Laurel Park picks and ponderings October 11, 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 — $1,851; Super High 5 — $520; Late Pick 5 — None
Notable: Our Star (#1 in the first race) is out of Silmaril, a popular local runner of a few years back who earned over $1 million and won a couple of graded stakes, including an upset win over defending Eclipse champion older filly/mare Ashado in the 2005 G3 Pimlico Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
The deserving chalk in here is #8 Gottaflathaveher (8-5), who drops out of maiden special weight company after three tries in which she made little impact. She needs to be on the ticket, but we’ll try to beat her with #1 Our Star (6-1), who cuts a somewhat similar profile. The well-bred (see Notable, above) daughter of Tapizar hasn’t run well in her last couple but sees several changes for today: first time in the Tim Keefe barn, blinks off, new rider Forest Boyce up. Her three-back near-miss in maiden special company is probably the best effort any of these has had, and she’s training well enough towards her first start in a couple of months here…
His Beyer figs aren’t the best in this group, but we like the way #6 Fernwood Drive (3-1) enters this starter contest: the Mark Reid trainee graduated last out, defeating next-out winner #5 Big Boots (6-1). He drops from the $40,000 level to this $25,000 spot for his follow-up, and Reid is 6-for-29 with runners who broke their maidens last time. Fernwood Drive has generally been forwardly placed early in his races, and this contest doesn’t have a lot of other early types, another plus for him… Feels like the odds on #1 Seven On the Rocks (5-1) offer real value, if you can get them; he broke his maiden (by eight lengths!) at the $40,000 level, has a couple of decent tries since, and has been gelded…
His last wasn’t good, but #3 Snidely (5-2) has a couple of decent tries on the page against better that likely would get it done in this spot. He’ll be making his first start in a couple of months today, and trainer Kieron Magee will leg up leading river Trevor McCarthy… The favorite, #1 Exchequer (2-1), makes his first start in the Wayne Potts barn after a poor try against $20,000 maidens at Sartoga…
Let’s not hold that last-out 10th place finish too strongly against #1 Frippery (3-1); the top pair in the All Along were the graded winners Notapradaprice and Colonia. This one’s three wins have come at 7 1/2 furlongs and a mile, and this six-furlong distance might be right up her alley. She’ll get blinkers on today… Last time out, in the Turf Amazon, #5 Too Much Tip (9-2) broke last of all and then rushed up almost all the way to third before emptying out in the final furlong. A decent break would aid her cause immensely, and she has won against similar… Look for an improved effort bu #2 Buff’s in Love (15-1) back on the lawn today; she ran poorly in a couple of dirt tries, but we like that trainer Sanchez-Salomon, in his second after the claim, puts this one in at a higher level than the claim was for…
Nice-looking debut for #5 My Queen Michelle (6-1), who sat off a three-way duel along the inside before angling outside and reeling in the leaders to win easily. She looked to be a bit uncertain, but when the rider got her outside and in the clear, she kicked on very nicely to win… #6 Bunting (4-1) oughto to appreciate the class relief after back-to-back tries in stakes company, as should #6 Talkthetalk (6-1), who was a rallying third last out in the Weathervane behind the Grade 1-placed Meadow Dance…
Huge improvement last out for #2 Sky Magician (2-1), who romped in a turf sprint here. That race has produced a next-out winner from three to run back, and this one makes his third start of the year today… #8 Joseph (5-2) just missed at this level last time and has been in good form this year, finishing in the money in four of five starts. He’s a deep closer, so he’s always somewhat at the mercy of pace and trip, but he may benefit more than any of his rivals with this race being 6 furlongs, rather than the typical 5 1/2 and by being drawn on the far outside…
None of the horses that have run previously has set the world on fire, so in this maiden special weight, it makes some sense to look at a first-timer for win honors. #4 Embossed (8-1) is extremely well-bred, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, whose dam, Golden Velvet, was a multiple graded stakes winner and who has two siblings who were graded stakes runners. Trainer Mike Stidham does pretty well with first-timers, and this miss has been training well enough towards her debut.. We’ll give another crack to #1 Orbette (15-1); the Lacey Gaudet trainee showed good speed on debut and remained in contention until the final furlong before fading. She finished ahead of the two horses with which she was dueling – the race went to the late runners – and she can move forward in her second start today…
We’re not sure exactly what #3 Crazed (3-1) beat last time out at Delaware; she was 1-2, and none of the five horses to run back has finished in the money in their follow-ups. But she did win easily, owns three wins in a race in which her rivals have no more than two, and might well be the main speed here… We’re thinking #8 Grand River (10-1) might show some improvement today. The Grand Reserve gelding has some good tries in his background, ran very poorly two back at Timonium, but might have gotten some confidence back when dropped to the bottom, where he was a clear winner. If he can get back to his better form, he’ll be tough today… #5 Unequivocal (6-1) should appreciate ample class relief today and didn’t run all that badly last time out; he’s wheeling back in just seven days for trainer Ham Smith…
In this bottom-level maiden contest, many of the runners have failed repeatedly at this level. One who hasn’t is #5 Let Me Ask Bob (12-1), who hasn’t show much but here finds his lowest level and may appreciate the added ground versus the four-furlong dash of his last start… Of those who have run, #3 Voodoo Valley (5-1) has been as close as any…
In her third start since being claimed, #7 Sunday Red (9-2) drops down to a level at which she has competed, including a near-miss second three races ago. A return to that effort might be good enough, she gets Jorge Ruiz up, and she offers some value… Favored #3 Bizness Beauty (2-1) probably needs to be on the ticket on the cutback in distance in her first try for trainer Wayne Potts, as does #8 Suzzette Star (5-2), who has one bad try over yielding ground sandwiched between two good ones at this level on a first track. She’ll get Alex Cintron up today…
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