The GQ Approach – Laurel February 17

by | Feb 17, 2018 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland, MD Racing

Great Soul takes the 2016 Wide Country. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

The GQ Approach features full-card selections from Laurel Park for the live winter racing meet, Post Time 12:30pm EST including a daily Best Bet, Longshot Play, and multi-race wagers — including the 20 cent Rainbow Pick-6, 50 cent Early and Late Pick-5s, as well as Pick-4s and rolling Doubles, Pick-3s and the Super High-5.

[su_box title=”Today’s Carryovers” style=”glass” box_color=”#66ADCC”]
  • Rainbow Pick 6: $3,384.63
  • Super High 5: $1,689.80
  • Late Pick 5: none[/su_box]
[su_box title=”GQ’s Handicapping Tip of the Day” style=”glass” box_color=”#66ADCC”][stray-random][/su_box]
[su_box title=”Best Bet of the Day” style=”glass” box_color=”#66ADCC”]Race 10 / #9 – Ms Locust Point (4-1)[/su_box]
[su_box title=”Longshot Play of the Day” style=”glass” box_color=”#66ADCC”] Race 8 / #1 – Frigid Sister (10-1)[/su_box]
[su_box title=”Multi-race Wagers” style=”glass” box_color=”#66ADCC”]
  • Race 1 – $2 Double  2, 6  w/ 6, 8  ($8)
  • Race 3 – 50 cent Pick-3  4, 5, 6  w/ 3, 4, 5  w/ 3, 4 ($9)
  • Race 7 – 50 cent Pick-5  4, 6, 7  w/ 1, 2, 3  w/ 4, 7  w/ 6, 9  w/ 5, 7 ($36)
  • Race 10 – $2 Double  9  w/ 1, 5, 7, 8 ($8)

[su_heading size=”21″ align=”left”]Analysis[/su_heading]

  • Weather: Cloudy with rain/snow late afternoon, highs in the mid-30s
  • Scheduled turf races: NONE
  • Projected track conditions… Main: GOOD to FAST

1st race Post Time 12:30pm EST

Race 1

  1. #2 – Dear Charlotte (4-1): Third race after a brief layoff this 21-time loser ran a very credible race v. $10kN2L rallying to finish less than four-lengths behind winner; reminder: she’s a maiden 
  2. #6 – Jah Grace (3-1): Only filly dropping in the maiden ranks as last race came 2 months ago, a third-place finish in which the runner-up came back to graduate when dropped to $10kMCL
  3. #1 – Vinny Gorgeous (8-1): Got an education in debut against a tougher group filled with class droppers than she’ll face today but needs to get off the rail ASAP

Race 2

  1. #8 – Punch Nephew (3-1): Nice outside post gives this gelding relief from the dreaded rail which he’s been stuck breaking from #1 or #2 last three outings v. better
  2. #6 – Down in the Holler (5-1): While going off at double-digit odds, BRIS#s have improved in each of his three starts following a one-year vacation; cut back in distance makes him a Stalker today
  3. #5 – Kopper Wired (9-2): Gets class relief and different jock in hopes of a better result and not traveling nearly 8-wide on the turn; still asking a lot of this 1 for 28 runner to hit wire first

Race 3

  1. #5 – Parade of Nations (3-1): Had one hellava three-year-old campaign but hit a bump in the road in Nov., claimed and appears to be getting back to old form
  2. #6 – Mythos (4-1): 6 furlongs is too short but 1 1/16 miles may not have been too long, just that the competition was so stiff; back to a level and distance this 7-year-old can handle
  3. #4 – Any Court Inastorm (7-2): Has felt the wrath of rivals while exiting the starting gate in last two efforts may have compromised better placings; a clean start could reverse his fortunes 
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Race 4

  1. #4 – Silver Cowboy (7-2): Early speed along the rail going one mile in latest but weakened late compared to coming ajust off the pace two back to win easily and earned career best 99 BRIS#
  2. #5 – Tam Tam Attack (5-2): Leading trainer C. Gonzalez dropped this one multiple levels to get confidence back, and did she ever with a 5+ length win; takes logical step up
  3. #3 – The Great Ronaldo (10-1): Change of tactics from early speed to deep closer by trainer J. Salzman, Jr. last summer seems to be paying off; D. Thorpe who was in the irons for last win gets back aboard

