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, 50 cent Jackpot Pick-5 ($6,639 carryover), as well as Pick-4s and rolling Doubles, Pick-3s and the Super High-5.

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

  • Race 1: $2 Double   4, 5, 7 w/ 6, 7, 8 ($18)
  • Race 3: $0.50 Pick-3   4, 5, 8 w/ 1, 3, 4, 8 w/ 3, 5 ($12)
  • Race 6: $0.50 Pick-4   2, 3, 6  w/ 5, 6, 8  w/ 2, 6, 9  w/ 1, 4 ($27)
  • Race 8: $2 Double   2, 6, 9 w/ 1, 3, 4 ($18)
[su_box title=”SPECIAL PLAYS” style=”glass”]
  • Best Bet: Race 2 / #7 – Lostinthestars (4-1)
  • Longshot: Race 3 / #4 – Star Cruizer (8-1)



[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, cold, with temps in the mid-20s and snow accumulating 2”-4” then changing to freezing rain in the afternoon. The below selections are based on the main track condition being listed as “Fast.”

* * Closing Day * *

Race 1

  1. #4 – Heavenly Encore (2-1): Challenged for the lead early going 7f in latest; cut back to 5½f will be more to her liking and without much pressure      
  2. #7 – Colonel Melissa (3-1): Jock lost irons shortly after departing from the gate; X-Man takes the reins today and should ask for more from her from the start    
  3. #5 – Jill’s Reflection (5-1): Invader from FL made a middle move then flattened in Lrl debut at this same level; switches to Cartagena barn to change things up?  


Race 2  

  1. #7 – Lostinthestars (4-1): *Best Bet* Appears the Lrl frozen oval has finally begun to favor early speed (4 gate-to-wire winners on Sunday) so this one is the quickest on the entire card and gets the nod NOT to be caught going 6f today  
  2. #8 – Yolo Mon (5-2): Boasts top Brisnet Prime Power#, adds blinkers after late rally came up a half-length short at this same condition going one mile; jock M. Sanchez is 2 for 5 for outfit and this is his only mount on the card
  3. #6 – Sir Orinoco (6-1): need to look past latest outing which was first in over three months; positive sign is T. McCarthy opts for this guy instead of B. Perkins entry (#5)


Race 3  

  1. #4 – Star Cruizer (8-1): $Longshot Play$ Has displayed the fastest 4 furlong times in her two career races when well backed at the windows and stretch out to 7 panels will not be an issue; last outing ran behind Spun Copper who runs today in Wide Country stakes    
  2. #5 – It’s the Truth (9-5): Motion trainee gets Lasix for first time in her third career race; took a lot of money in both previous outings; could be showing a lot in the A.M. but not putting it together in the afternoon
  3. #8 – Flame of My Heart (7-2): Should have run on Valentine’s Day (based on name); a surprising runner-up at 14-1 in debut for $40k MCL; protected today and gets services of F. Boyce


Race 4         

  1. #4– Dreamboat Annie (5-2): Just travelled back 40 years ago for a moment to hear Ann Wilson sing this classic… but I digress, NY-bred ships back in for L. Gyermati after third-place effort in initial Lrl invasion at this level      
  2. #3 – Tiz Emily and Jill (15-1): Form has dropped off recently but connections refusing to put her in for a tag; runs best when she’s put on the lead and this group lacks early speed… hope you read this, Lane Luzzi
  3. #1 – Tough Weather (9-2): And that’s exactly what they’ll be running in with the snow/sleet in the forecast; takes big step up in 1st race after S. Lake claim… looking for 4th win in a row  


Race 5  – $75,000 Miracle Wood Stakes

  1. #5 – Never Gone South (3-5): Toyed with small field in the $75k Frank Whiteley, Jr. as jock gave him just one tap entering stretch and he took off wanting to keep going well beyond the wire; could be heading for Derby Trail         
  2. #3 – Charmed Victory (3-1): Impressive victories in first two career starts and a number of his competitors in those have come back to win; big test today to determine if he’s the real deal
  3. #6 – Marengo Road (6-1): Was all out to finish second to M/L favorite in first race after layoff; should be not as keen today and move forward off that effort


