Laurel Park picks and ponderings November 30, 2019

by | Nov 30, 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: 12:25 p.m.

Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $6,492; Super High 5 — $1,490; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: Four stakes on tap today!



  • 4-1-5-3
  • Your eyes aren’t deceiving you; all six of the runners in here really do look almost exactly the same. Since that’s the case, let’s see if we can find a mild upset with #4 Boat Over the Hill (9-2). The Jamie Ness trainee was throttled last time out against similar going six furlongs, but note that he did make a way too belated run and galloped out with the winner; the added ground might aid his cause and perhaps this one is sitting on a step forward… We’re going to draw a line through that last one for #1 Chasing the Candy (6-1); it was in the slop and at Charles Town, and he was reluctant to load and showed pretty much nothing; like to see rider Cintron remain aboard… #5 Five Star Perfect (3-1) and #3 Gray Gary (2-1) both look to be moving in the right direction…


  • 3-4-5-1
  • Two first-out maiden winners highlight this 2-year-old allowance, and we’ll give the slight nod to the Jerry O’Dwyer runner #3 Decorated (5-2); he rallied from well back to get up late on debut and figures to benefit from the added ground today; O’Dwyer is 2-for-7 with horses who scored on debut making their second career starts, and both wins came, like this one, on relatively short rest (13 days in this case)… #4 Romanoff (7-5) may have won by just a half-length in his debut, but it was nearly eight lengths back from the runner-up to everybody else; he showed good speed and might be winging it in front here, but note that trainer Claudio Gonzalez is 0-for-9 with horses making their second starts after winning on debut…


  • 2-7-6-4
  • Four-time winner #2 Zitarrosa (3-1) won last time out, and here in the second off the claim, trainer Anthony Farrior confidently moves her up a notch (he’s 6-for-17 with a positive ROI with this move); Zitarrosa is 4-for-6 on the main track and has tactical speed… #7 Dig Charlie Dig (5-2) drops a step off an acceptable effort behind a next-out winner but is hard to love on top since he so rarely wins (2-for-28 in his career)… Look for an improved effort from #6 Hill Shadow (6-1), who makes his third start after a 13-month break, picks up Forest Boyce in the irons, and has some solid efforts to run back to…



  • 4-2-6-1
  • In his first try against stakes company — and first in five starts outside of NY-bred company — #4 Amundson (9-5) looks to be the speed of the speed in this seven-furlong contest; he’s won two straight at 6 1/2 furlongs and in both increased his advantage in the final furlong, so the distance doesn’t seem likely to be an issue; he’ll be the one to catch under Cintron… Favored #2 Honest Mischief (4-5) has kept the right kind of company and was beaten just three lengths in the G1 Woody Stephens and was third — albeit by 14 — behind Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Shancelot in the G2 Amsterdam; he just cruised in a KEE allowance, though none of seven to run back has won; the late runner will have to reel in top choice late.. #6 Chilly in Charge (10-1) has run three good turf races in a row but is also a stakes winner on the main track… #1 Hall Pass (8-1) ran pretty well last out against a salty group in the Maryland Million Sprint…


  • 6-5-3-8
  • The morning line favorite, #5 Vault (2-1) might well get bet down from here; she’s rather suddenly gotten good and absolutely obliterated a couple of allowance fields at Penn National, including a new track record last out (from the first of which five of six to run back finished in the triple next out); she’ll be seeing the best competition she’s seen yet, though, and we’re loath to take short odds on the step-up, so we’ll have her on the ticket but try to beat her on top with #6 Jehozacat (6-1), who makes her third start off a two-month break here for trainer Arnaud Delacour; this one has been racing on the turf exclusively the last two seasons but has some decent dirt tries on her resume, including a runner-up effort behind next-out stakes winner Sultry in a Keeneland allowance in 2017… The speedy #3 Beach Diva (7-2) — one of three trained by Delacour in a race in which Bernie Houghton also conditions three, including the favorite — rates a shot to take ’em all the way after a five-length win in allowance company going a mile…#8 Trace of Grace (10-1) ran second (at 37-1) in this event a year ago and won the Plum Pretty for PA-breds two back…


  • 7-2-3-6
  • What a fun horse is #7 Golden Brown (7-2): a graded winner on the turf who’s also a stakes winner on the main track, the Jersey-bred defeated fellow Garden Stater and morning line favorite #3 Sunny Ridge (5-2) three back, and the races sandwiching that one are nothing to sneeze at, either: a third-place finish behind Tom’s d’Etat, who won yesterday’s G1 Clark, and a fourth-place finish behind multiple graded winner Coal Front; he should be able to sit in mid-flight and unleash a run… #2 Han Sense (6-1) makes his first start after being claimed by trainer Kelly Breen and is showing two sharp works in the interim; Breen is 2-for-3 running horses he’s just claimed back in ungraded stakes company, and the works suggest this one is feeling frisky… Don’t ignore Sunny Ridge, either; the Jersey-bred is a graded winner and earner of over $1.3 million, and while his last wasn’t great, he’s fired fresh before…



  • 10-6-2-1
  • There looks to be plenty of early speed in this seven-furlong test, which might just put #10 Sweet Sami D (6-1) in the catbird seat; the Pat McBurney trainee, making her first start in two-plus months, was third behind Horologist and Jaywalk two back in the G3 Monmouth Oaks and then finished mid-pack in the G1 Cotillion; she should appreciate a bit of an easier spot today, and the cutback to seven furlongs might not hurt, either… Favored #6 Philanthropic (9-2) — did we mention what a wide-open race this is? — is one of those with early speed and looks to be moving in the right direction but had no answers last out when a well-beaten second behind Saguaro Row in the Pumpkin Pie at AQU… Feeling like #2 Needs Supervision (5-1) might be sitting on a top effort in her third after a seven-month vacation; this seven-furlong trip should hit her right between the eyes, and she’ll appreciate the class relief today… 


  • 3-7-5-2
  • Favored #3 Tappin Cat (8-5) arrives in career-best form for this allowance contest, with two wins and a third — in the Maryland Million Classic — in his last three, and here he catches a middling field for this second-level allowance… #7 Chargin Storm (12-1) has lost at this level several times but has several competitive tries… #5 Blame the Kids (4-1) seeks to step it up off a win versus lesser…


  • 2-10-4-9
  • Trainer Dale Capuano does well with second-time starters like #2 Final Proof (9-2), who led a long way before fading going a mile in his career bow and should be fit to get it done today… Favored #10 Carey Times (8-5) ran a big one to be second in his debut but disappointed as the favorite in his follow-up, and it’s worth noting that none of seven to run back from that debut has won… Let’s put #4 Barrister (6-1) on the ticket; trainer Lacey Gaudet is 5-for-25 with runners debuting in maiden claiming company, and this Bodemeister colt is a half to a 2-year-old winner…


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!