Laurel Park: Spot plays and horses to watch, December 30

by | Dec 30, 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!

Early first post today: 12:00 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 $3,997.85. Ten races are on the card, all on the dirt.

  • The fourth is the seven-furlong Heft Stakes for two-year-old going seven furlongs, with a competitive field of 10 set to go. The favorite here is #5 Diamond King (5-2), who’s won two of three, the lone defeat, last out, in the Grade 3 Kentucky Jockey Club when he lost his rider. Our horse to watch here, though, though is #7 A Different Style (3-1). The John Servis trainee finished a couple of lengths behind Diamond King in both runners’ debuts, but the John Servis trainee also owns the single best performance of any runner here: his win in the James F. Lewis came over stalwarts Kowboy Karma and Barry Lee, both stakes winners and graded placed. Johnny Bisono comes in to ride this son of The Factor, who’s had a trio of five-furlong works in preparation.


  • Race 1 – 6-7-5-3
  • Race 2 – 3-1-6-2
  • Race 3 – 4-1-2-5
  • Race 4 – 7-5-9-3
  • Race 5 – 3-4-9-6
  • Race 6 – 2-8-6-9
  • Race 7 – 1-6-2-7
  • Race 8 – 7-12-9-5
  • Race 9 – 4-13-1-7
  • Race 10 – 2-3-4-7

  • The sixth is the $75,000 Jennings Stakes at one mile for Maryland-breds, and our horse to watch is the 2015 winner of this race, #2 Noteworthy Peach (12-1). The Gary Capuano trainee made his first start of the year last out in the six-furlong Howard Bender Memorial, running evenly en route to a fifth-place finish. Though he didn’t make much impact on the race, it was an even effort, and Capuano liked it enough to move onto this event, contested at this horse’s favorite one-mile distance (he’s five-for-seven at the trip). Jevian Toledo, who rode this runner numerous times, including in his ’15 win here, takes the mount. He’ll need to step forward, but that’s not implausible in his second start since November 2016, and if he can find his way back to his better form, he could make a splash here.
  • Some other popular runners in action on the card:
    • Limited View (7-2) — Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship winner looks for a fourth-straight win against a challenging field in the Gin Talking at seven furlongs;
    • Recruiting Ready (4-1) and El Areeb (15-1) both are entered in the six-furlong Dave’s Friend. The former, a Sagamore product who’s been awfully tough at the distance, has been away since June. The latter, a Triple Crown hopeful until injury struck, will make his second start since May.