Race 6           

  1. #2 – De Rigueur (6-1): Can get first jump on this group and take them gate to wire; C. Gonzalez gets 27% of his “2nd race after claim” to Winner’s Circle  
  2. #6 – Legal Precedent (7-5): Often the “racing precedent” is when a runner is second best in first 2-3 starts, they tend to regress rather than progress; runner-up when 8-5 and 4-5… you willing to take even money or less?  
  3. #3 – Pocket High (10-1): Nice improvement in second career start; faced a very promising colt (Gywnn Oak Park) in both starts; gets Toledo in saddle today


Race 7 – $75,000 Wide Country Stakes

  1. #8 – Aye a Song (5-1): Can get to the front without anywhere close to the pressure she faced in her previous outing; realistic chance to go gate-to-wire on a surface that hasn’t been kind to early speed
  2. #6 – Prognosis (7-2): Like the confidence the connections showed earlier shipping from Ellis Park to run at Keeneland… and won! There is no shame being the first loser (aka second) to Cathryn Sophia
  3. #5 – Karen’s Silk (9-5): Respect NY shipper but she took advantage of speed duel in Marshua Stakes… one may not materialize today


Race 8 – $250,000 G3 General George Stakes

  1. #6 – Majestic Affair (7-2): Kendrick Carmouche stays on Chad Brown trainee instead of M/L favorite here, but can you blame him? He’s never been worse than second on this gray in the seven races he’s had the mount      
  2. #2 – Page McKenney (2-1): Can this gelding continue this amazing string of victories and/or runner-up finishes? Of course he can! He’s been nothing short of a machine and only a speed favoring track can derail him
  3. #9 – Majestic Hussar (12-1): Multiple issues in Fire Plug cost momentum and likely the race; like how trainer seems to have recaptured old form and will give Carrasco a leg up         


Race 9  

  1. #4 – Don’t Be Fooled (3-1): Beaten favorite in most recent outing; gets best distance (one mile) today (3:1-1-1) in third shot at this level for second lifetime victory     
  2. #1/1A – Mr. Do / Stormy Invasion (8-5): One may scratch as 7lb. bug girl Francois named on both; #1 will try to stretch speed to one mile exiting maiden score; #1A is only runner in here dropping in class… after missing by a nose for $10k N2L            
  3. #3 – Heaveneleven (4-1): Trainer Potts has top pick in here as well; tossing last race as she reared when gates opened spotting field nearly seven lengths     


* * Live Racing at Laurel Park Returns Mar. 11 * *

  • On Sunday February 14th at Laurel Park had 6 winners from the 8 race card (1 Top Selection; payoff in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-off of $4.60 (1st race), $20.20 (2nd), $6.00 (3rd), $13.80 (5th), $17.60 (7th) and $3.80 (8th). Of the suggested Multi-Race wagers hit the $2 DOUBLE in R1-R2 for $52.80 (cost: $18) and the $2 DOUBLE in R8-R9 for $45.20 (cost: $18). Note: Year-to-date Top Selections are 58 for 207 (28.01%).
  • Track Bias: To date in 2016, 39 runners (9 – 5½f; 15 – 6f; 5 – 7f; 3 – one mile; 4 – 1 1/16 miles; 3 – 1 1/8 miles) have gone gate-to-wire at Laurel Park from 207 races, that’s just 19%. Note: The local temperatures which had not been above the freezing mark for at least 48 hours leading up to the Sunday 8-race card, finally yielded to early speed as there were four (4) gate-to-wire winners (R1: 5½f, R2: 6f; R4: 1 1/16; R8: 6f).
  • BEST BET of the Day (23: 9-4-0) Diamondback Fire (1st race: 5-2 M/L; 7-2 PT) patiently handled early, eased out to the four path leaving the turn, drifted in a bit in mid-stretch and rallied late outside the winner to come up a neck short of the victory to return $3.80 to PLACE and $2.40 to SHOW.
  • LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day (20: 0-1-4) Slews Love (5th race: 10-1 M/L; 10-1 PT) four wide on the turn, was not a factor and passed tired horses to finish 5th.
Long-time racing fan and analyst Gary Quill brings his ‘capping insights to The Racing Biz. Follow him on Twitter @HorseRacingNut.