Laurel Park picks and ponderings October 31, 2019
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 — None; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None
Blinkers go on for top choice #6 Catonsville (5-2), who led a long way last time out before fading late to be fourth. The Kieron Magee traineewas unruly in the gate that day and should appreciate the cutback from seven furlongs to six, though it’s worth pointing out that Trevor McCarthy, who rode him last time, passes on this race… What made the difference last time for #3 Blade O (6-1)? The switch back to turf, or the easier company? Or both? If he can run a similar race to that here on the main track, he’ll be a factor, which is also true for #4 Leading Man (3-1)…
RACE 2 — OFF THE TURF
Double alert in this race: it’s off the turf, and it’s an amateur rider race… Last time #5 Daper’s Drink (12-1) ran on the main track, he was a pretty good third at a higher level at Delaware, and three of five to run back have finished in the triple. He may find the one-turn mile to his liking, as well… The likely favorite if #9 Yes Means No (7-2), who probably has to be on the ticket but who has a severe case of second-itis (second or third 13 times in 21 starts without a single win)…
Let’s take a bit of a swing in this nickel claimer. #4 My T Talk (8-1) ran a sneaky good race last out, winning an extended speed duel before being run down late by a trip-sitting Lady Kim. The winner returned to repeat in her next start, and in fact, three of the top four to run back have run one-two in their follow-ups. With Xavier Perez up, this miss may control from the front… #2 Group Text (3-1) was the beneficiary of a good trip last time out when she won easily at Delaware, sitting off an early duel before powering on home. Two of six to run back from that race have followed up with wins…
We’d really like to take a stand against the favorite, #2 Takechargmatriarch (7-5), but it seems a heavy lift. She returned from a six-month break last out to be an OK third in a maiden claimer at Keeneland. She was claimed from that race by Anthony Farrior, who’s 2-for-11 with first-off-the-claim runners in maiden company. Here best efforts, including a runner-up effort in a maiden race at Oaklawn, would make her a handful here… #5 Zig (4-1) didn’t run badly last out, dueling with the winner early and staying on willingly to the wire… #3 Morning Molly (3-1) was pretty well beaten in her debut, in a maiden special weight contest at the Fair Grounds, a race which has produced two next-out winners. But that was back in January, and she makes a drop here into claiming company for her first start in nine months. Interesting to see a one-mile move as part of her training…
As expected, it’s a pretty rugged group set to line up in this open $55,000 allowance, and we’ll eat the chalk with the formful #5 Fort Fortitude (2-1), who has crossed the wire first in three straight, the last two since being claimed by trainer Jamie Ness. He should be able to press the early pace under jockey Trevor McCarthy and then take over… That early pace likely will be provided by #4 Old Time Revival (6-1), who set wicked early fractions in the G3 De Francis Dash before tiring to sixth. He gets a new rider today in Jose Garcia, and if Garcia can get him to settle a little bit, he’ll have a better shot of carrying his speed… #6 American Power (5-2) ships in for trainer Linda Rice off a rough outing when clobbered in the G1 Vosburgh but prior to that had won three straight… Curious to see #3 Clubman (7-2) wheel right back after an even effort 12 days ago when seventh in the Maryland Million Classic…
This maiden contest for two-year-olds looks to be a wide-open affair, and you can make a case for a half-dozen or more. Top choice #10 Tomcat Black (3-1) has run a couple of good ones, finishing fourth by just a length on debut and then second in his follow-up. The debut came behind the Steve Asmussen-trained Night Code, who returned to run third in an allowance at Keeneland, and the second start came behind next-out allowance winner Corsi… We’re thinking #4 Tabled (12-1) can move forward off an even debut. He had a bit of an adventurous trip that day and is showing two works in the interim, including a half in 47 4/5 that was second-fastest of 57 at MTH that morning…
RACE 7 — OFF THE TURF
This off-the-turf two-other-than is full of horses with plenty of turf form and very little main track form. The likely favorite is #1 Toughest ‘Ombre (6-1), who earned a 92 Beyer two races ago in an off-the-turf race at Gulfstream. Not sure how much we trust that that number is really indicative of who this horse is, though; it’s quite a bit higher than his other recent figs on his apparently preferred surface of turf and it’s much higher than his best prior dirt number. He should be a factor, but we’ll look to beat him with #10 Rohrbacher (10-1). The Farrior trainee ran well last out to win an allowance on the turf in his first try after being claimed and also owns a win in his only prior dirt try. That came in an off-the-turf maiden race last winer at Tampa Bay, and four of the five who ran back on dirt finished in the triple next time out. Look for him to be forwardly placed from the first jumps… Another one moving in the right direction is #5 Lost in Limbo (6-1), who’ll stretch out for the first time beyond six furlongs in this one-mile tilt; trainer Tom Proctor has given the Into Mischief gelding four works in preparation, including a one-mile move on October 16…
RACE 8 — OFF THE TURF
Last time out, in her first start in trainer Kieron Magee’s barn, #3 Artful Splatter (12-1) dominated a never-won-two starter on the main track and here looks to carry that form to the never-three level. That this contest is off the turf should aid her cause…
Good effort last time out by #1 High Roller (5-2), who won an early speed duel but could not contain the late run of #2 Junction (6-1). High Roller looks to be the controlling speed in this contest, as well, and thus is a gate-to-wire threat, but it’s worth noting that new trainer Farrior waited after claiming him Sept. 7 and now drops him in for $5000 after claiming him for $8000… That may mean that Junction offers the value in this contest. He won with a good trip over High Roller and others two back, and last time out the Linda Albert trainee was an OK fourth at the $8,000 level behind the hard-hitting The Great Provider in a race in which Junction was fractious in the gate and then just even late…
It’s a somewhat nondescript maiden claimer to close the card, and we’ll use the Claudio Gonzalez-trained #3 Hoss Kitten (4-1) on top. In her debut, she had the worst of the trip but here drops a level and gets blinkers on… Two runners with turf form — #6 Magical Luna (5-2) and #7 Classy But Sassy (9-2) — figure if they can bring their form to the main track… #1 Amphitrite (3-1) gave an improved account of herself last out, and the winner was a decent fourth in the Md. Million Lassie in her follow-up…
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