Laurel Park picks and ponderings August 3, 2019

by | Aug 2, 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 — $16,313; Super High 5 — $2,422; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: The second race starter allowance features one horse on a four-race win streak and another that’s won seven in a row.



The tricky question for all six of the runners in the opener, a $25,000 maiden claimer for two-year-olds, is the distance. This contest is at one mile, and none of these has been past six furlongs (and some not even that far). One who hasn’t been that far is the favorite (and top choice), #5 Promising Pistol (3-5). The Claudio Gonzalez trainee won the battle but lost the war last time out, winning a speed duel but then having to settle for third. That doesn’t necessarily bode well for getting a mile, but there’s plenty of distance influence on both sides of his pedigree, and we’ll give him a shot to get it done in here. One horse at a more attractive price we think can move forward is #4 Overpower (5-1), whose last was a little bit sneaky-good.


In this $5,000 starter allowance, #1 Yes I Dance (4-1) arrives with a four-race win streak, and #6 Lonely Drifter (2-1) arrives with a remarkable seven consecutive wins. But we’ll try to beat them both with #5 Dan’s Girl (5-2); the Mike Pino trainee has generally kept better company, and while her last was a mess, it was also at a mile. Getting back to a six furlong distance at which she owns seven career wins today, she can move forward.


The last time #4 Awesome Fu (3-1) saw mid-level claiming horses like these, he ripped off a four-length win whle earning a career-best Beyer fig. A repeat of that effort would yield a similar result today, and this Anthony Farrior trainee enters off an allowance win at Charles Town and picks up local leading rider Trevor McCarthy. There’s other speed to contend with here, though, and if the pace heats up, look for #1 Finbar (8-1), who looks to be rounding back into form, to be running late.


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



The favorite in this maiden claimer is #6 Sky D (3-1), who gave a willing effort last time out against similar to be second in a race that was very slow early and faster late. But we’re going to try to beat him with the horse who was third that day, #5 Burning Man (7-2). This runner had quite the adventurous trip, leading between horses early, then falling just behind before getting hard to handle while trying to get out on the turn. He dropped some nine lengths back before closing stoutly into the fast part of the race to finish just two back of the winner. If new rider McCarthy — 8-for-20 with horses trained by Arnaud Delacour — can get this one to mind his manners, he can win in this spot.


Man, #9 Delta Outlaw (4-1) hasn’t caught any breaks in his last two turf races. In the first of those, he was beaten four lengths by Wet Your Whistle, who then turned around and won a minor stake at Monmouth followed by a score in a Grade 1 event at Woodbine. And in the more recent, he broke awkwardly and never had a shot chasing the very fast American Sailor, who’s been laying waste to local starter allowance foes. He won’t see anything like either of those horses here, however, and in his first try in the Hugh McMahon barn, Delta Outlaw can get back to the winner’s circle. One horse we think might have a better chance to win than his odds are likely to reflect is the oft-ignored #10 Enasoit (20-1), who two back finished third behind American Sailor with a speed fig that would put him in the mix here.


Useful return to action last time out by #5 Munificent (6-1). The Mary Eppler trainee, making her first start in nine months, was a willing third against similar and should be able to move forward off that. She may also sit the right trip here, with #4 Discreet Deceit (12-1) and the favorite, #8 Escapade (2-1), likely to be gunning for the early advantage. Such a duel would also work to the advantage of #1A Misericordia (3-1, part of entry), who has kept better company than these.


  • RACE 4
    • 5-6-8-9
    • SCR: 
  • RACE 5
    • 9-2-6-10
    • SCR: 
  • RACE 6
    • 5-8-1A-4
    • SCR: 





The favorite in this contest is the Claudio Gonzalez-trained #4 Sunman (7-5), who drops into this spot after having crushed similar two back. The three-year-old subsequently was third in a Parx allowance, marking the sixth time on the page that he failed to win a first-level allowance. Gonzalez presumably is figuring that this runner won’t win an allowance unless all the stars align, in which case, this guy has no place to go but down. He could — and probably will — win, but that makes us inclined to beat him with a horse whose connections hope is going the opposite way: #1 Studio B (2-1). This one took a while — and a couple of trainer changes — to figure it out, but he’s now won two of three at Penn National, last time winning by four at the never-two level, and here trainer Robert Johnston makes use of the condition to protect his horse from being claimed and attracts the leading rider — both good signs. One other horse we’re curious about here is #3 Jorrin (9-2), though we’d want better odds than that. This Mary Eppler trainee’s last start, on turf, was his first in a year, and he had a pretty disastrous trip, with jockey Horacio Karamanos finally not asking him to run in the lane. Interesting to note that, despite all that, Eppler keeps him at the same level while switching back to the main track and coming back on short rest.


We end up with the chalk in the nightcap. #2 Passion’s Image (8-5) makes his second start in the Claudio Gonzalez barn, makes it on short rest after a good try and switches back to the main track. She probably should graduate in here. If not, the two most likely spoilers are the class-dropping #6 Carrot Cake (10-1), who has a couple of decent tries against better, and #4 Stay Out (2-1), who makes her first start in the hard-hitting Dale Capuano barn.


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


        About The Author

        Frank Vespe

        Frank Vespe, the founder and publisher of The Racing Biz, has owned, bought, sold, claimed, written, and talked about horses, in varying combinations, for a decade. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @TheRacingBiz.

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