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 ($4,336 carryover), 50 cent Jackpot Pick-5, 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  1, 4, 6 w/ 1, 4, 6 ($18)
  • Race 3: $0.50 Pick-3  1, 2, 8 w/ 1, 2, 3 w/ 2, 4, 9 ($13.50)
  • Race 6: $0.50 Pick-4  1, 2, 6 w/ 1, 2, 8 w/ 3 w/ 1, 4, 9 ($13.50)
  • Race 8: $2 Double  3 w/ 1, 4, 9 ($6)


[su_box title=”SPECIAL PLAYS” style=”glass”]
  • Best Bet: Race 4 / #2 – Start Jumping (3-1)
  • Longshot: Race 6 / #6 – Jump for Love (6-1)

[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 the high-30s and luckily Snowmageddon won’t begin until after the races have concluded. The below selections are based on the main track condition being listed as “Fast.”

Race 1

  1. #4 – Throwback (8-5): Needs to stay close to the lone early speed (#3), otherwise that one could steal it; this one has back class to repeat v. these      
  2. #6 – Minor Crisis (6-1): Last was a mystery (7-wide; no rally) in that he took no action (11-1) after winning at this level two back as PT fav.; watch tote early for a clue 
  3. #1– Silver Tie Affair (10-1): yeah this 10-year-old gelding is just 1 for 16 on natural dirt but is the only runner in here to have won travelling today’s (9 furlongs) distance  


Race 2  

  1. #4 – Thurmont (9-5): Beaten fav. at this level last time out; cut back to 7f might make the difference today        
  2. #1 – Who Stole My Sock (2-1): Connections may have discovered something w/ change in tactics (Early Speed v. Closer) and nearly pulled off 9-1 upset; doing the same here might result in win #2     
  3. #6 – Power Generation (9-2): McCarthy signs on for Prx shipper who took on$14k N2L @ Aqu in 1st try v. winners; will find this group a bit easier


Race 3  

  1. #1 – Last Confession (3-1): Ended ’15 w/ a win as GQ’s Best Bet on Dec. 31st; claimed by M. Eppler and see no reason why he cannot repeat for new barn stepping up to level where he won v. N2L three races back    
  2. #8 – Still Chief (9-5): Has top Brisnet Prime Power# after just missing for $10k v. N3L; 1st start after claim on Dec. 1st for small outfit who wins at 27% clip after similar layoff       
  3. #2 – Gator Gold (12-1): If the frozen track holds early speed then this one needs serious consideration; was pressed v. OC$16k; should find these foes slower early on


Race 4         

  1. #2 – Start Jumping (3-1): *Best Bet* In Exacta 3 of 4 races at distance (4:2-1-0); should get the jump on this field that lacks an abundance of early speed; 3rd race since layoff         
  2. #3 – Cold Facts (8-1): Classic case of “2nd-itis” (40:4-13-5); Pen shipper was game in Lrl debut after bad stumble at start; drops in class looking for a check  
  3. #1 – Lets Get Going (2-1): Three consecutive runner-up finishes while have excuses in all 3; beaten PT fav. @ CT past two returns to Lrl seeking 1st win from 5 career starts here           


Race 5

  1. #2 – Rise to the Top (7-5): Adds blinkers off gate-to-wire maiden at The Big A; ships in for Rudy Rod (23%); wondering if he’ll still ship down with Snowmageddon on its way  
  2. #4 – Swayed (6-1): Broke maiden and followed that w/ decent effort v. winners here at this same distance; tactical speed might help here as field is full of early speed      
  3. #9 – Princess Talia (12-1): Overmatched v. the best MD-bred Juv. Fillies trying 7f; cuts back to distance where she had a smashing debut (won by 5 ½) earning 78 Brisnet#, best among these gals


