Laurel Park: Spot plays and horses to watch, December 17

by | Dec 17, 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 a carryover of $651.20. The Jackpot Rainbow Pick 6 has a carryover of $8,526.53. Eight races are on the card, all on the dirt.

  • The first is a $40,000 maiden claimer going 5 1/2 furlongs on the dirt for two-year-old fillies with Maryland-breds allowed to waive the claiming tag. The favorite in here is #3 Miss Saffron (8-5), who’s been second three straight against similar. She’s obviously a horse to include in multi-race wagers, but her likely short odds and penchant for being the runner-up don’t endorse her to those making win bets. Our horse to watch here is #2 Affezionamente (8-1), a daughter of Flatter making her career debut. The Phil Schoenthal trainee cost $150,000 at auction — and is one of those Maryland-breds not running for the tag — and is a full-sister to a stakes-placed runner who also won at first asking in December of her two-year-old season. This miss began training in the summer before getting a couple of months off, returning in October to ready for her career debut. Schoenthal doesn’t have a great win percentage with juvenile firsters, but he has a positive ROI. Carlos Quinones is up.


  • Race 1 – 2-4-3-5
  • Race 2 – 6-2-4-5
  • Race 3 – 5-4-1-2
  • Race 4 – 4-5-1-6
  • Race 5 – 5-4-7-6
  • Race 6 – 3-5-4-7
  • Race 7 – 2-10-4-7
  • Race 8 – 3-2-4-1
  • Race 9 – 2-7-3-6

  • The sixth is a first allowance for older runners going seven furlongs with a field of seven. The lukewarm favorite here is #4 Spirit Grabber (3-1), who’s been fourth in his last two starts. The horse we’re watching here is #3 Too Awesome (8-1). The Graham Motion-trained Awesome Again colt won fairly easily at first asking going a mile — but that was over a year ago. The two-year-olds he beat that day comprised a solid enough group, and the group gathered for this event is fairly middling. Motion has a strong record — 19 percent over the last five years — in bringing horses back off long layoffs, and he’ll be legging up one of his go-to riders in Feargal Lynch.