Laurel Park: Spot plays and horses to watch, November 25
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!
First post today 12:30 p.m. The late Pick 5 has no carryover. The Super Hi 5 has no carryover. The Jackpot Rainbow Pick 6 has a carryover of $6,521.92. Nine races are on the card. Laurel Park is off the turf today; selections at right were updated at 10:10 a.m. to reflect that.
- The third is a first level allowance sprint for two-year-olds on the turf (though staying on the turf is a dicey proposition this time of year). The favorite in here is #6 Devine Entry (2-1), a Linda Rice trainee who broke his maiden at Belmont before running up the track in the $100,000 Awad Stakes won by undefeated Therapist. Oddly enough, a year after winning the Laurel Park meet with ship-in horses, Rice is 0-for-9 at this meet. Regardless, while Devine Entry is certainly one to respect, we’re curious to see #5 Nautical Nature (5-2) in this spot. The Kathleen DeMasi trainee won easily at first asking last month at Laurel, and that race has produced a next-out winner in Clouded Judgement. Horacio Karamanos jumps ship to ride for Rice, but DeMasi will leg up Edgar Prado, who’s clicking at 23 percent at the meet.
TODAY’S FULL-CARD SELECTIONS
- Race 1 – 5-8-9-11
- Race 2 – 6-3-1-2
- Race 3 – 8-2-3-5
- Race 4 – 12-15-11-14
- Race 5 – 6-2-4-9
- Race 6 – 7-1-2-3
- Race 7 – 4-7-9-2
- Race 8 – 1-8-12-1A
- Race 9 – 10-3-9-8
- The fifth race is the $50,000 Donna Freyer Stakes, a South Carolina residency race for two-year-old fillies with a pretty interesting group. The morning line favorite is the Dove Houghton trainee #4 Wise Gal (5-2), and why not? She won her first two races, including the Selima Stakes, impressively before faltering in the $100,000 Chelsey Flower at Aqueduct. If you’re looking for a chink in her armor, it’s that this will be her first time on dirt. You wouldn’t expect that to be an issue — her breeding suggests it will be fine — but if you want to look around a bit, no one could blame you for that. Another horse worth considering is #2 Dialin (10-1). The daughter of Dialed In has a win from five starts to date. Last out she stumbled, rushed up, and then faded but gets a jockey switch today to Horacio Karamanos. If she can recapture her form of two races back — when second in the White Clay Creek, behind now-multiple stakes winner and Grade 3-placed Take Charge Paula — she has every right to compete with this group.
- The seventh is the day’s other South Carolina residency race, this one for the boys, and the field isn’t quite as accomplished as the filly version that’s race five. The favorite in here is #7 Hidden Funds (7-5), and while the Mike Pino trainee certainly could win, it’s hard to get too excited about him at short odds. He’s been third in Laurel Park allowance races in each of his last two starts. Of more interest is #9 Kitchen Fire (6-1). The Ron Potts-trained First Defence gelding found a good spot to get his career going this year at Presque Isle, where he won twice and racked up over $60,000 in earnings on the synthetic. His first foray onto the dirt, in the James F. Lewis, didn’t go so well, but note the trouble line; he was fractious enough in the gate that they had him backed out and examined before letting him race, and he chased and tired that day. Moreover, that was a plus group of horses; any one of the top trio would be a towering favorite in this event. Look for an improved effort here. Ricardo Chiappe is up.