The GQ Approach – Laurel June 23

by | Jun 23, 2018 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland, MD Racing

Laurel Park

First turf race of the 2018 season at Laurel Park. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.

The GQ Approach features full-card selections from Laurel Park for the live summer racing meet, Post Time 1:10pm EDT 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: none
  • Super High 5: $9,575.74
  • Late Pick 5: $6,473.17[/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 7 / #7 –  Northern Eclipse (2-1)[/su_box]
[su_box title=”Longshot Play of the Day” style=”glass” box_color=”#66ADCC”] Race 10 /#4 – Determined Vision (12-1)[/su_box]
[su_box title=”Multi-race Wagers” style=”glass” box_color=”#66ADCC”]
  • Race 1 – $2 Double  6, 8, 9  w/ 2, 4 ($12)
  • Race 3 – 50 cent Pick-3  1, 3, 7 w/ 3, 5, 10 w/ 1, 4, 6 ($13.50)
  • Race 7 – 50 cent Pick-5  4, 7 w/ 7 w/ ALL w/ 2, 4 w/ 4, 6, 12, 14 ($56)
  • Race 10 – $2 Double 2, 4 w/ 4, 6, 12 ($12)

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

  • Weather: Mostly Cloudy with showers; highs in the upper-70s
  • Scheduled turf races: 1st, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th
  • Projected track conditions: Main – GOOD/ Turf – FIRM

1st Race Post Time 1:10pm EDT

Race 1 is ON THE TURF

  1. #6 – Royal Crusader (6-1): The logical runners in here on paper are skipping a condition or two, so land on this gelding who has been facing tougher on dirt but has done well sprinting on Lrl lawn (3:0-2-1); can handle first two-turn try on turf
  2. #9 – Qualify (3-1): Third start after 22-month layoff; this 8-year-old goes postward for just 15th time; gave up lead late in latest v. open $20k claimers
  3. #8 – Strong (12-1): Won lone Lrl start on turf v. $10kN3L in Nov. ’16; just two starts since; latest was last month following 17-month absence immediately after trainer N. Morris claim for $15k

Race 2

  1. #4 – Halite (3-1): KY-bred FTS by Lookin At Lucky out of a Salt Lake mare fetched $75k as a weanling; has a sparkling worktab at Fai for trainer M. Stidham’s only entry on the card; lures H. Karamanos off ML favorite (#6)
  2. #2 – True Cat (6-1): Second start with blinkers as first came in turf sprint after 9-month layoff a few weeks ago; runner-up in last two dirt tries; should get a nice stalking trip
  3. #6 – Smart Step (2-1): Makes third career start, first since mid-Dec. when he earned SHOW purse behind future graded stakes placed runner; trainer M. Eppler gets long layoff runners to Winners’ Circle at a 25% clip; would rather see this Gio Ponti colt on turf

Race 3

  1. #7 – Tam Tam Attack (7-5): Prohibitive favorite is only runner whose been facing better, albeit on turf but has back class on dirt as well; beat $5kN3L three back; gets 7 lb. bug who is 1 for 1 for trainer R. Leaf
  2. #3 – Jifquick (2-1): 10-year-old nearly pulled off a 60-1 shocker on the fast, main Pim oval in latest; if he can muster up an identical effort today he gets trainer C. DeMario to the Lrl Winners’ Circle for the first time since Aug. 2015
  3. #1 – Icelake (9-2): Disappointed backers on multi-level drop to this level at Pim; faced plenty of early speedsters who he could not hang with but only see one in here (#4); counting on J. Torres (jock change) to gun from the rail
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Race 4 is ON THE TURF

  1.   #3 – Monte Crista (9-5): Half-sister to graded stakes winner Just Howard goes for the natural Hat Trick to keep her record perfect on the turf; proved she has tactic speed in latest at Mth and should have plenty of targets turning for home
  2. #5 – Irish Access (8-1): Should get a nice price on this gal who seeks her second win in eighth outing; both #8 and #9 have already beaten her but today she gets a favorable pace scenario
  3. #10 – Shotdowninflames (12-1): Fresh off maiden score when equipped with blinkers while making turf debut; previous two career outings were third-place efforts behind a pair of stakes caliber buzzsaws

Race 5 is the Nellie Mae Cox Stakes ON THE TURF

  1. #6 – Armoire (9-5): Runner-up to #4 in this event last year; the difference will be the pace as this Closer should get help from rivals early to soften up the favorite and break her string of three bridesmaid finishes over this Lrl turf course in as many tries
  2. #4 – Queen Caroline (8-5): Tries for the three-peat in this event; if she has an Achilles Heel it may be a less-than-firm surface; has failed twice before in first outing after a long layoff
  3. #1 – Drop Dead Red (10-1): Mth-based runner is trainer K. Breen’s lone entry on the card; claimed two back for $25k and immediately won an off the turf stakes; had an excuse in lone turf start in restricted stakes here in 2016

