Laurel Park picks and ponderings October 3, 2019

by | Oct 3, 2019 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland, MD Racing

Anna's Bandit

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 — $954; Super High 5 — $1,412; Late Pick 5 — $14,695

Notable: Laurel Park switches to a four-day-per-week schedule starting today… There’s a juicy carryover of nearly $15,000 in the late Pick 5…



The most recent comment line for #4 Tachyon (5-1) — “Dwelt, lost all chance” — isn’t kidding. This guy stood in the gate for literally several seconds after the rest of the runners had left; the track announcer estimated it as spotting the field half a furlong. Let’s give him a chance to get back to better form today; if he does return to his earlier form, he’s right there versus these. The class-dropping #5 Jag (5-2) and formful #1 Broker’s Reward (2-1) are among the other logical players here…

Selections: 4-5-1-11


The last time he faced this level of runners here at Laurel, #4 Major Flirt (6-1) finished a fast-closing third. He returns to the site of his best effort here and catches a field that appears likely to give him a lively pace to run at… It’ll be first time on the dirt for #2 Kathak (3-1), whose last was a disaster but who had prior run some good races. If he can transfer his better turf form to the main track — his breeding says that should be feasible — then he’ll likely win here. Unless… he is one of the speed horses here, so he’ll hope to slip away from the others… The late-running #9 Dapper Mun (15-1) is another late runner who should benefit from the expected pace scenario…

Selections: 4-2-9-1


Could be a Linda Rice double, as #4 Readyforprimetime (5-2) gets our nod in here. This runner was much the best two back to break his maiden — that race has produced two next-out winners — before being overmatched in a stake at Belmont Park. He should find the class relief here to be to his benefit… Don’t ignore #3 Street Prayer (6-1); this one has run reasonably well on the dirt, and Street Magician’s offspring often move up on the grass… Jockey Nik Juarez is in town for a couple of mounts today, among them #9 Wonder In (3-1) for Jonathan Thomas, a runner he tried to get in on turf last time…

Selections: 4-3-9-1



Let’s see if we can find an upset in this one. #10 Critical Data (10-1) just missed four races back when running here at this level. Since then he’s tried his hand in stakes company without notable success, and last out he was fifth in a G3 Virginia Derby in which he was hampered by an absolutely glacial pace that left him and pretty much everyone else at the mercy of the two early leaders. Horses coming from that race have run pretty well in their follow-ups… Thinking the cutback in distance from 1 3/8 miles to 1 1/16 should be a big plus for #3 King of Spades (5-1). The Kelly Breen trainee saw his four-race win streak snapped last out when third in an 11-furlong contest, but dialing back today, this formful runner can return to best form… 

Selections: 10-3-7-4


The last two turf tries for #5 Dance Or Stroll (5-2) stamp her a major player in this Maryland-bred allowance. Two back, she dusted an open a-other-than by three lengths and last out, at 46-1, she ran credibly in the Sensible Lady Turf Dash, finishing three lengths behind the very good Goldwood. If she can maintain that form, she’ll be tough in here… #10 Eifs (5-1) had the worst of the trip against similar two back, finally diving to the rail to rally for third… #2 Epic Idea (10-1) can get back to best form shortening up to a sprint distance and cuts the right profile to win here…

Selections: 8-10-2-11


Intriguing maiden special weight contest on offer here, and we’ll give a shot to #6 Sagamore Mischief (10-1). The son of Into Mischief, a $290,000 purchase at the May 2019 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic two-year-old sale, was in contention until fairly late in his debut before weakening to fourth. In his second start, he rates a shot to improve, gets blinkers on, and attracts the services of leading rider Trevor McCarthy… Few sires are as prolific with two-year-olds as is Uncle Mo, which means you have to give a look to #8 Order for Porky (5-1). The Kelly Rubley trainee, who is a half-brother to a multiple graded stakes-placed runner, makes his debut here with a lengthy and regular work tab under him… Others of note: First Degree (9-2), a $300,000 Bernardini colt; #2 Enjoy the Music (7-2), a son of Pioneerof the Nile out of a graded stakes-placed runner; and Godolphin’s #1 Tabled (6-1), by Super Saver out of a graded stakes winner…

Selections: 6-8-4-2



The favorite in this contest is #9 Nevisian Sunset (5-2), who just missed last time out against similar. But surely her rivals aren’t going to let her set fractions of 50 1/5 and 1:15 this time, are they? If she can slip away like that, she’ll be tough to run down, but we expect a bit more early pace in the mix today, and that points us to #4 Annie Boo Boo (6-1), who was one of the runners compromised by that glacial pace last out but who has shown the ability to contend with these… 

Selections: 4-9-6-3


We’re gonna keep chasing #7 Spicy Meatball (2-1) until we catch him. Is today the day? The Munnings gelding gets blinks on and drops a level off a good try versus better. A repeat of that should be enough… #3 Baysider (3-1) can improve today with a cleaner trip; last out he got bounced around leaving the gate and then steadied into the turn before running on late while widest on the course…  

Selections: 7-3-10-4


Enjoy the chalk! #9 Maryland Mo (9-5), a $200,000 auction purchase, is a son of Uncle Mo who’s a half-brother to the stakes winner Who’s In Town, who won at first asking as a two-year-old. The Graham Motion trainee has been training well enough towards his debut today… #5 The Poser (5-1) has two inconsequential turf tries in the bank and here shifts to the main track for the first time. He’s a half to the hard-hitting allowance runner Moon Virginia, who’s at his best on dirt… 

Selections: 5-4-3-2


There are two three-year-olds in this claiming race that have won three times each, one more than their older rivals, and for that reason alone, we’ll include #8 Nancysaidso (5-1) and #1 Allison K (2-1) on the ticket. But we’ll see if we can beat them with the class-dropping #2 Fanniebellefleming (5-2), who last out was just an even fourth a couple of levels higher; trainer Dale Capuano has a 27% strike rate off similar drops, and this one’s form has been good enough to imagine she can get it done here…

Selections: 2-8-1-6


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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