Laurel Park picks and ponderings Mar. 17, 2019

by | Mar 17, 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: 1:10 p.m.

Carryovers: Rainbow 6 — $21,097

Stat of the day: According to a press release from Laurel Park, handle on yesterday’s card — featuring the Private Terms and four other stakes — was up 18 percent versus the prior year’s racing. Handle on the 11-race program reached $3.866 million.



Leading rider Trevor McCarthy lands on the Michael Merryman trainee #4 Port Louis (2-1), who ought to be tough in here making his second start off a bit of a break, cutting back to the distance at which both his wins came, and dropping from $16,000 company all the way to the bottom… Another making that same drop is #7 Moneymeister (3-1), whose better efforts would get it done in here…


Could be a McCarthy double, as the pilot rode two of the logical contenders in here last out — but instead opts to ride a third runner, #8 Divine Dancer (9-2). This Kieron Magee trainee made a mild rally against similar last out, though notably is skipping a condition (he’s still eligible for N4L but shows up here in N5L) so demand value… Wouldn’t sleep on either #4 Colmont Fire (8-1) or #2 Runaway Bull (12-1) in this spot, either. The former switches into the Anthony Farrior barn off the claim and picks up solid journeyman Sheldon Russell for this tilt, while the latter ran fine two back on a muddy track but stopped badly going two turns last out; cutting back to a sprint here and catching a fast track both should work to his advantage.


When all else fails… bet on #3 Whenallelsefails (9-2)? Somebody presumably will win this bottom level maiden event, and while I wouldn’t leave #6 Cool Alley (8-5) off my ticket, I wouldn’t be super-excited about those odds, either; this miss drops from $25,000 maiden company, where she was not competitive, all the way to the bottom here for trainer Claudio Gonzalez. But while Gonzalez is a win machine, he’s just 1-for-10 with dropping horses precipitously in their second starts after he claimed them. That led me to Whenallelsefails; the Gerry Brooks trainee ran decently before tiring late in a one-mile test last out and perhaps can improve in this spot…


  • RACE 1
    • 4-7-2-3
    • SCR: None
  • RACE 2
    • 8-3-4-2
    • SCR: None
  • RACE 3
    • 3-6-5-1
    • SCR: 4





Three-year-olds at the $16,000 level will go six furlongs, and we’re going to take #1 Glad Dad (3-1) in this spot. It will be this runner’s first start off the claim by trainer Claudio Gonzalez, who picked him up off a dominant win last out at the $12,500 level. He’s done his best work on the engine and may be there again today, breaking from the rail, but he has passed horses before. The favorite in this spot is #6 Lippi Lorenzo (5-2), who merits respect but, in his first try since trainer Hugh McMahon claimed him, is dropping from $25,000 to $16,000…


Looking forward to seeing #8 Oxhilirating (5-2) in action in this two-other-than allowance/optional claimer. The Michael Gorham trainee has impressed thus far, with three wins in five career starts, and last out she set grueling fractions early, was confronted at the head of the lane, and then spurted clear to a three-length win under Victor Carrasco. Carrasco has the return engagement, but the water here only gets deeper, and she’ll have to overcome the challenging outside post position at this 1 1/16-mile trip. Still, she looks to be the speed of the speed in here — unless #1 Checkbouncin Billy (part of entry, 7-2) is on a mission to take the advantage away, which might set this one up for her stablemate, #1A Awesome Singer


We’re looking for the speedy #4 Chinnici (4-1) to get back to better form in this $12,500 claimer. Last out, in his first start since October, he was fractious going to the gate, raced wide, and faltered. If he can calm down and return to his earlier form, he rates a major chance in this spot…


  • RACE 4
    • 1-8-6-4
    • SCR: 5
  • RACE 5
    • 8-1A-4-5
    • SCR: None
  • RACE 6
    • 4-8-6-7
    • SCR: 1



Everything appears to be teed up here for #4 Top Hat Tizzy (3-1) to leave the two-in-life ranks in this claiming event. The Wayne Potts trainee returned last out from an absence of nearly 15 months to run a good third against similar, and that should help his fitness here. Any improvement at all in this spot will put him in the winner’s circle…


So far in her brief career, #4 Marvelous Martina (5-2) has faced some pretty tough rivals, including stake winners Needs Supervision and Bell’s the One, who has won all four of her career starts. It does not appear she’ll see anything quite like that in this first-level allowance, however, and, making her second start off a freshening, she has every right to win the second race of her career. We’re also inclinded to give another crack to #1 Kayalsaurus (2-1), who had a bad trip against a tough group in the Gin Talking in December in her last start…


Lower-level maidens complete the card, and we’re thinking #7 Rafter (2-1) is the most likely graduate on the drop-down. While he was beaten by seven last out, he finished quite close to the runner-up, Tri Try Colors, and that one returned to win at the $25,000 level…


  • RACE 7 
    • 4-8-6-7
    • SCR: None
  • RACE 8
    • 4-1-6-7
    • SCR: 1A
  • RACE 9
    • 7-2-6-8
    • SCR: 4, 9