The GQ Approach – Laurel July 22

by | Jul 22, 2016 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland, MD Racing, Racing

Mizz Money (#9) held off Vielsalm (in between) and Heath (#12) to win the Grade 3 Gallorette. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

The GQ Approach features full-card selections from Laurel Park (Friday-Sunday, with twilight racing each Friday), including a daily Best Bet, Longshot Play, and multi-race wagers. 

GQ himself is taking the summer off.  In his stead will be a rotating band of ‘cappers.  Today, John Piassek takes the reins.


  • Rainbow Pick 6: $2,932.73
  • Super High 5: $828.17


Race 4 / #1 – Sea Raven (5-2)


Race 9/ #8 – Giles Fair (10-1)

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

    • John’s more of a win bet guy.

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

  • Number of races scheduled for turf: 6
  • Weather: Mostly sunny, hot
  • Projected condition of main track: FAST
  • Projected condition of turf: FIRM

Race 1: Claiming $15,000, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)

  1. 1- Issheit (5/2):  Hung in there after being on the pace last time out, won three out of four races between Tampa Bay Downs and Laurel over the winter and spring, figures to once again be on or near the pace.
  2. 3- Workerbee (3/1):  Made a bold rally from far behind last time out and lost by a neck, was six-wide there, will be coming from the back of the pack and would ideally be closer to the pace than in previous races.
  3.  7- Cracking Good Pins (2/1): Second and third in her last two races at this level, makes first start for dangerous Kieron Magee barn.

Race 2: Allowance Optional Claiming (n/w2x), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs

  1. 2- Everlasting Secret (5/2): Ships into Maryland after big n/w1x win at Monmouth last out, working strongly for her first start at this level, has had awkward beginnings in last two and will hope to get away cleanly here.
  2. 5- My Magician (9/5): Won at the n/w1x level last fall at Laurel while running a big figure, has not been seen on the dirt since then but did finish third in grass prep last out, will sit off speed and hope for pace meltdown.
  3. 3- Next Best Thing (7/2): Tends to run in mid-80s on brisnet scale when routing, second at this level last out at Penn National, will be another one coming from the back.

Race 3: Maiden Special Weight, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 5 ½ Furlongs (Grass)

  1. 7- Yes Its Factual (5/1): Showed a lot of speed while routing last out before stopping to a crawl late, a cutback in distance should help her out.
  2. 4- Sazerac Girl (5/2): Couldn’t pass last time out under the same conditions, has improved her figure in each of her last three races, has run up to an 81 in the past, is if nothing else a strong contender for the exotics.
  3. 2- Tizadoozi (9/2): Ran a career-best figure last out when opening up a big lead and tiring out, has to conserve her energy today to have a good chance of winning.

Race 4: Allowance (n/w1x), 3yo and up, 1 Mile

  1. 1- Sea Raven (5/2): Takes a big drop down in class from races at this level in New York, turned in a bullet workout at Fair Hill last week, going four furlongs in 48.4 seconds.
  2. 2- Ghost Bay (3/1): Has been second or third in each of his last three races at this class, was badly pace-compromised last time out and should run better if he gets a faster pace to run at.
  3. 5- Big House (10/1): Tired out after getting involved in a fast pace while going seven furlongs last out, ran much better figures while dealing with a softer pace in earlier races.

Race 5: Starter Optional Claiming $16,000, 3yo and up, 5 ½ Furlongs (Grass)

  1. 12- Magician’s Bullet (3/1): Has either won or missed by less than a length in each of his last three races, takes a class drop from the $25,000 starter level, outside post was not a bother when winning last out.
  2. 4- Minor Legend (10/1): Four-wide rallies have fallen just short in each of his last two races, has taken advantage of fast paces in those races and will hope to do the same here.
  3. 8- Sweet Liam (12/1): Finished second in his only two career grass races, has shown the ability to both be on the lead and come from behind.

Race 6: Claiming $5,000, 3yo and up, 1 Mile

  1. 7- Puget Sound (5/2): Six-year-old veteran comes off a score at the $4,000 level at Penn National, consistently runs in the low 80s, which would probably be good enough to win this one.
  2. 4- Whiskey Sour (2/1): Went off as a heavy favorite against similar last out but was bumped and lost the jockey, ran figures as high as 92 when routing earlier in the year, merits respect.
  3. 1- Love Rules All (5/1): Ran a very strong 82 when chasing and fading last time out, figures to sit off the pace on the rail and may sit a great trip as such.

Race 7: Maiden Special Weight, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)

  1. 6- Ballivor (3/5): Ships down from Belmont, where he most recently finished sixth, beaten five lengths, cuts back in distance from 1 ¼ miles and trainer George Weaver is a strong 18% with horses coming off a 46-90 day layoff.
  2. 5- Kid Jeter (5/1): Improved his figure sharply when stretching out to 1 3/8 miles last time out, gets jockey upgrade to Daniel Centeno.
  3. 9- Aqua Teen (8/1): Has only raced twice on the grass, but improved up to a 79 last out, which is only a few points off of the career-best of the top contenders, has shown a lot of early speed and perhaps the experience will enable him to stretch out that speed all the way around.

Race 8: Allowance Optional Claiming (n/w2x), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 5 ½ Furlongs (Grass)

  1. 11- Blake’s Magic (4/1): Ran a big race going 6 ½ furlongs on the Santa Anita grass last out in her first start in a year and a half, makes her first start for the dangerous Ness barn and picks up Trevor McCarthy.
  2. 1- Koala Queen (7/2): Makes her first start at a sprint after five route efforts, set a fast pace going 1 1/16 miles last out before tiring, an effort like that over 5 ½ furlongs would do her well.
  3. 4- Smoke Signals (8/1): Broke her maiden in dominant style going this distance at Laurel last fall, makes her first start since February, but trainer Arnaud Delacour is 22% off a 90+ day layoff.

Race 9: Maiden Claiming $25,000, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)

  1. 8- Giles Fair (10/1):  Toss his last race where he tried to stretch out to 1 3/8 miles, and you’ve got a strong contender here, has run figures that contend with these, plus Shuman is a strong 26% with horses dropping down to the maiden claiming level.
  2. 6- Jarvis (8/5): Has run at least a 79 in three out of his last four races, any of those races would probably put him in the winners’ circle, 0-for-10 mark is concerning, however.
  3. 2- Flaming Humor (4/1): Second or third in each of his last three at this level, has improved his figure in each of his last three races, peaking at a 78 last out.