Laurel Park picks and ponderings Mar. 24, 2019

by | Mar 24, 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 — $32,361; Super Hi 5 — $1,004

Stat of the day: Bug boy Julio Correa won twice on Saturday — his second consecutive two-win day at Laurel. He now has four wins at the meet and is named on three horses today.



In her last start, #7 Ortinola (5-2) had what could fairly be called a disastrous trip: she was rank while pinned down inside into the first turn, steadied repeatedly through the backstretch and into the second turn. Still, she stuck with it in a game effort to the end, finishing a decent third. If she were going to run a mile or 1 1/16 miles again here, we’d say bet all you like on her. But she’s cutting back to six furlongs, and, after running near a very sluggish early pace last out, she may find herself a little bit outfooted in the early going, and we suspect the value won’t be there. A couple of first-time starters are worth a gander, with #2 Keep Your Thoughts (7-2) our top choice here; she’s a Mike Trombetta-trained daughter of Great Notion who is a half to the stakes-placed Oldies but Goodies. #5 Catwalk Whiz (6-1) cost owner Barbara Houck $125,000 at auction and here makes her first start, as well; she’s a half to the graded stakes winner Pataky Kid.


The most likely winner in this maiden claiming event is #4 Friesing Waters (8-5), who led early before settling for the show last out at the $40,000 event and here drops down a notch. But… that’s a short price to take on a horse that’s lost at this level three times already. And though she was improved last out, note that rider Julian Pimentel passes on the return engagement. We’ll try to beat her with a horse she trounced last time, #3 Go Amanda (3-1). The Damon Dilodovico trainee is making just her third career start here, gets blinkers on, and will catch a fast main track for the first time. She can move forward here.


There doesn’t seem much reason to get cute in the third, a $10,000 maiden event: the favorite, #1 Bash (6-5), drops to the bottom after a runner-up effort last out against better and just looks to be faster than these. In a field full of horses that have lost repeatedly at this level — like #2 Hey Mabel (3-1), who’s been second four straight and has lost at this level seven times — that should be sufficient. One horse who might offer a bit of value here is #9 Simmard Shenanigan (6-1); the Jose Corrales trainee made a big (and premature) middle move last out, surging to the lead at the head of the lane before settling for second. A bit more patience would aid his cause here.


  • RACE 1
    • 2-6-7-5
    • SCR: None
  • RACE 2
    • 3-4-1-5
    • SCR: None
  • RACE 3
    • 1-9-2-11
    • SCR: None



In his last start, #2 Can He Shine (3-1) led a long way before tiring to third, and one of the horses who beat him, #6 Maynooth (9-2), the runner-up that day, is also here. But Can He Shine projects as the controlling speed in here, and the cutback from 1 1/16 miles to a mile — a distance at which he’s been first and second in two starts — works to his advantage. Trainer Kieron Magee will leg up bug boy Julio Correa. Can He Shine can leave the never-two ranks in this spot.


Old #10 Turbin (6-1) is working on a lengthy losing streak: 23 races over two years. But what the heck — we’ll wager that he returns to the winner’s circle today for the first time since St. Patrick’s Day 2017 and for the 12th time in his career. He’ll stretch out to a mile here — a distance at which he’s won four times — and get Forest Boyce in the irons (a pickup mount for her, as Rebecca LaBarre was named).


A challenging starter allowance going six furlongs is on tap here, and honestly, we didn’t have strong opinions here. We landed on #3 Correjon (4-1), who, after a poor try two back, appears to be back in form after a good effort in allowance company and has won at this level twice in his last four starts. Jorge Ruiz is up.


  • RACE 4
    • 2-7-6-8
    • SCR: None
  • RACE 5
    • 10-6-2-12
    • SCR: 1, 9, 11
  • RACE 6
    • 3-2-8-5
    • SCR: 1 (part of entry), 4





One of these days, perhaps, #3 Jump Jive an Wail (7-2) will break through and win the a-other-than allowance; he’s been second or third in it six consecutive times while failing to win it now 15 in a row. We’ll wager it’s not today, however, and instead grab #6 Totalitario (7-2). The Kieron Magee trainee — who’s raced just nine times in his career — just missed at this level last out, and winner Tattooed return to be second by a neck in a second-level allowance. Local leading rider Trevor McCarthy leaves Jump Jive An Wail for this runner, who should sit a good trip off the speed here. A horse we’re intrigued by a bit in this spot is #4 Galatians (10-1); the Pioneerof the Nile gelding makes his first start in the Damon Dilodovico barn after a disastrous outing last out in which he was eased after running out of gas with a half-mile to go. But Dilodovico likes what he’s seeing enough to give the horse — a $500,000 auction purchase — a crack here rather than dropping down the claiming ladder.


Talk about having a result flattered: #5 Frank’sgunisloaded (9-5), here making his first start for trainer Jamie Ness, broke his maiden last out at the Fair Grounds. Both the runner-up and show horse from that tilt returned to win their follow-ups, with the show horse, By My Standards winning a maiden special at that track and following that up, yesterday, with a 22-1 upset win in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby. This one figures to have it his way in a field in which only one horse — #7 Stormin Hongkong (7-2) — has ever posted a higher Beyer than this one’s lowest of 68.


We’re going to keep the favorite here, #1 Into Bluegrass (9-5), on our ticket, but we’ll try to beat her on top. It’s notable that she’s making her first start since December 2017 here and, after running her seven times without a win in allowance company, trainer Mike Trombetta drops her in for the tag here. If she comes back the horse she was, she’ll be tough in here; if not, she may find herself on the outside looking in. Better value seems to come from the two outside horses, last-out eaaaassssyyyy maiden winner #7 Snippety (4-1) and #8 Mae Sai Princess (4-1), who’s been third twice against similar.


  • RACE 7 
    • 6-3-4-5
    • SCR: 1, 1A
  • RACE 8
    • 5-2-4-7
    • SCR: None
  • RACE 9
    • 7-8-1-2
    • SCR: None