Race 6           

  1. #6 – Jump for Love (6-1): $Longshot Play$ Appeared to have taken a bad step on turn in last, but soon after put to task, responded but raced greenly in the stretch; should like two-turns      
  2. #2 – Azuma Mura (6-1): Looked strong in gate-to-wire victory going one mile, just 1 of 2 to have accomplished that so far in ’16 at Lrl; claimed out of it by F. Allen III who is only 3% 1st after claim  
  3. #1 – Invite (5-2): NY shipper for Bill Mott gets Lasix for 4th career start; not sure how strong that G2 Demoiselle field was as 5th place finisher (Lost Raven) failed here last week as 3-5 fav. in $75k Marshua Stakes    


Race 7  

  1. #8 – Gursky (9-2): Has blossomed since P. Schoenthal claimed him 3 races back; continues to improve those Brisnet Speed Figures (BSF) and the more distance the better                
  2. #1A – Sheikinator (6-1): Boasts top Brisnet Prime Power# in here; may have bounced in last off his triple-digit # two back; might be at a disadvantage if track favors speed; if he gets scratched, pass on entrymate      
  3. #2 – Reverend Green (7-2): Speed of the Speed going 7 furlongs, his best distance (3: 2-0-1); E. Kenneally ships in from NY… or not based on forecast          


Race 8  

  1. #3 – Golden Years (8-5): Away since ’15 this multi-stakes winner has looked fit as a fiddle in the A.M. as the trio of bullet works attest; doubtful you’ll get anywhere close to 8-5        
  2. #2 – Cutty Shark (15-1): This field lacks at least one runner who needs the lead; he has shown that ability and been facing tougher lately    
  3. #6 – Demon Buster (5-2): Been compromised at the start in past 3, yet still won 2 of them; with a clean start will give favorite all he can handle in deep stretch           


Race 9  

  1. #4 – Drop to Pop (8-5): if the theme of the day is “Early Speed is Staying,” then this Pen shipper fits the bill for T. Kreiser who is 13:3-2-2 at meet w/ shippers       
  2. #9 – Love to Prospect (15-1): Only knows one way to run… fast early! Steps up in class after gate-to-wire score on stretch out to this distance; guaranteed that L. Mejias gets him to the front 
  3. #1/1A – Nice Surprise/Thunder Lord (3-1): #1 was overmatched @ CT 1st after claim, drops to level he can win; #1A makes 1st start for “Magic” Magee (30% 1st after claim) but may have to overcome track speed bias… if that develops



  • Monday January 18th at Laurel Park had 6 winners from 9 races (2 Top Selections; payoff in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-off of $5.40 (2nd race), $4.40 (3rd), $7.60 (4th), $5.20 (6th), $5.60 (8th) and $3.20 (9th). Of the suggested Multi-Race wagers hit $2 DOUBLE R8-R9 for $11.40 (cost: $12).
  • Track Bias: To date in 2016, just 19 runners (5 – 5½f; 5 – 6f; 3 – 7f; 2 – one mile; 3 – 1 1/16 miles; 1 – 1 1/8 miles) have gone gate-to-wire at Laurel Park from 108 races. Note: This past Sunday no runners went gate-to-wire and even with the temps dipping to sub-freezing on Monday, the track only helped runners that sat just off the pace, not on it, as only 1 runner (going 6f) won on the lead the entire trip.
  • BEST BET of the Day (12: 3-1-0) Breezed Bayou (7th race: 4-1 M/L; 3-1 PT) rushed from the gate along the rail early, taken back when a rival was quicker, swung out into the 4-path while encouraged on the turn and was steadied between horses entering the stretch and packed it in at that point to finish 8th.
  • LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day (10: 0-0-2) Reach for Yield (3rd race: 5-1 M/L; 7-5 PT) must be snake bit as this one was bet early and often, sent off as 7-5 (WTF?!) 2nd choice yet finishes off-the-board after setting the pace and dogged by the eventual winner, who wore down the LSPOD in mid-stretch, having no more to give, weakening to finish 4th.


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.