Laurel Park picks and ponderings June 8, 2019
Doctor Mounty held off Projected narrowly to upset the G3 BWI Turf Cup at Laurel Park. 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 Pick 6 — $4,345
Stat of the day: The seventh race includes horses coming out of races in which the winners were next-out Laurel course record-setter Minit to Stardom and Chalon, who was runner-up in the G3 Bed o’ Roses on Friday.
It’s maiden claimers to kick off the card — the first three races, in fact — and in this one, your choice is among several horses that have shown little on turf and others who haven’t tried it. We’ll take a crack with one of the latter, the first-time starter #9 Tyche (7-2). The Gary Capuano trainee is a daughter of Noble Mission out of a Street Cry mare who registered her only win on the green stuff. It’s not exactly a vote of confidence that he debuts this Maryland-bred at this level, when a step up he could run her and waive the claiming tag, but everyone else has flaws of their own, so…
Bottom-level maidens will sprint 5 1/2 furlongs here, and we’ll use #4 Gaby Vee (3-1) on top; the Claudio Gonzalez trainee has been second and third against similar, and you can toss that last race, on turf against better. Her last dirt try, when second at a mile, has produced a next-out winner.
Last time out, against similar, #4 Silver Sides (5-2) had an absolutely disastrous trip. She had to jam on the brakes at the 3/8 mark, then was forced to take up in the lane before finally veering to the outside for running room. She actually ran on pretty willingly after that to be third, and the horse who finished second, Gennie Highway, returned to graduate next out at a higher level. A cleaner trip would make this Mike Geralis trainee a winner here. Sheldon Russell is up.
- RACE 1
- RACE 2
- RACE 3
The key question in this Maryland-bred allowance at a mile on the main track is how the pace will play out. #6 Liz’s Smile (6-1) looks to be the speediest of the route horses here, but she may have to contend with the stretching-out sprinter #2 Well Hello (2-1), whose only try beyond 6 1/2 furlongs doesn’t tell us much, since it came in Grade 3 company. That all may put #3 Hashtag Selfie (9-2) in a good spot; last time out, she was up close to a very fast pace, took the lead, and then couldn’t hold off the late run of #4 Bring Me Answers (4-1). This time out, the pace scenario may play more to her favor.
For #1 My Little Stormy (5-2), this race will be her first in Keith Nations’ barn after he claimed her last time out at Tampa Bay. Nations is 10-for-60 with horses first off the claim (including 2-for-6 with those who, like this one, just broke their maidens) and will be adding Lasix. With Avery Whisman off his mounts today, Julio Correa has the call. This one has the look of a runner who can move forward.
We’ll eat the chalk in race six, a second-level allowance going a mile on the turf, with #3 Dover Cliffs (2-1). The Kent Sweezey trainee just missed at this level two back at Tampa Bay, and his last out try was better than it looks. He came in fifth in the $100,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes at Monmouth but was beaten just two lengths, and the top pair in there were both graded stakes winners. Also include #10 Dundalk (9-2) who was a good third last out at Belmont and has never been worse than third in four tries at the trip.
- RACE 4
- RACE 5
- SCR: 1a
- RACE 6
- SCR: 1a, 2, 4, 5
We’re giving the edge to #4 Ghoul’s Night Out (4-1) in this two-other than; she’s a runner who’s turned in some good races at the seven-furlong trip and makes her third start off a four-month layoff here. But one other runner who’s been flattered by recent results is #3 Timeless Treasure (9-2), who won the first two starts of her career before running third last time out. The winner that day, Minit to Stardom, returned Friday to set a Laurel course record sprinting on the turf. Distance is a bit of a question for this miss, but she certainly cuts the right profile to win this race.
The Gary Capuano-trained #3 Tappin Cat (4-1) returned from a seven-month layoff last out with his running shoes on, winning Delaware Park allowance by four lengths with a career-best Beyer fig of 77. Already having the a-other-than in the bank is a pretty good credential for winning this Maryland-bred test, though one question he’ll need to answer is that of the distance, as he stretches out from six furlongs to a mile. This is no easy spot, either, as it includes two horses who last out ran in the Sir Barton on Preakness day.
Last time out #3 Back to Back (5-1) was floated out early and then amde a middle move before running out of steam late against a plus group on the Black-Eyed Susan undercard. He was 24-1 that day an catches a more manageable group here for trainer Arnaud Delacour. This is a pretty wide open group, though, so you’ll want to give yourself some coverage. The tepid favorite is #7 Speed Game (4-1), who makes his first start in the Sam Davis barn after winning a $12,500 claimer last out.
Nothing wrong with the last couple of tries for #5 Jefazo (6-1), who ran on willingly last time out after stumbling at the start. He should be mid-pack or farther back and looking to run down what looks to be a decent amount of early speed types, among them #1 Great Herman (6-1).
The favorite in this first-level allowance sprint is #3 Marvelous Martina (2-1), who certainly deserves respect. The bad news, though, is that she has lost four times against similar, twice as the favorite and once at 2-1. but not favored. Feels like you’ll want to try to beat her on top, and one place to look is #4 My Star Potential (9-2). This one showed promise last year as a juvenile, winning two of three starts, including the Maryland Million Lassie. She hasn’t raced since — an obvious concern — but has a steady string of pretty fast works in the bank as she prepares for this, and trainer Claudio Gonzalez has won with four of his last 17 starters coming off similar layoffs. Antonio Quiles will ride.
The speedy #4 The Great Provider (8-5) beat rivals similar to these $12,500 claimers last time out, has been worse than second just once in eight tries at the distance, and has leading rider Trevor McCarthy up. The only concern here is that he hasn’t raced since mid-April, but countering that is that he looks to be the main speed in the group.
- RACE 7
- RACE 8
- SCR: 6
- RACE 9
- SCR: 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
- RACE 10
- SCR: 6
- RACE 11
- RACE 12
- SCR: 3, 6, 7