Race 6      

  1. #4 – Huyana (5-2): Seemed to like the sloppy surface or blinkers in latest; this 3-year-old faced tough peers on fast tracks in the Spring appears to be maturing as a racehorse
  2. #1 – The Walk (3-1): Third start after 10-month layoff, second with blinkers; stretches out beyond sprint distance for first time since an overmatched try in G3 Jerome over a year ago  
  3. #5 – Broad Expanse (8-1): This Curlin gelding showed no interest in three-year-old debut sprinting at Del against much tougher peers; connections placing him where he can be successful

Race 7 is the M. Tyson Gilpin Stakes ON THE TURF

  1. #7 – Northern Eclipse (2-1): *** BEST BET *** Don’t see any foes quick enough to challenge this mare early; makes first start since Nov. but has been working steadily in A.M. for return; has hit the board in all 14 turf outings but loves a course with some give to it (4:3-1-0); fourth in this event last year behind #8 and #2 when having to go too fast too early
  2. #8 – Do What I Say (5-2): Defending champ who took advantage of a quick early pace to catch leg-weary leaders late; taking same route as last year as she got a nice tightener in last month
  3. #4 – What the Beep (4-1): Stakes newcomer is real threat to upset the returning trio; a perfect 2 for 2 on (Lrl) turf will need to run a career best to get to the wire first v. elders here

Race 8 is the Edward Evans Stakes ON THE TURF

  1. #7 – Sticksstatelydude (9-5): NY-based runner crashes this restricted event thanks to trainer K. McLaughlin prudent $80k claim two back; this graded-stakes dirt winner gets first turf win with same efforts as first two on turf
  2. #3 – Special Envoy (8-5): Third time in this event, won it by a whisker last year over same gal who beat her the year before; seeks fourth straight victory but this 7-year-old has never won off the bench; last outing was 9-months ago
  3. #1 – River Deep (3-1): Draw a line through last start as it had to be a public work out because sprinting on dirt is not her strong suit; she’s 3 for 3 on the Lrl lawn going gate-to-wire

Race 9

  1. #5 – Doddsprivatelabel (5-2): No surprise this 7-year-old woke-up in first start after C. Gonzalez claim for $11k missing by a head in the Pim mud; slight cut back in distance will serve him well  
  2. #6 – Any Court Inastorm (9-2): Makes 34th career start but just fourth at this one-mile distance (3:0-1-2); exits conditional claimer victory and will try to get first “W” in an open claimer
  3. #1 – Ten Hut (4-1): Second start after trainer J. Robb reclaimed this one for $11k; gave turf another shot versus tougher and had a traffic filled trip; back to dirt with V. Carrasco in the irons

Race 10 is the White Oak Farm Stakes ON THE TURF

  1.  #4 – Determined Vision (12-1): $$$ LONGSHOT $$$ Three-year-old didn’t fare too well in first start versus winners and elders but that was going one mile on dirt while trying to be close to a torrid pace; full-brother to graded-stakes winner (Just Call Kenny) who was 0 for 1 going long on turf; kid brother makes turf debut and can upset at a price in gate-to-wire fashion
  2.  #2 – Fly E Dubai (6-1): Has picked up minor awards in all three previous restricted turf stakes efforts; game try in latest after a poor start; jock J. Pimentel will have him much closer in the early going to get first run on early speed
  3.  #6 – Two Notch Road (3-1): 11-year-old, $522k earner who cost $2,500 at 2008 TIM Sale makes third start after layoff and might be sentimental favorite; fifth in this event last year when 6-5

Race 11 is ON THE TURF

  1.   #6 – No Fly Zone (3-1): Fourth in debut sprinting on GP turf as the winner and third-place finisher came back to win next start; gelded son of Kitten’s Joy should appreciate getting more real estate on which to run
  2.   #4 – Stamped (4-1): Turf BRIS# heading in the right direction makes first start for T. Proctor barn who does well dropping from MSW to Tag (34%) and gives a leg up to F. Lynch (27% over the past year as a team)
  3. #12 – Any Darn Day (12-1): Not that the pedigree scream turf but initial two-turn start in fourth career outing should move him forward based on running lines in sprints; loses jock to #4 but picks up a good one in J. Pimentel


  • On Friday June 22nd at Laurel had 6 winners from the 10-race card (2 Top Selections; payoff in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $2.80 (2nd race), $27.20 (3rd), $8.80 (4th), $5.00 (5th), $13.80 (6th) and $5.60 (9th). Of the suggested multi-race wagers hit the 50 cent R3-R5 Pick-3 for $77.25 (cost: $13.50). Top Selections are 208 for 726 (28.65%). In 2017, Top Selections went 340 for 1,197 (28.40%).
  • BEST BET of the Day (75:20-18-8; in 2017 119: 39-25-19) Dirty (9th race: 7-2 M/L; 9-5 PT)patiently rated to the stretch, raced in the three-path in the lane, aggressively split horses in mid-stretch and eagerly drew off under urging to win by five-lengths and returned $5.60 to WIN, $3.40 to PLACE and $3.20 to SHOW.
  • LONGSHOT PLAY of the Day (73:9-16-9; in 2017 107: 18-13-15) Sir Douglas (10th race: 15-1 M/L; 17-1 PT) established position along the rail behind the early duelers, held that through the fisrt three-quarters of a mile, waited on the turn but lacked the needed energy in the stretch to finish seventh, just four-lengths behind the winner.