Laurel Park: Spot plays and horses to watch, December 5

by | Dec 8, 2017 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland

Edgar Prado

Edgar Prado smiles after Always Thinking won the Sensible Lady Turf Dash. Photo by Dottie Miller.

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 $1,970.46. Nine races are on the card, all on the dirt.

  • The seventh race is a $40,000 maiden claimer for two-year-olds going a mile on the main track. The strong favorite in here is #8 Yes Means No (3-5), and the Robbie Bailes trainee might be too good for what is a pretty nondescript group for the level. But he was the beaten 4-5 favorite last out — and really was pretty well beaten — so if you’re inclined to go fishing for another horse in here, we won’t discourage that. Your best option looks to be #5 Bustoff (5-1), trained by Lynn Ashby. The Haynesfield colt flattened out a little late last out one step down on the class ladder, ending up second in a four-horse photo, beaten a neck. He stretches out to a mile for the first time today, and his breeding says he’ll appreciate the added ground; both Haynesfield and Bustoff’s dam, Grecian Maiden, by Ghostzapper, did their best work at or beyond a mile. Two of five from that last race — both of which finished behind Bustoff — returned to graduate next out. We generally hate moving a maiden up off a defeat (and don’t much like it here), but if you’re trying to beat the 3-5 favorite… well, did we mention it’s a pretty nondescript group?


  • Race 1 – 4-3-7-2
  • Race 2 – 3-2-4-5
  • Race 3 – 2-1-5-4
  • Race 4 – 4-6-2-3
  • Race 5 – 7-8-4-5
  • Race 6 – 2-1-7-1a
  • Race 7 – 5-8-1-6
  • Race 8 – 3-1-2-7
  • Race 9 – 4-7-1-5

  • Speaking of trying to beat favorites who might be too good, the eighth is a Maryland-bred allowance going 1 1/8 miles on the dirt — a distance seemingly as rare as hen’s teeth around these parts. The favorite here is the Mike Trombetta trainee #1 No Picnic (2-1), who was defeated at 1-2 odds last out against open allowance foes; the sophomore Include filly loomed a threat at the head of the lane but didn’t really go on with the top pair, finishing third, beaten by over four lengths. She may have been hindered by being down inside throughout on a day when most winners were a couple of paths off the rail, and if that’s the case, she has every right to run well here against easier company. But she’s also wheeling back on short rest, and Trombetta has a 2-for-22 ledger in similar cirucmstances. Let’s take a look instead at #3 Money for Maria (5-2). The Mertkan Kantarmaci trainee has won her last three starts when racing two turns on a track rated fast, and she brings jock Eddie Rivera along for the ride. She’s been beating lesser rivals, certainly, but she has been thumping them: by a combined 9+ lengths in her last two starts. And she’s shown the ability to lead or to stalk, which might make her the main speed in this seven-horse field.
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