Laurel Park picks and ponderings August 8, 2019

by | Aug 8, 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 — $20,746; Super High 5 — 1,879; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: Trainer Christophe Clement (race 2, #1 Percentage) is 2-for-14 with runners in maiden special weight company at Laurel Park.



Scratches take their toll on the lid-lifter, with a seven-horse field reduced to three, and you have to believe that #2 Brushing (2-1) looks to be in the best spot to secure her third victory. The Ham Smith trainee has two wins on the main track and consistently better figs than her rivals.


Last time out was a decent enough debut for #7 Super John (8-5). The John Servis trainee was a rallying fourth against a big field of maidens at Parx Racing and owns the right to improve in his second start for a trainer who’s clicking at a 26% rate with maidens in their second start. The son of Super Saver will also get Lasix for the first time. He’ll have to contend here with a couple of other rivals with credible efforts on their resume: #6 Irishtown (3-1), who hung a little bit last time out when third at this level, and #1 Percentage (9-5), who ships down from New York for trainer Christophe Clement. Also of interest: first-time starter #2 Jasiri (15-1), who was bred to be a star — he’s a son of Bernardini and a half to a couple of graded-stakes sorts — but who went for just $10,000 at auction.


Trainer Anthony Pecoraro has liked #5 Caladan (7-2) enough to try him two back in the Pegasus against Maximum Security. That didn’t go too well — the sophomore finished last and was beaten 28 lengths — but there’s nothing wrong with the rest of his resume, which includes a three-back victory against allowance foes at Delaware Park. Reunited with pilot Jeremy Rose and dropped into starter/optional claiming company, he can get back to his winning ways here.


  • RACE 1
    • 2-7-5
    • SCR: 1, 3, 4, 6
  • RACE 2
    • 7-6-1-2
    • SCR: 5
  • RACE 3
    • 5-3-9-6
    • SCR: 4



Two races back #4 Tappahannock (7-2) ran evenly against better on the dirt, which in this off-the-turf contest might be good enough. The stretchout to a mile could also aid this one’s cause. If the Chuck Lawrence-trained #9 Glenn’s Caper (5-2) can reprise his recent turf efforts here, he’ll have something to say about the outcome, though his prior dirt form is only so-so.


If he can get back to his first-race form, #3 Dapper Mun (3-1) has a big shot to win this maiden event. He was third two levels up from here that day, and most of these have poor (or no) established dirt form. One firster here worth a gander is #1 Berrinche (20-1). The Maybry’s Boy gelding is a full-brother to the hard-hitting allowance runner Robey’s Boy.


A big field of lightly accomplished sorts is set to contest this six-furlong sprint, and you can pretty much make a case against most of these. We’ll take a bit of a swing with #12 Perfect Exchange (8-1), who’ll get Xavier Perez up for new trainer Amy Cortez after rallying into fourth against similar last out. The Exchange Rate filly has some OK efforts on her form and seems to have caught a number of races that played to speed, and against her rallying style. But it’s a slight preference; a bunch of these could win, including the two inside horses, both of which are dropping in class: #1 Fifteen K (8-1) and #2 Colton’s Horseplay (10-1).


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





Blinks go on today for #7 It’s a Shaw Thing (8-1), who makes her second start in the powerful Claudio Gonzalez barn and last time out was third against similar. If she moves forward, she’ll win here, but it’s a contentious group that also includes #8 Umightbeanempress (8-1), who bested her last time, and the fourth-place finisher from that same race, the lightly raced #4 Wildcattin (7-2).


His dirt tries are plenty good enough to make #9 Quality Matters (5-2)  a winner in this spot, as he’s competed at higher levels. The wildcard here, though, is the George Weaver-trained shipper #1 Mystic Times (7-5). All four of his starts have come on turf, and they’re good enough to win here. The value likely won’t be there, since he’s never tried the main track, but you’ll want the son of Tiznow in your multi-race wagers.


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


        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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