Laurel Park: Spot plays and horses to watch, October 23
Gary Quill is taking a brief hiatus from his GQ Approach full-card picks and analysis. In his stead, we present daily spot plays and horses to watch. Good luck!
- Race 5 is a second-level allowance/optional claiming race with a 5-2 favorite in the form of Dr. Blarney, a Massachusetts-bred who’s certainly made good use of that status, winning six times at Suffolk Downs over the last three seasons. Two back he took a first-level allowance at Delaware Park, fending off the challenge of Cedartown, who was second by a neck in a Keeneland allowance in his follow-up. Last out Dr. Blarney was up the track in a turf stake at Suffolk. But we’re more intrigued here by the Louis Albertrani trainee Honor the Fleet (4-1). The To Honor and Serve colt has kept better company than these, tackling top-quality rivals like then-undefeated Timeline in the G3 Pegasus and Pat Day Mile runner-up No Dozing in the Concern. Last out, he finished fourth in a salty Delaware Park allowance and shows a pair of bullet works at four and five furlongs in preparation for this event.
- In the seventh, a conditioned starter allowance going 1 1/16 miles on the turf, we’ll be keeping an eye on Repeat Repeat (5-1). The Michael Matz trainee’s first three starts pegged him as a “shows speed and fades” type, but in his last, a lifetime claiming event at the Meadowlands, he rallied from well off a fast pace to earn second, showing a new dimension. Here, he’s reunited with rider Alex Cintron, who piloted him to his only victory, and rates a legit shot to move forward, which would put him right in the mix.
- Several runners in the ninth, a maiden special weight going 1 1/16 miles on the turf, have already given you a pretty good idea of who they are in prior turf tries. One who has not is Biogenic (15-1), from the Graham Motion barn. This four-year-old Tapit colt “churned on with interest” in his last, when finishing third on the dirt, and now tries turf for the first time. While Biogenic’s dam, Biofuel (by Stormin Fever), didn’t show much in her only turf try, that came early in a career in which she won a couple of graded stakes on synthetic. This one’s making his second start off a long layoff, and if the turf moves him up at all, he could have something to say about the outcome here