Laurel Park Racing Notebook, Vol. 8

by | Aug 11, 2017 | Breaking, Maryland, MD Racing, Racing, Top Stories


Waterhaven (#6) won but was disqualified at Laurel on June 11. Photo by The Racing Biz.

by Frank Vespe

Our new Laurel Park racing notebook gives you the scoop on the weekend’s racing, even if you couldn’t make it out. Horses to watch, headlines from the weekend, leading jocks and trainers — it’s all here.

Check it out below.


  • Fireheart: Off at odds of 5-1 went to her knees when the gates opened, finding herself in unfamiliar territory (i.e. behind horses) because in all three previous career outings (on turf) led early. Though her jock was able to collect her, the damage had been done and trailed throughout this sprint contest that was originally scheduled to be run on turf.
  • Social Driven: Connections were living right as this MTO entry caught a field decimated by scratches due to coming off the turf but easily breezed by the early leader in mid-stretch with only a brief reminder with the whip and urging, at which time she found another gear to draw away becoming a two-time winner and galloped out quite strong. Future looks bright for this 3-year-old filly.
  • Real Power: In an off the turf $7,500 open claimer this 8-year-old was off slow, spotting rivals about six lengths, rushed up to join the group at the far turn, began to drop back shortly after then got a second-wind in mid-stretch rallying to get up for the runner-up spot.
  • Aunt Esther: Won debut by 11-lengths at Delaware Park but dumped rider exiting the starting gate at Laurel in second start when bet to 4-1 third choice. Had rail post that day and showed no fear challenging and causing havoc for other riders early.
  • Magic Cookie: In a race where she was considered “lone speed”, broke a step slow and was rushed up between rivals soon after then was taken to rate off the leader, dropped in to chase and had nothing left after expending most of her energy early.
  • Jumpstartmyheart: On a day that favored early speed on the turf, she made up a ton of ground in the stretch to earn the SHOW purse in her first two-turn, grass try after a pair of turf uninspiring turf sprints. Another effort like this one on a turf course that “plays fair” will likely be her maiden breaker.



In the table at right, you can see the top 10 jockeys by wins at the meet, including their earnings per start and return on $2 wagering investment. The last figure is the jock’s earnings per start multiplied by return on wagering investment compared with the median jockey who’s made at least 20 starts. The comparative figure rewards riders for winning frequently in lucrative races and for winning with non-favorites. So, for example, Victor Carrasco’s figure is almost twice as high (1.94 times) as the median jockey.

The big movers this week were Forest Boyce and Alex Cintron, each of whom won four times. Cintron’s comparative figure of 4.34 is easily the best among the top 10 jocks by wins. It’s not, however, the overall best in the colony; that belongs to Daniel Centeno (6.76), whose eight wins from just 23 starts leave him just below the top 10 by wins. He won with three of seven mounts this past weekend, has a positive ROI, and owns the colony’s highest earnings per start at more than $14,000.

[table id=190 /]
[table id=188 /]

The table at left lists the top 10 trainers by wins at the meet, including number of wins, earnings per start, and return on $2 wagering investment. The final figure multiplies each trainer’s ROI and earnings per start and compares that number of the median of all trainers who have made at least 10 starts. It rewards trainers for winning lucrative races and for winning with non-favorites. So, for example, Hugh McMahon’s 2.07 comparative figure is just more than twice as high as the colony’s median trainer.

Phil Schoenthal had the best weekend — by far — of any trainer at Laurel last weekend. Schoenthal won with five of six starters and now has 10 wins from 42 starters on the meet. His comparative figure of 3.85 is fourth highest in the top 10 but well behind Arnaud Delacour’s meet-leading figure of 8.37. Delacour has 10 wins from 21 starts — 48 percent — and a meet-high $17,000 in earnings per start.

Trainers not among the top 10 by wins but with highly rated comparative figures include Horacio DePaz (four wins, 5.35 comparative), Susan Cooney (three, 4.10), and Michael Matz (four, 3.84).