Laurel Park picks and ponderings June 28, 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 Jackpot Pick 6 — $19,400; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None
Stat of the day: Horacio Karamanos leads all jockeys at the current meet with four wins in turf sprints. He has mounts in two turf sprints today, race 5 and race 10.
The favorite in this maiden event is #4 Naughty Thoughts (2-1), who has finished second in each of her last two, both times as the favorite. She’ll try the turf for the first time here today, and while she could win, she’s really the kind of horse you want to try to beat: one who’s lost more than once at a lower level. The most likely to do so is #2 Jenn’s the Boss (3-1), a first-time starter for Cal Lynch. A $65,000 daughter of Street Boss, she’s been training well and even has a breeze on the lawn. Her only sib to race won four of nine starts, Lynch can get ’em ready to run first out of the box, and go-to rider Trevor McCarthy is up. Another worth using here is #7 Hello Beautiful (7-2); she didn’t run poorly when rallying into third on debut, and trainer Brittany Russell is 4-for-8 with maidens making their second start.
The scratch of favored Freedom Bella certainly opens this never-won-two claimer up. We’ll take a… wait for it… flyer with #6 Weekend Flyer (8-1). Trainer Charlie Frock seemed to be on a mission to make this one a turf horse, starting her four straight times on the green stuff. Now she moves back to the main track (5:1-1-1 record on a fast track), where, five back, she finished third a couple of levels up. We’ll give this one a shot to get back to her better form here.
We’re inclined to think that the price on #3 Neetee Rides Again (7-2) is square. She crossed the wire first against similar two back, though she was DQed after drifting far to the outside and impeding a rival, and in that race she was a bit rank and hard to handle in the early going. Last time out, she rallied into the place spot behind a 3-5 winner, and that race has produced a next-out winner. We’re kinda curious to see what #8 Annie Boo Boo (15-1) does here in her first start of ’19. A repeat of her maiden score would likely win this contest, she has fired fresh before, and trainer Kenny Cox protects her in this spot.
- RACE 1
- SCR: 1A
- RACE 2
- SCR: 2, 5
- RACE 3
It’s certainly an evenly matched field in this bottom-level maiden event, and while you have to respect the obvious horses (of whom we prefer #7 Chicken Dinner (9-5), who has the virtue of having made only three starts), we couldn’t blame you if you want to hunt around for better prices. Two that we think fit in the super (if not higher) are #8 Freedom Queen (12-1), switching back to the main track in her third career start, and #1 Inflight (12-1), who gets blinkers on for the first time.
That was an awfully good try last out at 10-1 by #4 Rising Perry (5-2), who was pinched back at the start and climbing a little bit early but still rallied to be second by just a nose. A better break probably puts him in the winner’s circle today. Also worth a look is #5 Xmasinthecity (6-1), a first-timer for Mike Trombetta. This son of City Zip’s dam was a stakes-placed turf sprinter.
The favorite’s scratched in this maiden special weight, which points us to some first-timers. #9 Torres Del Paine (9-2) was a $100,000 auction purchase for high-end owners Flaxman Holdings (who campaigned Main Sequence). The Graham Motion trainee has turf bloodlines top and bottom and has been training forwardly at Fair Hill. Another first-timer worth a look is the Phil Schoenthal-trained #1 Heart Hero (7-2), who fired a bullet in his last work and is a half-brother to a $500,000 earner.
- RACE 4
- RACE 5
- SCR: 7
- RACE 6
- SCR: 1A, 2
Let’s try for an upset in this starter event. #5 Pool Boy Charlie (12-1) ran a sneaky good race last time out. He came out of the gate a little bit sideways, breaking slowly and spotting the field a ton of ground. But the in final furlong, he came running, closing from about 10 lengths back to less than three and galloping out well. Not sure if the pace will work out for him here, but the added half-furlong probably aids his cause.
Much improved effort last time out for #6 Fed Up Fired Up (5-1), who rallied to be third against better after a slow break behind a runaway 3-5 winner. The Donald Barr trainee makes her third start of the year today. Another worth a look is #1 Delightful Lana (7-2), who beat similar two back at Pimlico and whose poor effort last two can be excused, since it was on the main track. She’ll try to take ’em all the way from the inside stall under Trevor McCarthy.
Speaking of Trevor McCarthy, he has the mount on our top selection in this two-other than, #4 Free Kitty (3-1). Since Rudy Rodriguez claimed her in January, she’s posted a record of 4:3-1-0. She figures to press the pace here and has shown an affinity for one-turn miles, including a maiden score over the strip.
In their last start, #6 Echo of Victory (7-2) and #2 Old Line Magic (7-2) finished a half-length apart, and they look to be best in here. Though she finished just behind her rival last time, we’ll give the edge to Echo of Victory, who gets blinkers on today (and, yes, McCarthy in the irons).
- RACE 7
- SCR: 1
- RACE 8
- SCR: 4, 7, 11
- RACE 9
- SCR: 3
- RACE 10
- SCR: 3, 4, 5, 9