner in here w/ 4 career victories; trainer B. Kulp shippers have never been OTB (6:1-3-2)      
  3. #8 – Dream Brew (7-2): Goes for natural Hat Trick for new barn off claim; been part of Exacta in all 5 fast track efforts       


Race 8   –   $75,000 Fire Plug Stakes         

  1. #4 – Any Court Inastorm (12-1): $Longshot Play$ Ultra-consistent five-year-old gelding is a late bloomer with just 10 career starts and a late mover who can catch the leg-weary early speed in deep stretch        
  2. #3 – Majestic Hussar (6-1): Showing back class lately with two runner-up efforts; just 2 lengths by Breeders Cup Sprint SHOW horse (Favorite Tale) in $200k stakes at Pen two races back; if the track is “off’, he’s your play (5:3-2-0)      
  3. #9 – Beach Hut (5-1): Gets a more tactical ride with McCarthy in the irons; 5 of 6 lifetime victories have come at this distance; turned in career best BSF (97) in most recent test           


Race 9  

  1. #1 – Formal Graduate (7-2): Got into gear late in second career start at this level and distance  
  2. #3 – Cute as a Button (3-1): KTL runner drops from $25k but loses Toledo to #1 in here; 5th by 12 to impressive winner (Afleet Willy on Friday)         
  3. #7 – Bama Sam (7-5): Vulnerable favorite losing Gonzalez luster 4 races after being claimed; tries stretching out to one mile in hopes to graduate



  • Friday January 15th at Laurel Park had 6 winners from 9 races (3 Top Selections; payoff in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-off of $5.60 (1st race), $6.40 (2nd), $12.00 (4th), $7.20 (5th), $19.00 (6th) and $8.60 (7th). Of the suggested Multi-Race wagers hit $2 DOUBLE R1-R2 for $22.00 (cost: $12).
  • Track Bias: To date in 2016, just 15 runners (5 – 5½f; 3 – 6f; 2 – 7f; 2 – one mile; 2 – 1 1/16 miles; 1 – 1 1/8 miles) have gone gate-to-wire at Laurel Park from 81 races, but on a frigid Monday (Jan. 11th) 4 of the 9 winners led every step of the way but on Friday just 1 runner in the 9 races won in gate to wire fashion.
  • BEST BET of the Day (9: 2-1-0) Dancinwithdunkirk (9th race: 3-1 M/L; 2-1 PT) void of speed early dropped back to the back of the pack on the far turn, raced 4-wide from that point into the stretch and rallied to be the runner-up just 2 lengths behind the winner returning $4.40 to PLACE and $2.60 to SHOW.
  • LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day (8: 0-0-2) Jarvis Steel (8th race: 5-1 M/L; 7-2 PT) bobbled slightly at the break and bumped with CAPTAIN ALEX, recovered to rate close, edged up between rivals nearing the quarter pole, pursued the winner from there and kept on willingly to the wire but lost the photo for PLACE to return $2.40 to SHOW.


RECAP of 2015: Year One of The GQ Approach

  • Selections and Analysis were posted for all live racing days at Laurel Park and Pimlico with a few exceptions when cousin QG filled in. On average The GQ Approach provided Top Pick winners 22% of the time.
  • BEST BET of the Day which by GQ’s standards had to be better than 8-5 Morning Line got to the Winners Circle 27% of the time, was part of the Exacta nearly half (49%) of the time and was good enough to hit the board 2 of every 3 times (67%).
  • LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day which by default is the highest Morning Line odds GQ Top Pick on the card (typically double-digits) won at a 12% clip, was part of the Exacta 24% of the time and was in the money 42% of the time.  
Long-time racing fan and analyst Gary Quill brings his ‘capping insights to The Racing Biz. Follow him on Twitter @HorseRacingNut.