Laurel Park: Spot plays and horses to watch, December 26

by | Dec 26, 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 $227.72. The Jackpot Rainbow Pick 6 has a carryover of $1,271.34. Nine races are on the card, all on the dirt.

  • The second race is a $15,000 claimer going 5 1/2 furlongs, and it’s attracted a competitive filed of hard-knockers, including a pair who enter this event on three-race win streaks. This race figures to have plenty of early zip, with runners like #1 Carolina Gold (5-1), #4 Krista’s Persona (9-2), and #8 No More Excuses (10-1) likely to be involved in the early scramble. That should set this event up perfectly for a pair of runners who like to have a target in front of them: #3 Porte Cochere (9-2) and #6 Southern Peach (7-2). Porte Cochere is one of the duo entering with three straight wins, most recently rallying to win against similar going seven furlongs. The runner-up from that race, Lady Terp, returned to beat starter allowance foes. Porte Cochere, trained by Claudio Gonzalez, has won three of five at the distance and will have Kevin Gomez up. Southern Peach won at this level two back, benefiting from a perfect trip, and is four-for-10 at the trip. The Dale Capuano trainee will have Jevian Toledo up.


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

  • The fourth race is a maiden special weight test going 5 1/2 furlongs. The favorite in here will likely be #5 Took Over (9-5), a Tim Grams trainee who finished a well-beaten third against similar last out while earning a field-high 68 Beyer figure. He certainly could win, but Grams is 0-for-14 at Laurel Park in the last five years, which doesn’t exactly recommend taking short odds in this spot. We’ll give a look at #3 Belfour (6-1). The Cal Lynch trainee is making his career debut here, and Lynch clicks at 24 percent with horses debuting in maiden special weight company. His work tab is nothing special timewise, but he has a couple of five-eighths mile breezes under his belt, so he should be fit enough here. Plus, it’s interesting to note that Lynch has decided to start this Maryland-bred here, in maiden special company, rather than against $40,000 maiden claimers, which would be an easier spot and in which he could still be protected from being claimed. Rosario Montanez has the mount.