Laurel Park picks and ponderings October 18, 2019

by | Oct 18, 2019 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland, MD Racing

Anna's Bandit

Anna’s Bandit. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…

Post time: 1:10 p.m.

Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $7,751; Super High 5 — $1,150; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: The three turf sprints — races 1, 3, and 4 — have been moved to the main track, while the routes remain on the turf.



Gotta be honest: we kinda hate off-the-turf races. They tend to be a grab bag of horses with bad dirt form, no dirt form, and old dirt form. Anyway… we’ll go with #10 You Can Nver Tell (6-1) in the opener. The Beth Worton trainee hasn’t been in great form since being claimed four back, but his dirt form fits here and he’ll be facing the easiest main-track company he’s seen… #1 Brockmoninoff (7-5) was set to be the favorite on the turf and may be on dirt; his only prior dirt try was perfectly fine, and while his turf form has been better, he certainly fits here, though probable short odds are a bit of a concern…

Selections: 10-5-1-8


Bottom-level maidens take center stage here, and this could be a good spot for the Ham Smith trainee #9 Pataz (7-2), who was somewhat competitive two levels up and gets blinks on today… Trainer George Weaver, who has Brockmoninoff in the first, will send out #6 Brady’s Palace (3-1) here. Weaver is 2-for-6 at the meet, all with very short-priced horses (none above 2.90-1), and this is a horse he can’t get rid of soon enough. A $125,000 auction purchase, this guy made his debut at the $75,000 maiden claiming level, ran poorly, and now makes his second start, first as a gelding, at the bottom… 

Selections: 9-8-6-3


The switch to the main track tips the balance here towards #7 Mice and Men (9-2). The Dale Capuano trainee has run a couple of good ones against similar and catches what looks to be an easier group here today… Thinking that the last try for #6 Kathak (6-1) was a better effort than it looks; he stumbled badly at the break, going to his knees and immediately dropping to last, but ran on willingly with only moderate encouragement from his rider. If he can get away cleanly today, that would be a big help.. It’s been a while since #5 Ready to Run (2-1) ran on the main track, but when he did, he ran about as well as he had on turf. If that continues today, he’ll be a factor… 

Selections: 7-6-5-1



Two straight for trainer Dale Capuano? Could be, as #2 Two Hot Betty (9-2) looks to be a major player in this off-the-turf allowance. She’s won two straight and been in the exacta four straight and here makes her second start off a break of more than three months… You ought to find some value on #10 Had the Notion (15-1) but give her a look. The Darci Rice trainee was 40-1 last out in the Tax Free Shopping Distaff but led early and hung on to be third. Winner Shimmering Aspen, now retired, was a legit stakes horse, so that was a huge effort for this sophomore, a repeat of which would put her in the mix today…

Selections: 2-10-4-9


Hard to imagine a horse having a worse start than did #6 Fortune Cookie (3-1) last time out in the Good Magic Mile at Monmouth Park. The Jane Cibelli trainee dwelt, reared up, stumbled inwards, and by the time he righted himself was 25 lengths back. Rider Chris Decarlo didn’t ask for much after that, but this runner rates a big shot today if he can get away cleanly. Trainer Cibelli will leg up go-to local rider Trevor McCarthy, and if this one can get back to his better form, he’ll be right there… Trainer Gary Capuano doesn’t claim a lot of horses, but he is 2-for-3 with horses making their second start in his barn after being claimed, as is the case with #5 Bronx Sandman (6-1). This one was up against it last out when 13-1 in a four-horse field dominated by graded winner Call Paul going six furlongs, but on the stretch-out today, he can improve. It’s notable that Capuano lost this runner via the claimbox three back before claiming him back… Can’t #1 Hydraulic (10-1) take another step forward in just his third start of the year?

Selections: 6-5-1-4


In his debut, #10 Marden (12-1) pretty much just galloped around the track en route to a sixth-place finish. The Mike Trombetta trainee has been away since that November 2018 race, makes his second start today, and will try turf for the first time. His breeding says turf should work for him — he’s a full sib to a two-time winner on the lawn — and Trombetta is 2-for-4 with maiden claimers trying turf for the first time after a six-month break… #3 On a Spree (7-2) can make an impact today in easier company. His last as a disaster, but his two prior tries would put him right there… This is a race with some speed in it, and the most likely runner to survive from the early vanguard is #8 Cast the Lot (9-2), who’s led and faded in two straight…

Selections: 10-3-8-4



Let’s see if we can’t blow up the toteboard with #12 Don Jupp (20-1) in this allowance contest. He was keen to go last time out, in his first start since March, making a quick middle move from fifth to first before stopping after six furlongs. He’ll be fitter today, and look for new pilot Forest Boyce to try to get him covered up early and then try to make one run… This is a pretty wide-open contest, though, so don’t skimp on your ticket here. Off a front-running maiden score, #6 Mind the Gap (6-1) can double up in this spot for trainer Arnaud Delacour… #2 He’s One Wild Dude (8-1) should appreciate the cutback from 1 1/2 miles, and a return to better form would put him in the mix… #11 Flowmotion (7-2) has been competitive against similar…

 Selections: 12-6-11-2


Getting back to the main track should be a boon to #2 Simmard Shenanigan (5-2), who broke her maiden two back and lands here in the right spot for what would be jockey Yomar Ortiz’s first win of the season… Favored #3 Lulu’s On the Move (9-5) drops from the $10,000 level, where she ran second last time out.. 

Selections: 2-9-3-8


In this turfy maiden special, all systems appear to be go for #7 Roma Delight (9-2). The Jerry O’Dwyer trainee rallied nicely to be a near-miss third last out, in her second career start, shows a bullet work since, and will get go-to rider Sheldon Russell in the irons… #10 Our Little Jewel (3-1) made three starts in New York for trainer Mike Trombetta, including a good second two back at Saratoga, but we’re not entirely sold on how good that field was; only one of five to run back has finished in the money next out… Solid debut for the Mike Stidham-trained #2 La Croix Valmer (6-1), who steadied and was in tight through the opening eighth of a mile before mounting a solid inside rally to grab third at MTH…

Selections: 7-10-2-8


Nickel claimers complete the card, and we’ll give the nod to #9 Come On Callie (9-2). The Jamie Ness trainee makes her third start of the year here and gets go-to rider Trevor McCarthy in the irons…

Selections: 9-4-8-6


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.

What's Hot


Sign Up Now

Get The Racing Biz in your inbox!

Join our mailing list to get our latest news delivered to your inbox each week! And, by the way, we never sell our lists or share your info with outside parties.

You have Successfully Subscribed!