Laurel Park picks and ponderings June 15, 2019
Doctor Mounty held off Projected narrowly to upset the 2018 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 — $6,4,54; Super High 5 — $472
Stat of the day: Trainer Marilyn McMullen’s one turf winner at Laurel in the last five years paid $119.40
Maiden 10K claimers are first out of the gate on today’s card, and our four selections all are dropping in class. #8 Bo Bandit (5-1) a lightly raced three-year-old is switching back to dirt after a dull turf effort. #9 Pep Talking (5-2) is also returning to dirt, and #4 Big Rinne (10-1) will try dirt for the first time for trainer Hamilton Smith. This will be the 13th start for #1 Moon Unit (4-1), who finished second at this level two races back.
Non-winners of two lifetime is next on the card, and #1 Lady Lucy (2-1) is our top selection, having won at this distance and surface in a MdSplWt race at Churchill Downs last year. #7 Starting Tour (8-5) won at first asking in a Md 16K sprint at Laurel in January. She will be racing at the lowest claiming level thus far in her career. There is a clear line between the two favorites and the rest of the field, so we’ll take a chance with longshot #5 Lily Rae (15-1), trained by Lacey Gaudet who sports positive ROIs in dirt sprints in a sampling of over 200 races. #4 Majorie Mugs (6-1) has only one win in 38 career starts, but she has finished in the top four positions at this level multiple times.
Our top choice is the morning line favorite #6 Gold Cadillac (2-1) who has finished second in three tries on the dirt for trainer Mike Trombetta, including in an Md40k claiming race at today’s distance.
- RACE 1
- RACE 2
- RACE 3
Trainer Ricardo D’Angelo sends out the chalk in here in #1 Mr. Chesapeakecity (9-5) after having scratched the second choice, Crypto Currency. D’Angelo is winning at a 23% clip in 2019. Last time out Mr. Chesapeakecity earned a career high Beyer speed figure of 55, which is the best last out figure in today’s field. If he’s right, #6 Bobo Jones (4-1) can contend, but he’s a five-year-old with just five career starts.
#5 Top Czar (3-1) sold at auction as a year for $165,000, but had to drop to a $5k never-won-two claimer in his last outing to get his second win in 13 career starts for trainer Jerry Robb. Both wins were at Laurel at today’s distance. We’ll try long shot #4 Disco Express (12-1) for place which is where he finished last time out at the same claiming level and distance. #1 Wilko’s Goldeneye (6-1) has only two wins in 44 starts, but one of those wins was earlier this year and he has finished in the show position nine times.
There are a lot of different ways to go in this two-other-than optional claiming event, and we will take a shot with #8 Street Copper (6-1) who won last outing in a first-level allowance for trainer Michael Trombetta after a 14 month absence. #10 Regal Image (6-1) is turning back to a sprint distance for trainer Michael Stidham, who wins in those conditions at a 22% rate. Jockey Sheldon Russell has the mount, and the jockey/trainer combination has a $2.59 ROI in a 22-race sample. #2 Tempt Me Twice (5-2) is a seven year old gelding and the morning line favorite who popped a career high Beyer speed figure of 93 and finished second in his last race at Pimlico on Black Eyed Susan Day, the 100k Turf Sprint.
- RACE 4
- SCR: 4, 7
- RACE 5
- RACE 6
- SCR: 6
A relatively rare $50K starter allowance is the next race on the card, and #5 Hero’s Welcome (2-1) is the favorite. A son of Street Cry out of an Arch mare, his form in the last two outings is a minor concern, but one was run on the turf, which he clearly did not relish. #4 Time Flies By (4-1) will race for the first time for trainer Dale Capuano, who hopes to find a cure for this gelding’s case of seconditis (five place finishes in nine career starts). #3 Saintly Samurai (6-1) is a lightly-raced gelding trained by Graham Motion; he didn’t like the rail in his last start at Churchill Downs. If jockey Feargal Lynch can work out a trip, he figures to be a factor in the exotics.
An optional claimer/starter allowance with complicated conditions is next up, and it is a wide-open full field of contenders. #13 Moon Chat (9-2) won at this level and distance two races back for trainer Bernie Houghton and jockey Forest Boyce, and this trainer/jockey combo wins at a 30% rate with a $3.35 ROI. #8 I’m Listening (4-1) is the lukewarm favorite if the also-eligible does not draw in. Her one win this year was in a $30K never-won-two event at Gulfstream Park. Three year old filly #4 Wicked Awesome (6-1) is by Awesome Again out of a Curlin mare who will be trying turf for the first time.
Another optional claiming event with complicated conditions, our top selection is the morning line favorite #9 Unaquoi (5-2), who is in for the tag and trained by Ollie Figgins. The five-year-old mare has seven career wins, and finished second by a nose in her last outing at today’s level where she was 3-6 wide and brushed at the 1/16th pole. #8 Not in Jeopardy (3-1) and #3 Elevated Vision (7-2) are coming out of the same race, both finishing behind #9 Unaquoi in fourth and third places respectively.
An open 16K claimer is next up, and #5 Etruscan (5-2) is coming into this race after a win last outing at this level in Delaware Park for trainer Jamie Ness. #5 Etruscan’s current form appears slightly better than #3 Gold Man (2-1) , a salty 10-year-old gelding who will be making his 86th lifetime start, with an impressive 22 wins on his resume. # 6 No More Talk (7-2) will race for the first time after being claimed by Kieron Magee and returns to the dirt after two unimpressive starts on the turf.
The penultimate event on the card is another non-winner of two lifetime claimer. Favorite #8 You Can Never Tell (5-2) is dropping back to the claiming ranks after two middling efforts in allowance company for trainer Mike Trombetta. #1 Gran City (10-1) broke his maiden last out in a $25K maiden race, in which he improved significantly running on turf for the first time.
The get away race is a maiden special weight for three and up, and if #4 Lost In Limbo (8-5) repeats his previous efforts turned in at Oaklawn Park, he should best this field. #8 Zitarrosa (7-2) will make his debut, and trainer Brittany Russell has positive ROIs in first starts, sprints, and maiden special weight conditions.
- RACE 7
- RACE 8
- SCR: 3, 12, 14
- RACE 9
- RACE 10
- RACE 11
- SCR: 11, 13
- RACE 12