Race 5 is the $100k John B. Campbell

  1. #3 – Afleet Willy (1-1): Winner of 4 of his last 5, all versus similar stakes competition where the only lost came in a sprint; love the Laurel dirt strip (15: 7-4-1) and being on the early lead but has also come from off the pace to win as he did in the Richard Small last November; today’s foes lack the need for the lead so expect to J. Torres try to make every pole a winning one 
  2. #4 – Zanotti (3-1): Pulled off a shocker in winning the $100k Queens County at Aqu when ignored (38-1) in first start stretching out to 1 1/8 miles and just second against stakes company; claimed for $30k eight races back by Prx-based trainer J. Guerrero (22%) converted him from sprinter to router to the tune of $217,660 in earnings; BRIS#s have continued to climb in each of his last 7 outings, earning a 100 in latest
  3. #6 – Datt Melody (15-1): This career allowance level runners’ 32nd start will be his first in a stakes; catches a 6 lb. weight break, not surprising is 1 for 1 at the distance based on pedigree (by Unbridled’s Song out of an A.P. Indy mare) while 7 of 9 lifetime victories have come on turf (3) or an off track (4) but best speed figure was earned on a fast track; at the ripe age of 8 the pace scenario sets up nicely to stalk the early leader(s) and still be around to hit the board 

Race 6 is the $100k Miracle Wood

  1. #1 – Still Having Fun (8-5): The MJC Racing Office did this Old Fashioned colt no favors drawing the rail in his distance progression from 7 to 8 furlongs; can boast the best BRIS# (95) to date among this group; appeared to have plenty left in the tank in cruising to a 4+ length victory in the Frank B. Whiteley stakes last month; looks to be a wise investment as Gary Barber and Wachtel Stables bought a piece of him after his career debut win
  2. #3 – V.I.P. Code (6-1): Bounced back nicely to earn the SHOW purse in the Whiteley behind the top pick and Wentz in first start since throwing out the anchor in the G2 Remsen; should take another step forward and could get a break if track is “off” as best effort came in lone try going one mile
  3. #5 – Wentz (5-2): Only one of the seven entered who is not Triple Crown nominated in spite of having the pedigree to get the classic distance; trainer John Servis (27% with shippers into Lrl) adds blinkers to this Super Saver colt who was second best to Still Having Fun in latest  

Race 7 is the $100k MD Racing Media

  1. #6 – In the Navy Now (10-1): Has been in the exacta in seven straight and closed to take the Nellie Morse last out despite sluggish early pace; has been third or better in 15 consecutive races, only missing the money in her first three starts; if it’s an off track – no problem, as the Midshipman mare has been second in two off tries 
  2. #4 – Line of Best Fit (9-2): Trainer C. Gonzalez trainee just missed in the Nellie Morse after some minor trip troubles, drawn a bit more inside today at a distance where post position matters; has stakes win at 7f but career-best effort was at two turns when third behind the great Songbird in G1 Delaware Handicap
  3. #7 – Sherini (8-1): Couldn’t get by last out when loose-on-the-lead Just Got Out held on to win modest version of the Ladies at Aqu, but lightly raced kid half-sis to Shackleford still has some upside and makes just third start since September 2016 her;. Jock F. Lynch won on this Motion trainee two back over the strip, and the trainer-jock combo has a positive ROI

