Laurel Park picks and ponderings June 21, 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 — $13,440; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None
Stat of the day: Four jockeys have more than two wins on the turf thus far during the meet: Trevor McCarthy (5), Alex Cintron and Jevian Toledo (4 each), and Forest Boyce (3).
Though she didn’t cost much at auction, two different capable trainers have handled #3 Nosey Josy (4-1) like they saw at least a little something in her; she’s had three tries against maiden special weight company, most recently finishing an OK fifth at CT. She takes the big drop here to the bottom level, and we’ll give her a shot to beat the favorite in here — another class dropper — who is #2 Graceygab (9-5). That one finished second two back on the dirt against better, and while her last wasn’t much, it also was on the turf.
The good news for #1 Lagom (12-1) is that trainer John Servis has a terrific record with second-start maidens and also a very good record dropping horses from maiden special weight to maiden claiming. The bad: he has a poor record with turf runners. We’ll take a shot nonetheless on the grounds that this nicely bred filly still has some upside (and, what the heck, we’re gonna get paid if she comes in!). A couple of class droppers, including #8 Unabridged (4-1), for trainer Chuck Lawrence, may be tough in here.
Toss her last on turf, and the Bill Komlo-trained #5 Last Love (5-2) looks tough in this starter spot. She cruised at the never-won-two level three back and gave a decent accounting of herself two back against Md-bred allowance foes, and the runner-up returned to take a state-bred allowance. She figures to press the pace (or even lead) under Julio Correa, who picks this miss over the other Komlo horse in here. Also, don’t sleep on the improving #1 Foggy Dreams (6-1), who’s won two straight, or #7 Cover Photo (9-2), who’s won her last two on the main track.
- RACE 1
- SCR: 1, 4
- RACE 2
- RACE 3
We’re gonna say that his debut might have been better than it looks, and #8 Bold Trek (8-1) has a chance to take a big step forward in this maiden claiming event. Last time out, he ran willingly after being fractious in the gate, and while he was beaten 10 lengths and earned a Beyer of only 41, that all was good enough for second. That was on the grass, but since his parents and grandparents all did their best work on the main track, there’s reason to think an improved effort might be in the offing here. #1 Seven on the Rocks (5-2) is certainly a contender here, but the four prior defeats at this level make him hard to love on top. A more intriguing candidate is #5 Quality Matters (9-2), who makes his first start in the Mike Trombetta barn and first of the year; he’s been gelded since his last and will receive Lasix for the first time.
The scratch of the morning line favorite, #9 Pugilist, kinda throws this race into a bit of disarray. We were aiming to beat her in any case, with #2 Pink Elephant (6-1). She had a two-race win streak — both at the $20,000 claiming level — snapped last out when sixth in a Delaware allowance after a bit of a belated rally. Against this surprisingly modest group, given the $30,000 purse, that might be enough. The likely post time favorite, and a horse who probably needs to be on the ticket, is #3 Wildcat Cartridge (9-2), who finished second last out in the Lyphard at Penn National behind Imply, who was 1-9 that day and would certainly be favored in this spot. Both runners bring their jocks with them, Maicol Inirio in the former case and Tyler Conner in the latter.
We really like the effort last out by #4 Miss Tschetter (4-1), who sped to the lead, couldn’t contain Eye on Berlin, but easily held second; Eye on Berlin subsequently ran a good fourth in The Very One Stakes over Preakness weekend. Also worth a gander in here is #3 Solarte (10-1). This lightly raced mare broke a beat slowly last time out in a $32,000 claimer at Belmont, flew up to grab the lead, and stuck with it until very late before fading to fifth. She should appreciate the cutback to just five furlongs here, and a cleaner break would make her dangerous.
- RACE 4
- RACE 5
- SCR: 9, 10
- RACE 6
The favorite in this maiden special weight event is #3 We Are Family (2-1), who has proven pretty conclusively that she’s not good enough to win this race in New York. How about Maryland? She ran third in her only try here, at Pimlico in 2018. We’ll try to beat her with another New York shipper, #7 Midnight Party (5-2), who’s only tried the main track once and will be making her second start with Lasix.
The strong favorite here is #3 American Sailor (3-5), who found the going in stakes company a bit tough but sure seemed happy to face starter allowance foes like these last time, winning by almost five while recording a career-high Beyer. Almost any of his recent starts would get the job done in this spot. Another worth a peek is #1 Celebration (5-1), whose form has been kinda in-and-out but whose better efforts compete. He won by five on the front-end last time out in claiming company. If our top pair hook up early, and they may well, they might set this up for a horse like the old-timer #8 Rapid Dan (6-1), who makes the first start of his eight-year-old season and has some strong races back in his form.
Nobody could contain 30-1 Dothat Dance (6-1) last time out in a starter/optional claiming at Pimlico. Will history repeat? We’ll have him on the ticket but not on top here, thinking he may have benefited from a yielding course that he may have relished more than some of his rivals, who may appreciate today’s firmer ground. Among those is #10 High Noon Rider (9-2), who finished second in that event and has much better races in his past, particularly the early part of last year, when he was competing in stakes and high-quality allowance races at the Fair Grounds. Another who may appreciate firmer ground today is #2 Crimson Hayes (20-1), who was well behind Dothat Dance after setting the early tempo but likewise has had his moments.
Maiden claimers complete the action, and we’ll take a swing here. #10 Bodhicitta (15-1) hasn’t shown a ton to date, but then again, neither have her rivals. She’ll try turf for the first time today, and her siblings generally have been a bit better on the green than on the main track. It’s not much to hang you hat on, but there ya go. The favorite figures to be #7 Burak (2-1), who was rank and steadied early last time out going a mile against better and didn’t make much impact. This is a race to spread out, though.
- RACE 7
- RACE 8
- SCR: 2, 4, 5
- RACE 9
- SCR: 1, 11
- RACE 10
- SCR: 3, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16