Laurel Park picks and ponderings Mar. 9, 2019
by Frank Vespe
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:30 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow 6 — $10,908; Super HI 5 — $1,988
Stat of the day: Trainer Gerry Brooks sent out two winners on Friday, and jockey Xavier Perez rode a pair of victors.
In his last race, #7 Dazzling Okie (9-5) ran evenly against open $12,500 claimers, finishing sixth. Here today he finds his way all the way to the bottom and will pick up leading rider Trevor McCarthy. A return to his better form would certainly be enough in this spot. The horse he’ll most likely need to run down to get the money here is the speedy #6 Cause He’s Western (5-1), who’ll get Katie Davis up. This one led a long way last out before settling for the runner-up spot against open nickel sorts. He’s likely to take some early pressure in this tilt, but if not, he could be tough to reel in late.
In his only prior try at seven furlongs, #4 Crush It (9-5) broke his maiden, rallying from sixth for an easy win. He’ll be back at that trip today and dropping out of better company to this $16,000 spot; in this regard, he cuts a profile similar to #2 Zip Van Winkle (2-1), but we’ll give the nod to Crush It because, with just six starts under his belt, he still figures to have more upside than his rival. Jorge Ruiz will ride for Mary Eppler.
After a couple of not-all-that-bad tries, #2 Broker’s Reward (3-1) makes a double-drop here down to the $16,000 level in a somewhat unusual race that brings together some class droppers and a couple moving up the ladder despite last-out defeats. Trainer Mike Trombetta’s go-to pilot Julian Pimentel retains the mount, and this one should be good enough to graduate here.
- RACE 1
- RACE 2
- RACE 3
- SCR: 4
Claiming sprinters square off in this 5 1/2 furlong tilt, and we’re looking for #2 Greely’s Striker (6-1) to get the money. This runner had a disastrous trip in her last start, which also was her first in four months; she broke slowly, was rushed up inside into tight quarters, had to steady back out of contention, and yet for all that, she continued to run on willingly and just missed the nod for show dough. A cleaner trip would put her right there, and it’s not unreasonable to expect an improved effort in her second off the bench. Speaking of coming off the bench: #6 Crystal Pier (5-2) will make her first start since last August at the Big T for trainer Kieron Magee. She’s certainly a player here if she can run well, and notably, Magee protects her from being claimed.
That was a pretty good effort last out by #1 Dirtyfoot (3-1). The Rob Bailes trainee ran second against allowance foes despite a bit of a trouble line and, with Forest Boyce up, rates a big shot in here. His major rival here is the Claudio Gonzalez-trained #7 Won and Done (5-2), who also ran second against allowance rivals last out and has a demonstrated affinity for this six furlong trip, with two wins from seven starts. Also notable in here is #6 Dharmaster (6-1), set to make his first start since May 2017; the Mike Trombetta trainee showed promise early in his career, enough so that Trombetta tried him in the ’17 Private Terms Stakes. Can he hit the ground running off the long layoff? Trombetta strikes at a 20 percent rate off lengthy layoffs and will leg up go-to rider Julian Pimentel, so there are some positive signs.
The speedy #9 Angelinas Star (6-5) puked up a three-length lead in the final furlong at this level last out going 5 1/2 furlongs, so you certainly are within your rights to question whether adding another furlong plays to her advantage. On the other hand, she did run second with a career-best Beyer in her only prior try at three-quarters and is not a runner who needs the early lead. Drawn outside, she can find a good trip, either on the lead or stalking under Xavier Perez. A longshot worth a look in here is #1 Lolli (10-1); this runner drops to the bottom in her second start for trainer Wayne Potts after being transferred from New York-based conditioner Gary Contessa. On Friday, Potts scored with a similarly situated runner.
- RACE 4
- SCR: 1
- RACE 5
- RACE 6
If it’s possible for no one to win a race, this might just be the race. All nine of the runners in this bottom-level maiden have major holes, and we mean major. We landed finally on #8 Eagle Caviar (7-2), whose last, against similar, was a trainwreck. In this spot, look for rider Rosario Montanez to sell out completely to make the lead and then try to nurse this guy along for as long as he can. It’s a race pretty light on early types, so it could be a winning strategy; or perhaps maybe not. It’s hard to get excited about the obvious horses in here — #5 Escrow Finnidilly (5-2) and #1 Yes Means No (3-1) — given their unsightly ledgers, though of course you kinda have to have them on the ticket. A potentially playable longshot in here is #9 L’Overture (15-1), who faltered badly last out sprinting but has some competitive efforts and will try a route of ground for the first time.
We suspect that most of the runners in here will follow the advice embedded in the favorite’s name. That’s #2 Watch My Dust (2-1). He’s been ultra-competitive against similar in recent months, and there’s no reason that can’t continue here. A playable longshot in here might be #3 Bobby the Brain (12-1), who has kept generally better company than these but down towards the bottom of his past performances has solid tries vs. similar.
Scratches of the #4 and #5 change our figurin’ a bit in this one — we’d landed on #4 — and so we’ll grab the Bill Komlo trainee #2 Sharon’s Thunder (7-2), who’s not much but who jut missed against similar last out and rates a big shot against this middling group.
- RACE 7
- RACE 8
- RACE 9
- SCR: 4, 5