In Focus: Wagering Maryland Pride Day 2019
Just Howard. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
Our In Focus Guide offers the most in-depth analysis and commentary to the four Maryland Pride Day stakes at Laurel Park!
RACE 7 – STAR DE NASKRA STAKES
RACE PARTICULARS: Race 7 (4:10 pm EDT), $75,000 guaranteed purse for 3-year-olds (Md-bred/sired), 6 furlongs
- Great Herman (10/1): Speedy gelding will almost certainly be on the lead early, but he rarely hangs around late. He’s faded badly in two of his last three.
- Where Paradise Lay (3/1): Faded after a wide trip last out at Saratoga, now ships to his native state for the first time. Classy colt will do his best running at the end.
- Thatwouldbegrand (6/1): Broke his maiden in impressive style last summer, but hasn’t seen the winner’s circle since then. He’s lost as the favorite in three of his last four to boot. Not too optimistic.
- Trifor Gold (10/1): He’s shown speed and faded several times before going long distances. Finally cuts back around one turn, at the distance where he won his only race. Workouts coming in here have been strong. Not sure if he’s fast enough to get to the lead, but merits respect as possible upsetter.
- Seven on the Rocks (15/1): It took him six tries to break his maiden, and he was a non-threatening sixth in his only try against winners.
- Hall Pass (6/1): Beat older Maryland-breds with a frantic late rally a few starts back. Has tactical speed, and could sit a great rating trip if the pace is hot.
- Sky Magician (15/1): Hasn’t raced since December 8. Could be rusty first off the long layoff, especially against rivals with much more recent experience.
- Distant Shore (5/2): This speedy stakes-placed colt has been based in the midwest his whole career. Almost wired a sharp allowance field last out at Churchill Downs before giving way late. Gets Trevor McCarthy aboard, so you know he’ll get the most out of his speed.
- Tappin Cat (8/1): Two-time winner beat older horses at Delaware Park earlier in the year. He struggled after racing wide last time, and may get hung out wide again.
- #2 Where Paradise Lay (3-1): Should benefit from plenty of early pace to run at
- #6 Hall Pass (6-1): Has competitive tries versus older two-other-than runners
- #8 Distant Shore (5-2): Speedy shipper will need to outfoot other early types
- #4 Trifor Gold (10-1): Won in only try at trip and has kept good company
My Sistersledge. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
Race 8 — ALL BRANDY STAKES
RACE PARTICULARS: Race 8 (4:40 pm EDT), $75,000 guaranteed purse for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up (Md-bred/sired), 1 1/16 miles (turf)
THE FIELD (post position order)
Irony of Reality (10/1): Made a huge premature move last out, and faded to finish third. Was in sharp form against weaker over the winter at Tampa Bay Downs, so with a better-timed move, could be a contender.
Good Roll (15/1): Hasn’t been a factor in her last three, and there’s no reason to believe this will be any different.
Sunrisebernsteini (15/1): Broke her maiden in her eighth try two races back, then flew late to just miss last out. Will the lightbulb angle apply here?
Ghoul’s Night Out (4/1): Won the Jameela Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs on the turf at 19/1. She’s not as sharp going two turns as she is at shorter distances, but she hasn’t tried routing on the turf before. Maybe it’s in her wheelhouse, but I wouldn’t take low odds to find out.
Victory Rally (15/1): The only grass start in her running lines is a non-threatening sixth against Maryland-breds a year ago. Recent form has not been sharp.
Monte Crista (2/1): She’s 2-for-2 over the Laurel grass, and picked up a stakes win in the Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga last year. Fell flat against open company last out, and will seek a rebound here. It’ll be her second start off the layoff, giving her reasonable hope for improvement.
My Sistersledge (7/5):Showed a ton of fight last out, losing by a head before getting put up on a disqualification. She’s won five races over the Laurel grass, including the Maryland Million Ladies last year. She was 3-5 in that race, and I expect similar odds here.
Annie Boo Boo (20/1): Faded against worse last out, and form on the year has generally not been inspiring.
- #6 Monte Crista (2-1): Sneaky good try in last presages move forward
- #7 My Sistersledge (7-5): Hard hitter will be tough… as will odds
- #1 Irony of Reality (10-1): Has been in the triple four straight
- #3 Sunrisebernsteini (15-1): Lightbulb on?
O Dionysus won the Cape Henlopen Stakes in 2018 at Delaware Park. Photo by Allison Janezic.
Race 9 — FIND STAKES
RACE PARTICULARS: Race 9 (5:10 pm EDT), $75,000 guaranteed purse for three-year-olds and up (Md-bred/sired), 1 1/16 miles turf
English Minister (5/2): Took advantage of a perfect pace setup last out, defeating just three rivals and earning, in my eyes, an artificially high figure. He’ll likely get a lot of money off of that race, but I think the odds of him getting another trip like that are slim.
Just Howard (7/5): Closed off a slow pace to win a three-horse photo in the Oceanport Stakes last out. He’s been racing well against better, and should enjoy the drop in class.
Taxable Goods (12/1): Has been running figures that are a cut below those of the best. Had a tough trip last time in a six-horse field; will he make his own trouble again?
O Dionysus (3/1): He’s had a busy summer, with three starts in stakes over the past two months. Had a brutal trip off a week’s rest in the Glasgow Stakes, as he was wide the entire way and forced to close off a very slow pace. That could happen again here, but if it’s a more honest race, he’s going to be heard from late.
Belfour (12/1): Has good form over dirt, but was an uninspiring third in his lone grass start. Looking elsewhere.
Bonus Points (6/1): Goes out for Mike Trombetta for the first time, and makes his first start since April. He’s never won grass, and hasn’t raced on it recently, so will have to take the “wait and see” approach with him.
- #4 O Dionysus (3-1): Figures to get a more honest pace in here than last time out
- #2 Just Howard (7-5): Class relief a plus, but will be short odds
- #6 Bonus Points (6-1): A contender if he can bring best dirt form to lawn
Never Enough Time. Photo by Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club.
Race 10 — MISS DISCO STAKES
RACE PARTICULARS: Race 10 (5:40 pm EDT), $75,000 guaranteed purse for fillies and mares three-years-old and up (Md-bred/sired) 6 furlongs
Past Perfect (3/1): Comes in with career form after a smashing win against Maryland-breds last out. Packs a powerful late punch and should get a good rating trip.
Ten Oaks Miss (15/1): Was well-beaten by Past Perfect last time after going to the lead. Not much reason to believe that this will be any different.
Bunting (10/1): Returns for her first start since May, and may need a freshener right off the bench.
Never Enough Time (8/5): Won her first two races in easy fashion, before struggling against open stakes company. Should find the going here easier.
Miss Guided (12/1): Tries winners for the first time after a front-running maiden claiming win. It won’t be as easy to dash away from this group.
Hickory Made (20/1): This maiden would have to improve sharply to even have a chance.
Introduced (2/1): Broke her maiden on the dirt last fall, and has been in good form over the grass. Easily beat Maryland-breds on the lawn two starts back.
- #1 Past Perfect (3-1): Stay Thirsty filly in form now
- #7 Introduced (2-1): Would be prohibitive fave on turf, owns win on main track
- #4 Never Enough Time (8-5): Needs bounceback effort
- #3 Bunting (10-1): Training forwardly toward first in three-plus months
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