Laurel Park: Spot plays and horses to watch, October 27
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 6 is a good-looking maiden special weight event for two-year-olds going six furlongs that, after the scratch of #1 Swingstage, has drawn 10 runners. The overwhelming, even-money favorite is #7 Tricks to Doo (1-1). This Into Mischief colt cost Lael Stables $600,000 as a two-year-old in training this past March and gave positive indications in his debut. He ran third in a Keeneland maiden race on debut, and that race was a solid one: more than three-fifths faster than the other division of the same race, and faster in the opening half-mile than a Grade 2 race for older fillies and mares on the same card. Trainer Delacour clicks at 34 percent with two-year-olds making their second starts after finishing in the money on debut. If you want to single this horse, you’ll find no argument here. Want to look around? Delacour has another runner in here who’ll offer more value in the form of #9 Talon (6-1), a Candy Ride colt who was a $17,000 auction purchase and is making his debut. He scratched out of a spot at Delaware October 11 to await this one, is a half-brother to the graded stakes-placed Fully Living (who won on debut as a juvenile), and gets Daniel Centeno in the irons. And then again, there’s the Larry Jones-trained #4 Create Again (6-1), who failed twice as the favorite at Delaware. Maybe the third time — and the addition of Alex Cintron in the irons — is the charm?
- The seventh is a third-level allowance going 1 1/16 miles on the turf, and there are a lot of ways to go here. The morning line favorite is #8 English Minister (2-1), fresh off a win against allowance foes at Belmont, but those expected short odds are a little tough to take on a horse who’s won just four of 38 career starts. More promising from a value perspective is #2 Tizzarunner (7-2). The Mike Maker trainee rallied from out of it to best allowance foes here last out and while his form looks a bit inconsistent, a closer look reveals his off-color races came over soft ground he probably didn’t like and against Grade 3 foes a year ago in the Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs. His last two tries against allowance types both have netted victories, and the closer seems likely to get something to run at here in a field that includes stretching-out sprinter #5 Uncle Youdge (12-1) and #7 Xmas Sky (12-1), who ran a pretty good race on the front end at long odds last out in the G2 BWI Turf Cup.
- The eighth is a second-level allowance for fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track that’s attracted plenty of horses with early zip, among them #5 Littlefirefighter (8-1), #6 Liz’s Cable Girl (7-2), and #8 Jessica Krupnick (6-1). If a speed duel develops, then horses running late figure to have a chance to take advantage, and one of those who could is #7 If I Was a Boy (10-1). The late-running Jump Start filly has the problem many closers do, that of arriving a little bit too late to the scene. Still, she has a couple of wins at the distance. While her last wasn’t very good — a fifth-place finish on the slop at Laurel, she may not have liked the going; she’s zero-for-three on off tracks. The two-back race could be the key here: she finished third and was well-beaten, but the runaway winner, Crabcakes, returned to win the Maryland Million Distaff this past Saturday, and runner-up Swing and Sway was a near-miss second in a Keeneland allowance in her follow-up to a graded stakes-placed runner. Liz’s Cable Girl finished fifth that day. Jevian Toledo will ride.
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