Laurel Park: Picks and ponderings Jan. 25, 2019

by | Jan 25, 2019 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland, MD Racing

Something Awesome

Something Awesome ran through the snow to win the Grade 3 General George. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

by Frank Vespe

 In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…

 Post time: 12:30 p.m.

 Carryovers: Rainbow 6 — $1,098

 Stat of the day: There was a pronounced speed bias over the Laurel Park strip yesterday (Jan. 24); five of the eight winners led at every call, and two others were in the early vanguard. The only horse to rally from off the pace was race five winner Miss Nosy.


After Thursday’s card, in which speed dominated, we’re imagining that horses with early zip ought to have a fighting chance again today, though the drying-out track may foil us. In any case, one (of a few) horses that fit the bill in the opener is #6 The Great Provider (5-2). This one takes a big drop here, from $8,000 starters to open nickel claiming horses, and he beat slightly better two back. While there’s other speed, this one projects to be the speediest of all and should have a chance to outrun his rivals to the early advantage. If the pace really does heat up, one horse that might be advantaged by that is #5 El Grillo (12-1), whose recent form isn’t great but who — unlike some of these — has shown the ability to rate off it and pass horses late… In the second, #3 Wild Rider (5-2) drops from two-other-than company into this straight claiming sprint off a pretty credible try in his last, when finishing fourth by less than two lengths. All six of the horses to run back from that test have finished in the top three next out, with an overall ledger of 6: 2-1-3… The third, a $12,500 claimer, looks pretty straightforward: #3 Trusty Roll (6-5) crushed similar rivals last out, loves this six-furlong trip, and has the versatility to lead or stalk the pace…


  • RACE 1
    • 6-5-1-2
  • RACE 2
    • 3-5-1-2
  • RACE 3 
    • 3-7-4-6


The fourth is a high-priced maiden claimer going a flat mile, and the favorite here is #8 Awesome Agenda (5-2). The Jose Corrales trainee ran credibly last out against maiden special weight rivals, in what was his first try with Lasix in a race won by Nyquist’s little half-brother Still Dreaming; the runner-up returned to best maidens next out. On the drop into claiming company here, he may be a handful. Still, he got away with an easy lead that day and couldn’t go on, so we decided to try to beat him with #4 Inclunation (4-1). The Rudy Rodriguez trainee ran a sneaky-good race last out against similar rivals, rallying from out of it to earn the show, and that race has produced two next-out winners. He gets blinkers here and is showing six works in the seven weeks since that last race… In race five, #8 Daystrike (9-5) is our top choice and should appreciate the cutback in distance and the easier company he’ll find here. But he also doesn’t win much, particularly on dirt, so he’s a vulnerable favorite in here, with other likely contenders including the Jeff Talley trainee #3 Thaddeus (5-2), who enters off a three-month layoff (Talley is 6-for-48 with similar breaks) and the Scott Lake-trained #2 Tipit (9-2)… In the sixth, we’re looking for #1 Wicked Awesome (3-1) to post a mild upset as she drops into the right kind of company and cuts back to the distance at which she earned her diploma…


  • RACE 4
    • 4-8-3-2
  • RACE 5
    • 8-3-2-4
  • RACE 6
    • 1-6-2-7


After a couple of credible forays against much better, #7 Glory Hound (5-2) drops to the bottom in race seven in search of recapturing his winning ways. He’s won three of his last six and run well against these bottom sorts. Trainer Damon Dilodovico has a 9-for-54 ledger coming off layoffs similar to this three-month break… Here’s a curious stat: trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon has a record of three wins in nine starts — with three other runners finishing in the money — wheeling horses back within seven days of their last start. That’s what he’s doing with #5 We Made It (3-1) in race eight. The big question with this runner is the 1 1/16 mile distance of this contest — his lone win came at six furlongs — but he has run some decent races at route distances and, on the stretch-out, figures to be a bit more involved in the early action here than he was last out… The day closes with bottom-level maidens, and while most of these have failed repeatedly at this level, one horse finding the bottom for the first time is #1 The Mason Factor (3-1). The Jeremiah Englehart trainee ought to appreciate getting back to six furlongs and a fast track, and he teams up here with go-to rider Jorge Vargas, Jr….


  • RACE 7 
    • 7-4-6-1
    • RACE 8
      • 5-7-1-3
    • RACE 9
      • 1-1-12-7
      • SCR: 5