Laurel Park picks and ponderings June 29, 2019

by | Jun 29, 2019 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland, MD Racing

Doctor Mounty

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 — $21,891; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — $6,187

Stat of the day: Thus far in 2019, Jorge Vargas, Jr. and Trevor McCarthy are tied for the most wins at Laurel in turf routes, each with six. Vargas is 6-for-26, while McCarthy is 6-for-31.



If your initial thought looking at this bottom-level maiden is that most of these horses look more or less like each other on the page, well… you’re right. The morning line favorite is #3 Homeofthe Lombardi (5-2), who just missed last out against similar and gets an additional half-furlong to make his case today. The horse who figures to be on the lead in this one is #11 L’Overture (4-1), who may well be by himself out there in the early going. The problem with him is that he has a demonstrated record of going clear and then quitting, and though he gets a new jock today in Rosario Montanez, there’s no particular evidence that the result will look much different. We’ll try to beat both with #7 Stacksdenero (3-1), who ran pretty well last out to be runner-up after leading leaving the furlong grounds. That was his first try with blinkers on, and today trainer Mark Reid will leg up Julio Correa, who has become a go-to rider for the conditioner and who sports a 26% strike rate on Reid’s horses.


The favorite in here, #2 Rough Sea (8-5), remains a bit of a mystery horse despite having run back-to-back bang-up races. Trainer Rob Bailes protected him from being claimed last out and does so again today — good signs that he’s healthy and happy. It’s that first start of the year — when dropped in for $10,000 and never asked to run at all — that gives you a bit of pause. Regardless, if he runs back to his last two, a hat trick is the likely outcome. Still, we’ll hunt value with #4 Bacoli (12-1), who makes his first start after the claim in Anthony Farrior’s barn. Farrior has had some decent results claiming horses out of Kentucky and bringing them here, and it feels notable that he protects the horse from being claimed on the raise. The horse worked a sharp half on June 16 and looks to be ready to run here.


Let’s see if the class-dropping #4 Carson City Coin (8-1) can make some noise in this $25,000 maiden claimer. The Kenny Decker trainee ran well last time out, beaten two lengths against better, and while she was pretty well-beaten the race before that, that contest included next-out winner Tass and Dendrobia, who won an allowance two races after. After a sluggish start to the year, Decker’s horses have been running well at Laurel (3-for-10), and this one looks to be spotted where she can succeed. The favorite here, #2 Friesing Waters (5-2), certainly deserves consideration after good tries versus similar, and a longshot worth a gander is #9 Mia Gift (12-1). This Uncle Mo filly has decent turf pedigree, and trainer Jose Samaniego is 3-for-8 with horses trying turf for the first time.


  • RACE 1
    • 7-11-3-9
    • SCR: 
  • RACE 2
    • 4-2-7-6
    • SCR: 1
  • RACE 3
    • 4-2-12-9
    • SCR: 13, 14



The last time #4 Madame Tiger (7-2) ran on the main track at Laurel Park, she dominated a second-level allowance, a race that produced two next-out winners, including Souper Escape who took a stake at Delaware Park. Since, she’s tried twice at Parx and once on the Pimlico turf. The bet here is that, back on a surface on which she has a record of 4:2-1-1, the Claudio Gonzalez trainee can move forward. 


That was a solid 2019 bow for #1 Adult in the Room (5-1), who was beaten two lengths in a Pimlico allowance by the French-bred horse, who is two-for-two on the grass. She can move forward in her second start of the year for trainer Kelly Rubley, who is 5-for-13 at the meet. The favorite in here, #4 Carnival Colors (5-2), needs to be on the ticket after a runner-up effort last out, in October, in a G3 stake at Woodbine, though that was on the synthetic and this one has yet to try the grass. Also worth consideration is #3 Jennifer’s Dream (6-1), who ran third behind the 1-9 Chad Brown trainee Regal Glory in the Penn Oaks last out, though it’s worth also nothing that trainer John Servis, who has a ton of success, has an inexplicably poor record on the turf, so demand value.


We’ll try out luck with another Farrior trainee here in #2 Sheza Handfull (7-2), making her first start off the claim. She has run some decent races, and it’s notable that Farrior protects her in this spot and the oddball 6 1/2-furlong distance should work for her. Trevor McCarthy will ride. The favorite is #4 Vampish (2-1), but we’re going to take a wait and see attitude on this one; she didn’t beat much breaking her maiden last out while earning a big fig, and that was on the slop.


  • RACE 4
    • 4-3-1-6
    • SCR: 2
  • RACE 5
    • 1-3-4-7
    • SCR: 2
  • RACE 6
    • 2-5-6-7
    • SCR: 1, 8



The formful #6 Hard Fought (4-1) has run two good races since coming over to Damon Dilodovico’s Laurel Park barn, including a runner-up effort last time out at this level. Two back, he rallied into second behind Eons, who returned to win a stake in his follow-up. This one may have been on a bit short rest last time — he was running back in 10 days — but in this spot, adding blinks and with a month between starts, he figures primed to fire. Also worth a look at a price is #4 Cannon’s Roar (10-1), who ran fine in his only two-turn try on the lawn and makes his second start off a break (though rider Trevor McCarthy does jump ship, for #8 Let’s Go Mick, who is 6-1).


That was a solid win last time out for #3 Liz’s Cable Girl (3-1), who scored at Parx Racing in an event from which all four runners to return have finished in the money, including a next-out win by the runner-up. This one’s only defeats on the page have come to some serious runners: Chalon in the Regret last June, Jessica Krupnick in the Dashing Beauty last July, and two back to Late Night Pow Wow in the Willa On the Move. The only runner here who looks like those is #4 Crabcakes (5-2), whose recent form doesn’t measure up to her best.


We’re not inclined to hate the recent efforts of #1 Delta Outlaw (6-1), who’s run into some serious speed in American Sailor, who’d finished fifth in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint, and two back Wet Your Whistle, who returned to win a stake at Monmouth. That two-back race produced three next out winners, and last time out, this one lost all chance after rearing and stumbling at the break. A clean break gives him a big chance to find the winner’s circle today on the drop-down in class. Also on our ticket will be #8 Bold Thunder (15-1), who finds the lowest level of his career. This one’s clearly not the horse he was, but he has a ton of back class, as the half-million he has in the bank will attest.


In two starts for trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Salamon, #2 Hot Sriracha (2-1) has run a pair of big races, last time out finishing second at the $16,000 level. He drops in half today and has a big shot to win for the second time in three starts. He’ll have to contend with #9 Elusive Hero (8-5), who’s the morning line favorite and has perhaps an overall better body of work but whose recent form isn’t quite as strong.


  • RACE 7 
    • 6-4-12-10
    • SCR: 11
  • RACE 8
    • 3-1-4-6
    • SCR: 2
  • RACE 9
    • 1-8-9-4
    • SCR: 
  • RACE 10
    • 2-4-9-3
    • SCR: 5, 7, 8