Laurel Park picks and ponderings December 7, 2019

by | Dec 7, 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 — $10,025; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: Four stakes for Maryland-breds are on tap today!




  • Though jockey Trevor McCarthy jumps ship, we’ll still give the nod to favored #5 Bourbon Streak (9-5), who’s been keeping much better company than these and last out was a decent fourth in maiden special weight company — three levels higher than these $16,000 maidens… McCarthy lands on #6 Marden (2-1), who ran a good one last out to just miss at the $10,000 level… Let’s see if #4 Yes Man (6-1) can sneak into the mix; he ran well last out at this level, giving a willing effort to be second after being three wide on the turn and five wide in the lane…


  • 6-4-2-1
  • Favored #2 My Queen Michelle (9-5) may prove tough in here — she won at first asking and then was second in an allowance — but won’t offer much value; we’ll keep her on the ticket but try to beat her with #6 Shecor (9-2); the Kenny Cox trainee makes her third start off a two-month break, and while her last was unsightly, it came at Charles Town, which she may not have enjoyed; back on her home track, she can improve today… In her first off the claim by conditioner Linda Albert, #4 Don’tbaggagecheck (6-1) may be all by herself in first in the early going and figures to try to take ’em all the way with leading rider Cintron remaining aboard…


  • 6-3-4-5
  • Clearly the best horse in this group is #3 Anna’s Bandit (8-5), a 15-time winner and earner of over $650,000; the only question here is the distance, which, at six furlongs, is a tad shorter than the seven at which she’s done her very best work; she’s clearly capable of winning here, but at short odds and a sub-optimal distance, this might be a good time to try to beat her… A horse who relishes this six-furlong trip, on the other hand, is #6 Majestic Reason (2-1), who’s 4-for-4 at it; she’s a stake winner and two back finished a good third in the G2 Gallant Bloom behind next-out Laurel allowance winner Minit to Stardom and Come Dancing, who won that race and then was 2-1 in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, though she ran poorly… Look for #4 Three Hawk (10-1) to outrun long odds wheeling back on short rest after a good try…



  • 2-4-5-3
  • Claudio Gonzalez had two entered here and scratches favored Articulator, which perhaps tells you what he thinks about #2 Cozy Lover (2-1); the speedster has been running consistently good races without quite getting it done at this level but catches a short field today… #4 Onemoregreattime (3-1) had a bit of trouble at the break last time and can improve today, but note the 0-for-6 ledger at the trip… Wondering if #5 Smokin Nitro (8-1) can rediscover the promise he showed as a sophomore; after winning six times last year, he’s 0fer this campaign but, making his second dirt start in a row, perhaps he’ll move forward…


  • 5-6-7-4
  • Favored #7 Tap the Mark (9-5) has been moving in the right direction while beating up against lesser at PRX’ he’ll be running late… Perhaps getting the jump on him will be #5 Torch of Truth (2-1), who’s kept better company, including an allowance win four back at DEL; his last couple aren’t bad at all, a fourth in a paceless Maryland Million Classic in which he was never going to be able to close well enough to catch the speedy sorts and then a second behind Tappin Cat (third in the Classic) at a perhaps-too-short seven furlongs; two turns might hit him right between the eyes… We’ll use #6 Can’t Pass It Up (8-1) on the ticket, as well; he’s run two much-improved races since being gelded…


  • 7-8-5-6
  • Rugged group set to line up for this year’s renewal of this event, with Maryland Million Lassie winner #8 Hello Beautiful (5-2) and turf stakes winner #6 Miss J McKay (2-1) featured, but we’ll try to beat ’em both with #7 Stickingtogether (6-1); the Michael Matz trainee cpi;ran second behind Hello Beautiful in the Lassie but gets an additional furlong to work with today; she’s one of just two here who has gone seven-eighths, and in her only try going seven, around two turns at CT, she stuck with it OK to be fourth, beaten a couple of lengths; she’ll make her second start with Lasix today and gets rider Eddie Gonzalez (5-for-15 with Matz’s horses with a $4.97 ROI) in the irons… #5 Project Whiskey (6-1) is the only runner here to own a win going seven furlongs, and she has two of ’em, including the Parx Juvenile Fillies last out, a race from which the runner-up returned to win an allowance by 11… Hello Beautiful has won her last two on dirt impressively and tries a distance beyond six furlongs for the first time; last out she made all the running, dueling for the lead early before drawing away smartly… Miss J McKay was pointed at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, a plan that came acropper when she didn’t draw in; she’s done her best work on turf but did win her only dirt start…



  • 6-2-3-5
  • The scratch of likely favorite Monday Morning Qb throws this event wide open, and we’re gonna take a swing with #6 Mine Not Mine (12-1); the word was out on the Claudio Gonzalez trainee when he made his debut — he went off at 6-5 — and he delivered a tour de force, getting pinched back and basically left at the gate, rallying widest of all, and going on to win; the speed fig wasn’t much, and the margin wasn’t big, but he was a mile the best and has every right to improve today… #2 Laddie Liam (3-1) has won two of his last three and took an allowance contest going a mile last out; the High McMahon trainee retains jockey Sheldon Russell, who also rode #3 Raging Whiskey (5-1) last time out; the latter is the only runner here to own a stakes win and makes his second start in the Jerry O’Dwyer barn…


  • 4-2-5-9
  • Intriguing contest brings together 2018 graded winner #2 Still Having Fun (3-1), 2019 Preakness runner #3 Alwaysmining (6-1), and local hard hitters #4 Lewisfield (9-2)#5 Taco Supream (7-2), and #9 Clubman (9-2)… This’ll be a race to keep an eye on the toteboard; wouldn’t be a shock to see one of this group getting a lot of betting action, more than is warranted… We’re giving the nod to six-furlong specialist #4 Lewisfield (9-2); his last couple are just OK, but last time, in the Fabulous Strike, he got the worst of the trip (and wasn’t beating 1-5 Firenze Fire, regardless); he’s got six wins at the trip and makes his third start off a short break… #6 Taco Supream (7-2) ran the race of his life last out to win the Maryland Million Sprint and will try to double that up; he enters with a bullet work Nov. 27, so he appears to be feeling well, and he owns four wins at the trip… #2 Still Having Fun (3-1), gelded since his last start May 4 and with an eight-race losing streak, is a Grade 2 winner but seems to have done his best work going seven furlongs or even a one-turn mile; he’ll need more pace than seems likely to materialize today… #9 Clubman (9-2) loses jockey Julian Pimentel — he goes to Alwaysmining — but enters off a nice-looking win going six furlongs and just keeps churning out good races… We’ll take a wait-and-see attitude on Alwaysmining, making his first start since July after weathering a three-race losing streak; he’s a speedy sort going middle distances but will need to be zipping along to get to the front against these…


  • 9-5-1-7
  • Top choice #9 Deshackled (6-1) was eased last time out but has been gelded in the meantime and, curiously enough, attracts the services of jock McCarthy, among the meet leaders… The chalk here is #5 Whiskey and You (7-5), who’s run some good races but has lost at this level going about this distance three times; kinda tough to take what figures to be even money on that, though he needs to be on the ticket… Good effort on debut for #1 Fiya (7-2), who ditched his jockey and ran off for a quarter-mile before the race, then was involved in the early pace and stayed on until the late stages; that was a level down, but he owns the right to move forward today…


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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