Laurel Park picks and ponderings September 21, 2019
Anna’s Bandit. 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 — $10,201; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None
Notable: It’s worth taking a look at the last-race quinella. The wager — essentially an exacta box at half the price — has frequently paid more than half the exacta since its inception, partially because of the low takeout.
Top choice #8 Five Alarm Robin (2-1) looks tough on the drop from maiden special weight company at the Spa, ran competitively behind $500k daughter of Scat Daddy last time out… #6 Aladdin Sane (12-1) can improve here with Lasix on for the second time…
First-time starters in this spot generally seem vulnerable, so we’ll include a couple debut runners in our mix in #6 My Queen Michelle (5-1) from the Claudio Gonzalez barn and #7 Pensaba (3-1) for Kelly Rubley. The latter, in particular, has been training forwardly… Morning line favorite #4 Olin’s Honor (5-2) rank well enough when second on the synthetic at PID on debut, and all of his siblings’ 10 wins came on dirt…
RACE 3 — SELIMA STAKES
Top choice #3 Sunset Promise (3-1) broke her maiden two back on the lawn at Gulfstream, leading early and drawing away late, and last out gave a credible account of herself when fifth in a $500k stake at Kentucky Downs; that day, she made a bold middle move to reach contention before emptying out… Morning line favorite #7 Sharing (9-5) just missed sprinting on turf on debut (behind a runner, Fly So Pretty, who finished behind Sunset Promise in her follow-up) and then graduated in an off-the-turf contest. She’s out of the millionaire Shared Account…
Speedy #6 Stroll Smokin (8-5) ran huge last out and has won three straight for red-hot Mark Reid operation… There’s other pace in here, though, and that could play to the benefit of #7 Baptize the Boy (8-1), making his first start in four months and first for Damon Dilodovico. This one showed early promise, but two tries versus winners were poor…
RACE 5 — LAUREL FUTURITY
The Mike Maker shipper #4 Field Pass (2-1) looks tough off a runner-up effort in the G3 With Anticipation at the Spa and makes third two-turn start here today… Don’t sleep on French import #5 Jack the Ripper (10-1), who makes North American debut for Mike Stidham and gets blinks on and Lasix, both for the first time today. Was an impressive winner last out with “ran on strongly” comment line… Thinking the win in the Kitten’s Joy by #7 Doc Boy (6-1) was better than it seems; runner-up Cadet Connelly returned to graduate next out and then, a week later, finish second in the G1 Summer at Woodbine at odds of 109-1…
RACE 6 — BALD EAGLE DERBY
Last time out #4 Jais’s Solitude (5-2) was clearly best and though couldn’t quite make up all the ground after leaders were allowed to crawl through six furlongs in 1:18 and change, he was the only one running from behind. Lone question makr for him is the 12-furlong distance with a pedigree that doesn’t scream it… #7 He’s No Lemon impressed last out in winning an N1X at SAR at 11 furlongs. The runner-up returned to win nicely next out, and this one is bred top and bottom for the distance (Lemon Drop Kid over a Dynaformer mare)…
RACE 7 — G3 BWI TURF CUP
One of two graded stakes on the card, and the star of the show — though not our top choice — is the multiple graded stakes winner #8 Glorious Empire (3-1), set to make his first start of ’19 in this contest. If he returns at top level, he’ll have too much for these. If not? One logical place to look is our top choice #7 Caribou Club (4-1), himself a multiple graded winner who owns two wins over the strip. Two back, in his first try since March, he had a useful return sprinting at Woodbine and last out he was easily best in a minor stake at MNR. Trainer Tom Proctor’s taking a measured approach, and this guy looks like he’s ready to return to the big time… You really can’t ignore #6 Frontier Market (6-1), either, if for no reason other than it’s a Chad Brown-trained runner at Laurel at a square price…
RACE 8 — G3 DE FRANCIS DASH
Once one of the nation’s top sprints, this race isn’t quite what it once was but still a fun test… Looks like the favorite #7 New York Central (5-2) has a huge shot in here, as he’ll sit a good trip behind several speed types and run on late. A return to anything like the form that saw him win the G3 Maryland Sprint Handicap in May gets it done today… Another who might get the right trip is #4 Bon Raison (5-1), who never gets bet but occasionally pops a big one… The speedy #6 He Hate Me (3-1) carries the Sagamore colors into this one and should be forwardly placed early…
RACE 9 — LAUREL DASH
Two races ago, #1 Oldies But Goodies (4-1) made the early lead in the Ben’s Cat Stakes, set measured fractions, and won comfortably. Last time out, going a longer distance (6 furlongs versus 5 1/2) and over yielding ground, he made the lead but tired out of contention. Breaking from the rail today and getting Cintron back in the irons, this one looks like controlling speed once again, and if he breaks, he may not come back to the field…
RACE 10 — SENSIBLE LADY TURF DASH
We’d like to take a stand against #7 Goldwood (3-1) but it feels like a fool’s errand (not that we’re above that, but still…). The 5-year-old Medaglia d’Oro mare has won four straight, going as fast as she needs to early and drawing away late. All were in stakes company at Monmouth, but she’s shown the ability to take her show on the road and owns two wins on the LRL lawn… A horse who could figure in here is the Jonathan Thomas-trained #1 Escapade (10-1), who while she doesn’t have the resume of Goldwood arrives with four wins in five starts and shows genuine promise… Defending champ #11 Fire Key (4-1) is tough to ignore and has definitely kept the right sort of company, and while #13 Fame Feather (12-1) doesn’t figure at all on the page, doncha have to include her if for no other reason than rider Kent Desormeaux making his only start of the weekend with her?
RACE 11 — WEATHERVANE STAKES
First time out since February for #6 Needs Supervision (6-1), and, sure, she may need a race (and more ground), but let’s give her a crack. Show owns a class edge on her rivals, and if she can return from the break with her running shoes on, she factors in here… The Brad Cox shipper #3 Meadow Dance (3-1) makes her third start of the season and has won two straight. She kept the right sort of company as a juvenile and looks to get back to stakes level here… Don’t sleep on #4 Bunting (8-1), runner-up last time out in the Miss Disco. The show horses from that spot, Past Perfect, returned to run a big second in the Timonium Distaff behind the hard-hitting race mare Anna’s Bandit…
I’m not especially excited about endorsing #7 Zieg (2-1) on top and could easily see this race being a blow-up affair. He’s run ok races at Monmouth, but he’s never been especially close to winning, and the condition of that last race — $60,000 maiden claiming — was a bit of a head fake, as the group was no better than a workaday $40,000 maiden claimer… Intrigued to see #8 Boss of Bourbon St (10-1) show up here on the dirt as a first-time gelding. His best work to date has been on the lawn, but he is showing a bullet work since his last…
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