Laurel Park picks and ponderings December 20, 2019

by | Dec 20, 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 — None; Super High 5 — $375; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: The Great Provider (race nine) has been first or second in 10 of 11 tries going 5 1/2 furlongs.

ANALYSIS

RACE 1

  • 5-1-2-4
  • Looking for value, we’ll try to beat odds-on morning line choice #1 Under a Spell (4-5), who’s lost two straight as the favorite, having gone off at 1-5 two back and even-money last out… The speedy #5 Forthegreatergood (9-2) has been toiling on the turf of late but has competed against similar on the dirt; his most recent dirt try doesn’t look like much, but a bad break took him pretty much out of contention; he can contend here if he can get out of the gate…

RACE 2 

  • 1-6-2-7
  • Top choice #1 Final Proof (7-5) makes a two-level drop for his third career start; his debut wasn’t too bad at the $40,000 level, when he showed speed before tiring in the final quarter-mile, and he may be tough to reel in here… Let’s see if #6 Ludicrous Mode (6-1) can take a step forward; he rallied slightly while on the wrong lead in his debut one level higher, and he got all sorts of education that day…

RACE 3 

  • 2-6-3-1
  • Our original top choice is scratched, leaving us with #2 Sharpin (4-1) on top; the Gerry Brooks trainee ran just OK last time out but had a bit of traffic trouble, which turned out to be critical in a race in which the top three early were the top three at the end… Let’s draw a line through the last one — the first dirt race — for #6 Song of Indy (8-1), who stumbled and was immediately out of contention…

ANALYSIS

RACE 4

  • 3-2-7-6
  • Last time out top choice #3 Stucco (5-2) rallied late to get up by a nose over Marden, who returned to graduate against better, and in fact, the top three to run back from that race have a record of 3:2-1-0… #2 Eddy (3-1) lost the speed duel and the war last time out but was comfortably clear for second; winner Make the Rules won his follow-up, too…

RACE 5

  • 5-3-6-4
  • Top choice #5 Judi Blue Eyes (2-1) took a nice step forward last out in her first try in the Gonzalez barn and could sit the right trip today with a couple of speedy types to her inside… One of those speedy types, #3 Don’tbaggagecheck (4-1), ran a good one last out when third in Maryland-bred allowance company and was right there until tiring in the final sixteenth… #6 Ten Oaks Miss (5-2) has kept pretty good company, including three recent stakes tries…

RACE 6 

  • 4-1-3-2
  • Top choice #4 Galerio (9-2) makes his first start in the Gonzalez barn after getting claimed last out, and you have to like the confidence to move him up first time in the barn; this one has run credibly against some pretty good rivals… #1 Team Effort (3-1) gets blinkers on and drops back into claiming company after a pretty good try last out, but note that they were absolutely walking on the front end that day… 

ANALYSIS

RACE 7

  • 4-5-3-2
  • Favored #4 Going to the Lead (8-5) is likely to do exactly that — go to the lead — and should have everything his own way for the first half-mile or so; we’ll see if he can seal the deal this time, after he led but settled for second last time out… #5 Marden (9-2) graduated at the $16,000 level last time out and moves up in claiming price for his first try against winners and first in the Gonzalez barn; Gonzalez is 8-for-22 with horses making their first start after the claim for him after breaking their maidens last out… Tilting at windmills, perhaps, but why does leading local rider McCarthy land on longshot #3 Passport (15-1) after riding late-running contender #2 Moti (9-5) last time?

RACE 8 

  • 1-5-7-2
  • A bunch of these in this second-level allowance have kinda been stuck here for a while; one who hasn’t is #1 Workin On a Dream (6-1), who makes his first start in seven months today; the Tres Abbott trainee has run two really good races in his career, and both were at Laurel; Abbott is 3-for-37 with horses returning from similar layoffs… #5 Hanalei’s Houdini (5-2) ran pretty well last time out when fourth behind a Chad Brown shipper in the City of Laurel Stakes and had previously run third at this level… Maybe give one more crack to #7 Fort Fortitude (9-2), whose last two (versus better) are awful but who’s only three races removed from dusting better…

RACE 9

  • 2-3-8-1
  • No other horse here loves this 5 1/2-furlong trip more than #2 The Great Provider (9-2), who’s finished in the exacta 10 of 11 times doing it… Pretty good try last out against better by #3 Easy River (7-2), who drops back into claiming company where he’s been successful before…

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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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