Laurel Park: Spot plays and horses to watch, December 29

by | Dec 29, 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 $10,245.41. The Super Hi 5 has a carryover of $785.34. The Jackpot Rainbow Pick 6 has a carryover of $3,157.87. Nine races are on the card, all on the dirt.

  • The seventh is a $40,000 maiden claimer for two-year-old fillies going six furlongs on the main track with a field of 10 slated to line up. The tepid morning line favorite — and our horse to watch — is #7 Cherryandthehawk (7-2). The Phil Schoenthal trainee ran a reasonably good race on debut against similar, finishing fifth but beaten less than four lengths. That was earlier this month, and the daughter of El Padrino has followed up in the interim with a bullet half-mile — fastest of 27 — on December 22 in preparation for this spot. Schoenthal is adding blinkers, and Sheldon Russell retains the mount.


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

  • The eighth is an allowance/optional claimer for two-year-old fillies going a flat mile. The Cesar Nambo-trained #1 Vente to Go (7-2) gets the nod as a horse to watch. The filly beat claiming rivals to break her maiden and followed that up with a pair of seconds against allowance rivals before running third in the Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship. Though well beaten last out, there was no shame in running behind the talented Limited View that day; in her two back runner-up effort, she was a bit hampered by minor traffic issues and a fidgety ride. That race produced next out stake winner Fanniebellefleming, and, in addition to Vente to Go, another stakes-placed runner, winner Layla Noor, who was third in the Grade 2 Demoiselle in her follow-up. Horacio Karamanos will ride for the first time, and the return to a mile distance should help.