Race 8 is the $250k G3 General George

  1. #1 – Frigid Sister (10-1): $$$ LONGSHOT $$$ Giving this one a big chance due to the pace setup she’ll get as most of her six foes are quick from the gate and she’ll be content to break last, enjoy the scenery for the first half mile then kick it into gear for the stretch run as her leg weary rivals struggle to hold her off; considered to be the lesser of the uncoupled Flint Stites entry but jock J. Hernandez may have chosen the wrong mount in this rodeo
  2. #3 – Enchanted Ghost (3-1): Game effort in stakes debut when third behind local multiple stakes winner and (#7) Last True Love #7; that followed a pair of wins as the lightbulb came on in fourth career outing; should be forwardly placed coming off sprint yet has stamina to continue to compete at this level
  3. #2 – Deep Red (6-1): Most experienced filly in this event has learned how to relax which will benefit her greatly versus these six rivals; beat a nice group of sprinters in 3-year-old debut following her runner-up finish to local monster (Limited View) in MD Juv. Fillies Championship while the third-place finisher (Vente to Go) easily defeated an OC$50kN1x group here a few weeks ago

Race 9 is the $100k Wide Country

  1.  #4 – It’s the Journey (6-1): Looks to turn the tables on Awesome Banner as his rally came up a half-length short in the $100k Fire Plug which was at 6 furlongs; traveling an extra furlong here could prove to be the difference; makes third start after layoff
  2. #7 – Fellowship (12-1): Two years ago was on the Derby Trail earning black type in FOY and FL Derby; has become a versatile runner winning sprints and routes but not in graded stakes; earned personal best 100 BRIS# in 6 furlong sprint here 3 weeks ago in OC$32kn3x
  3. #2 – Awesome Banner (7-2): Five-year-old finally flashed speed and winning form in first start of 2018 with a victory in the $100k Fire Plug, reminiscent of the way his career began three years ago winning two graded stakes; question is can he build on that win or bounce

Race 10 is the $300k G2 Barbara Fritchie

  1. #9 – Ms Locust Point (4-1): *** BEST BET *** Has toyed with competition in all three outings since returning to races from a nine- month layoff; only off the board finish came in lone graded stakes try but that ended her 3-year-old campaign in which something went amiss; hasn’t fully reached her potential but missed a work due to weather yet still confident she can prevail
  2. #6 – Berned (6-1): Huge effort as upset (8-1) winner of $100k Safely Kept on local oval in Nov. to post career best BRIS# 100; appears trainer G. Motion discovered she’s at her best in middle distances after knocking heads with the best 3-year-old fillies last year; a six-pack of perfectly placed drills has her primed for a top effort 
  3. #7 – Moiety (15-1): Overcame a terrible start in minor stakes at Mvr in last outing which was 3-months ago; draw a line through G2 Chilukki going one mile and you have one capable of an upset

Race 11

  1. #5 – Simonela (5-2): earned nearly $50k last year in 14 starts as a two-year-old in maiden ranks; drops to $25k for just second time in career; long wait to graduate may be over unless on of the FTS is well meant
  2. #7 – Katmai Delta (7-2): KY-bred FTS by star stud Into Mischief out of a Dance Master mare started career prep work at CD last summer then arrived at Lrl in Dec. after a 3-month break; jock/trainer combo of T. Keefe and S. Russell been winning at 28% clip at the meet
  3. #1 – Yes I Dance (12-1): KY-bred FTS by Yes It’s True out of a Forest Camp mare has an extensive work tab at Pen, one at Aqu and last four at CT with a few bullets; attracts one of CT’s leading riders


  • On Friday February 16th at Laurel had 6 winners from the 9-race card (x Top Selections; payoff in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $5.00 (3rd race), $6.80 (4th), $11.00 (5th), $7.20 (6th), $8.00 (8th) and $10.00 (9th). Top Selections are 57 for 164 (34.76%). In 2017, Top Selections went 340 for 1,197 (28.40%).
  • BEST BET of the Day (18:5-2-3; in 2017 119: 39-25-19) Tricky Lion (6th race: 9-5 M/L; 5-2 PT) broke alertly from the rail, cleared foes and took to the 4-path setting quick early fractions but had plenty left in the tank to win easily by three-lengths and returned $7.20 to WIN, $3.40 to PLACE and $2.40 to SHOW.
  • LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day (17:4-3-2; in 2017 107: 18-13-15) Zestful (7th race: 6-1 M/L; 7-2 PT) three wide on the turn, angled to the five-path in upper stretch and lacked a rally to finished sixth.