Laurel Park: Spot plays and horses to watch, December 18
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 $10,839. Nine races are on the card, all on the dirt.
- The third is a maiden claimer for two-year-olds going six furlongs, and the favorite here is also our horse to watch: #1 Arrivederci (9-5). This son of Girolamo just missed last out at this level, coughing up a lead late to fall short by a neck. Trainer Jamie Ness claimed him out of that last and gelded him — and Ness has a 39 percent strike rate first off the claim in maiden claiming company (15-for-41). Jevian Toledo (24 percent with Ness) has the mount.
TODAY’S FULL-CARD SELECTIONS
- Race 1 – 1-7-2-4
- Race 2 – 8-6-4-9
- Race 3 – 1-3-7-4
- Race 4 – 2-8-4-5
- Race 5 – 6-2-3-8
- Race 6 – 1-5-2-7
- Race 7 – 6-5-2-8
- Race 8 – 4-3-7-5
- Race 9 – 7-8-2-5
- Race five is another $25,000 maiden claimer, this one for older fillies and mares going 5 1/2 furlongs. The favorite here, #3 Sinai Inspired (2-1), is certainly a horse who deserves a spot on your ticket, dropping a tick off an even try last out for Phil Schoenthal. But we’re going to make our horse to watch #6 Springtime Wind (6-1). This Mike Trombetta trainee has had 10 shots to break her maiden, though all but two were at higher levels, usually maiden special weight. That suggests Trombetta thinks this horse has shown talent in the mornings, even if it hasn’t come out in the afternoon. In her lone dirt try at this level, she was beaten just a neck for all the money when finishing third. She’s been away since April — eight months — and she’s shortening up to a sprint from a series of routes. But… Trombetta has a 39 percent strike rate with maidens off long layoffs, including 9-for-17 (53 percent) when going route to sprint. Forest Boyce is up.
- The feature, race eight, is a first allowance going 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares. #4 Prevailing Party (2-1) took eight cracks to break her maiden, which she did last out going a flat mile. That day, she was the easiest sort of winner, powering home by almost five lengths under Sheldon Russell, who retains the mount. In her only other dirt route try, she was second to the well meant Well Humored, an Arnaud Delacour-trained daughter of Distorted Humor who then won a Keeneland allowance. She had a perfect trip last out, but with her tactical speed she ought to be able to find another good spot here, and we’re betting the lightbulb’s gone on. Russell will ride once again.