Laurel Park picks and ponderings May 5, 2019
On a sloppy day in Maryland, the first race seems to have a bit of speed, including the chalk, #1 Lucid Dream (7-5). This runner seems to have red flags waving all around: a $30,000 claim two back, he won for fun at the $16,000 maiden level first off the claim, ran poorly against much better, and now drops more or less to the bottom. He could win, but he’ll have to overcome other speed sorts in here, including #3 Hot Sriracha (9-5). That seems to set it up for a horse who can run into the pace, and that leads us to #2 Dedicated (9-2). The Michael Sandoval trainee drops finds his lowest level yet here and gets hot-riding Sheldon Russell up.
OFF THE TURF. Solid return to action last out for #1 McPherson (3-1), who gave a decent account of himself on the turf in his first race in eight months. If he moves forward at all here, he wins, and even if he doesn’t, he might still win.
It took #4 Gateau St Honore (2-1) — presumably named for the French cake that itself is named for St. Honore, the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs (the more you know!) — a long time to break her maiden, which she did three back, in the 13th start of her career. She’s run twice against better, and those weren’t bad efforts; she drops to the bottom here and figures to have a big shot in a race contested at a 5 1/2-furlong trip at which she’s never been worse than third in three tries. The favorite here, #1 Bash (8-5), is cutting back from one mile, the distance at which she seems to have done her best work.
- RACE 1
- SCR: None
- RACE 2
- SCR: 2, 5
- RACE 3
- SCR: None
OFF THE TURF. We’re generally partial to “main track only” entrants in off-the turf races, such as #2 Arkadag (5-2). Th Kieron Magee trainee is a late-running sort in race where other main contenders are speed, and he owns two wins from three tries on off tracks.
OFF THE TURF. Speaking of main track only runners, #9 Citi Party (2-5) figures to be a handful in this first allowance. The Mary Eppler trainee is a perfect three-for-three to date by a combined 18 lengths, and the runner-up from her last, Questionoftheday, galloped earlier this weekend in her follow-up.
OFF THE TURF. The Robbie Bailes-trained #3 Beyond Forever (12-1) has finished in the triple in five of six races on off tracks and has raced competitively against similar. Two back, in her last on the main track, she ran into traffic troubles at a couple of different points but stuck with it to be third. The knock against her is that she doesn’t win much — just three times in 28 lifetime starts — so be wary of accepting odds that are too short.
- RACE 4
- SCR: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10
- RACE 5
- SCR: 1, 3, 5, 7, 10
- RACE 6
- SCR: 1, 6, 7
Maidens go a mile on the main track in this tilt, and the favorite here is the Tim Keefe-trained #7 Tom Hagen (5-2), who tired last out doing this same trip though he managed to hold second. He certainly rates a big shot here, though we’ll try to beat him with #3 Closer Look (4-1). The Graham Motion trainee has run credibly in his first two at this level and would benefit here from a better break. Also worth a look is #2 Edict (6-1), who hasn’t run badly, has been gelded, and gets Lasix for the first time.
OFF THE TURF. Tim Keefe’s right back at ya with #8 Belle Saison (5-2), who may go favored in this maiden tilt. Not sure the added ground plays to her benefit after tiring going six furlongs on debut, but that was a perfectly acceptable first try and a reprise of that likely would be sufficient in here. Her major competition looks to be #9 Wolverette (9-5), whose major knock is that she’s still a maiden after 17 tries.
The Ham Smith trainee #4 Brushing (5-2) has a win on an off track and has been first or second in three of four tries at this one-mile distance, all of which seems like good enough credentials to take the nightcap (and final race of the spring meet at Laurel). Also worth using here is #2 Love’s Legend (3-1), whose last, her first in four months, wasn’t great but who has better efforts to run back to.
- RACE 7
- SCR: None
- RACE 8
- SCR: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 11, 12
- RACE 9
- SCR: 1