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 ($5,536 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, 5, 6 w/ 1, 2, 3 ($18)
  • Race 3: $1 Pick-3   2, 6, 8 w/ 1, 3, 9 w/ 4, 6, 8 ($13.50)
  • Race 6: $0.50 Pick-4   1, 7, 8  w/ 1, 5, 11 w/ 6, 9 w/ 1, 6, 9 ($27)
  • Race 8: $2 Double   4, 6, 9 w/ 1, 6, 9 ($12)


[su_box title=”SPECIAL PLAYS” style=”glass”]
  • Best Bet: Race 2 / #2 – Classic Wildcat (7-2)
  • Longshot: Race 7 / #11 – Stormy Salute (12-1)

[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 Partly Sunny skies with temps in the high-30s and just a 5% chance of precipitation. The below selections are based on the main track condition being listed as “Fast.”

Race 1

  1. #5 – Tiz Alarming (6-1): Just 1 of 2 in here w/ early speed (other is #4); concern is best races have come on an off track but gets better bug boy in irons today      
  2. #6 – Solid Silver (2-1): Needs help on the front end as this gray has only shown late interest; gets M/L favorite nod based on drop in class
  3. #1– Kyleigh’s Smile (7-2): Drops one class level after runner-up effort in most recent 93rd career start); Brisnet#s have improved in each race  


Race 2  

  1. #2 – Classic Wildcat (7-2): *Best Bet* 7 of his 8 foes either need the lead or be close to it to win; this 10 year old Closer for KTL has found the Fountain of Youth, winning past 2 easily v. cheaper; needs pace meltdown to score natural Hat Trick        
  2. #1/1A – Peaceadaaction/Mail Order Groom(9-5): Formidable duo for Magee barn; “Peace” is speed of the speed & gets 1/16th distance break; “Groom” will try to Stalk 
  3. #3 – Savvy Joe (6-1): Failed as PT favorite v. similar; cuts back in distance; 2nd time blinkers  


Race 3  

  1. #8 – Wynhurst (3-1): Only entry on card for Rudy Rod shipping in from The Big A drops from $10k to $5k; eased 3 back @ Prx w/ Carrasco in irons; MD-bred could be a bargain claim or white elephant
  2. #6 – Grain (5-2): He’s the only true Closer in this field but might have issue getting up for win cutting back to 5½; has never been OTB in 7 starts @ Lrl       
  3. #2 – Photogenic (8-1): Taking a shot based on showing speed for 6f going long then stopping last outing; drops from AlwN1X to level he last won at… in the mud though


Race 4         

  1. #1 – Pro Daddy (7-2): A rare bad claim for barn who is 30% 1st off claim, but didn’t happen w/ this one albeit was moved up while “in jail” (1st 30 days after claim); steep drop might be dangling carrot hoping someone bites
  2. #9 – Mr. Al (6-1): Whoa! 0 for 23 but today is the day?! Gelding has shown progress in 3 starts for M. Eppler; tossing last in the mud based on off track record (7:0-0-1)
  3. #3 – Mr. Do (6-1): Was claimed off miserable debut; given 9 months off to presumably learn to be a racehorse and nearly graduated at same ($12,500) level on return; drops to maiden bottom         


Race 5

  1. #8 – Downdraft (10-1): If this G. Weaver trainee is “live” you won’t see 10-1 at PT; cannot judge based on debut (on turf) 2 months ago;; like the steady works in Jan. and McCarthy up, who had another option in here  
  2. #4 – In the Navy Now (9-5): Keeps improving with race but best one was on an off track; is she really the better of Trombetta’s two in here (other is #9)      
  3. #6 – Flower Valley (15-1): Forgettable debut w/ J. Rose in irons; gets 1st Lasix and F. Boyce in saddle; like the lone, bullet work since debut


Race 6           

  1. #1 – Dynamic Strike (4-1): Away from afternoon action since Nov. 29th; his foes are void of early speed and the bullet in final tune-up for ’16 debut indicates he can win in gate-to-wire fashion      
  2. #7 – Pappa Portmore (15-1): Was on the shelf for nearly two years but trailed throughout in return; then rallied for 3rd @ 51-1, just 3 lengths behind a Mott monster (Mean Season); 3rd race since layoff  
  3. #8 – Any Court Inastorm (8-1): Has yet to run a bad race and was compromised at the start in Jennings Hcp, finishing 6 behind #3 (9-5 M/L fav.); a better trip should equal better finish    


Race 7  

  1. #11 – Stormy Salute (12-1): $Longshot Play$ Has the look of an improving filly whose best surface may not be turf (10: 2-1-0) as connections initially believed; could start ’16 as ’15 ended… with an upset victory            
  2. #5 – Egyptian Magic (7-2): Hails from C. Lynch barn w/ McCarthy in the irons; duo gets to Winner’s Circle at 20% clip; cut backs in distance after losing lead in deep stretch in last      
  3. #1 – For Finery (15-1): In 14 starts has only been tested on a fast track twice (Placed & Showed); 5-6 wide trip in last effort on an off track gives reason she could fire today


Race 8 –  $75,000 Conniver Stakes  

  1. #9 – E Dubai’s Humor (7-2): Speed figures are both consistent and best in here; should be tough 1st time facing restricted (MD-bred) company
  2. #6 – Brenda’s Way (3-1): Game effort in Nellie Morse to hold on for Place purse; gets Toledo back in the saddle for state bred stakes    
  3. #4 – Candida H. (9-2): Has only failed to hit the board once in 7 career outings; runner-up in past two here on fast track… once behind next out stakes winner & as PT fav. in most recent try         


Race 9  

  1. #6 – Glorious Ride (5-2): Just missed getting diploma in mud; continued progression as a racehorse makes this filly the one to beat        
  2. #9 – Mettemarlamelva (2-1): Tam shipper for Ness has been beaten favorite in past two in FL at this level; boasts best Brisnet Prime Power#
  3. #1 – New York Posse (15-1): Been a very long odds in all four starts and ran to those odds; takes steep class drop after steadied in last effort



  • On Friday January 29th at Laurel Park had 8 winners from the 9 race card (4 Top Selections; payoff in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-off of $4.00 (1st race), $9.60 (2nd), $3.60 (3rd), $3.60 (5th), $8.80 (6th), $2.80 (7th), $11.80 (8th) and $5.00 (9th). Note: Year-to-date Top Selections are 33 for 122 (27.05%).
  • Track Bias: To date in 2016, just 22 runners (6 – 5½f; 5 – 6f; 4 – 7f; 2 – one mile; 3 – 1 1/16 miles; 2 – 1 1/8 miles) have gone gate-to-wire at Laurel Park from 113 races. Note: This past Friday three (3) runners from a weather shortened 5-race card went gate-to-wire with temps in the mid-20s. For all five (5) races the track helped runners who were either on the lead or sat just off the pace the entire trip.
  • BEST BET of the Day (14: 5-1-0) Blame Me (3rd race: 9-5 M/L; 4-5 PT) stalked the pace, moved up three deep to secure command leaving the turn, was set down in upper stretch and drew out under steady handling to win by 5½ lengths to return $3.60 to WIN, $2.40 to PLACE and $2.10 to SHOW. BEST BET ROI = $2.14
  • LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day (11: 0-1-2) Emelina (7th race: 8-1 M/L; 13-1 PT) saved ground setting a pressured pace, faded in the drive and held the place to pay $7.00 to PLACE and $3.20 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.