HORSES TO WATCH
- IN THE LEE – Homebred Tapit filly for Stuart Janney prevailed at first asking in a race that was a bit faster than the boys’ version earlier on the card — and the filly allowance race later. She closed nicely to run down the pacesetter, 7-5 favorite West Coast Bias…
- SHIRLEYS CURLS – Made a spirited late run to finish third, beaten by a neck for all the money, in a first allowance. With O. K. Kay doling out a modest pace, this Ferris Allen trainee was the only runner from the back half of the field early to make up ground late, closing from last to the show spot…
- FAZE THE NATION – Horse for the course won for the sixth time in 10 tries at Laurel Park July 1, narrowly prevailing while well wide over 1-2 favorite Ascertain. The Phil Schoenthal trainee has won five of eight starts this year with two runner-up finishes.
- THE HARDEST WAY – Probably deserved a better fate than second after setting wicked early fractions going 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf — 21. 39 seconds for the opening quarter, 43.83 for the half — in his first try since January. Uncle Mo colt figures to be tough next time out
- MADAME X – The time was nothing special — 1:03.97 for 5 1/2 furlongs on the speedy turf course — but the way this Susan Cooney-trained Exchange Rate filly did it was. She popped the latches on top and simply ran her juvenile maiden special weight rivals off their feet, romping to a nine-length victory.
- DA DA DA DUDE — In his first try on turf, this Horacio DePaz trainee set a solid early pace and held well to be second, nipped in the late going by a neck by firster Nauti Buoy.
- DEBUT RUNNERS IMPRESS in maiden scores
- JOCKEY PIMENTEL INJURED, likely to miss three months
- LAUREL PARK ANNOUNCES fall stakes schedule
- SHELDON RUSSELL POSTS solid weekend, with three winners from just nine mounts
- CLAUDIO GONZALEZ LEADS trainers with three-win weekend
It’s crowded atop the Laurel Park jockey standings, with Victor Carrasco, with 14 wins at the meet, holding a narrow lead over Jevian Toledo (13) and Sheldon Russell (12).
Carrasco won three during the past weekend, as did Russell, who scored with a couple of longshots and with three of just nine mounts overall. Russell has the colony’s best overall in-the-money percentage among regular riders here, with 52 percent of his mounts landing in the top three.
All of the top three are providing bettors a positive return on investment thus far in the meet, with Toledo’s winners returning $18 per $2 wager and Russell’s bringing $17.70.
JOCKEYS AND TRAINERS[table id=165 /]
Five trainers won at least two races at Laurel Park last weekend, with Claudio Gonzalez leading the way (with three wins and all four of his starters finishing in the money).
Susan Cooney, Dove Houghton, and Milan Milosevic all went two-for-two, while Damon Dilodovico was two-for-three.
But in the aggregate, all are straining to keep up with Kieron Magee, who has nine wins from 29 starts thus far. That gives him a three-win edge over Gonzalez. They’re followed by Cal Lynch, Mike Trombetta, and Phil Schoenthal, each of whom has five wins thus far during the stand.