Laurel Park: Spot plays and horses to watch, December 16

by | Dec 16, 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 a carryover of $4,672.63. The Super Hi 5 has a carryover of $651.11. The Jackpot Rainbow Pick 6 has a carryover of $7,490.14. Eight races are on the card, all on the dirt.

  • The sixth is a first-level allowance for two-year-olds with a field of eight teed up. The even-money favorite here, from the Linda Rice barn, is #5 Devine Entry, who defeated similar last out but was erratic in the lane and impeded a rival. He obviously could be formidable in here, but note that trainer Rice, a year after winning the training title locally, is just 0-for-11 at this meet. The runner-up who was elevated to first in Devine Entry’s most recent try, Oldfashioned Club, made his next start in a starter allowance at Parx Racing, where he ran third as the favorite. Also in that event was #3 Seven Gems (7-2), our horse to watch. He finished seventh that day after a nightmarish trip: he bumped the gate at the start, rushed up inside, was shut off entering the turn and lost position, and in the lane the rider did not persevere further with him. Prior to that, he’d dusted maiden claiming rivals by eight lengths, with the runner-up returning to defeat similar. Here, if he can get away from the gate in order, the Michael Moore trainee figures to have a chance to grab the early advantage and take ’em as far as he can. Feargal Lynch will ride.


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

  • The eighths is a second-level allowance going 1 1/16 miles, and we’re going to take a shot with our horse to watch. #4 Jeezum Jim (15-1) hasn’t shown much in his last four starts, dating back to June. But one of those was on the turf, and the last two were six-furlong sprints; three of his four career wins have come at today’s 1 1/16 mile trip. Last out, rider Franklin Ceballos, who’s also up today, looked to have a mittful of horse for much of the way but no place to put him, and in the lane he never asked him for his best. His earlier form would fit in this group; after he won a first allowance, his next three tries were won by Matt King Coal (twice) and Page McKenney — both runners clearly better than today’s rivals. Today, in his third off a layoff and stretching back out to his preferred distance, this Gary Capuano trainee has a chance to outrun likely long odds.