Laurel Park picks and ponderings December 27, 2019

by | Dec 27, 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 — $4,675; Super High 5 — $1,356; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: Happy Holidays!



  • 1-5-3-4
  • The opening maiden special weight looks to come down to the top two morning line choices in #5 Tonal Verse (8-5) and #1 I Was Looking Up (5-2). The former, a Graham Motion-trined daughter of Tonalist, rallied smartly in her debut to earn a clear second while never a threat to the winner… The latter, our top choice, was a not-bad fourth last time out at Churchill Downs in her first try on the main track; that race has produced a next-out winner and runner-up from two to run back, and this one passed on a race at Turfway to show up here…


  • 5-8-2-7
  • Top choice #5 Carousel Marge (6-1) didn’t run especially well last time out but was a good second on debut and picks up trainer O’Dwyer’s go-to rider in Russell for this tilt… Gonna give one more crack to #8 Tippy Tippy Tay (12-1), who debuted in maiden special weight company and now, just two starts later, makes her way all the way to the bottom; call it our That’s Amore hunch play of the day (“Heart will play tippy-tippy tay tippy-tippy-tay like a gay tarantelle”)


  • 4-1-5-6
  • The top morning line choices all look likely to want to be in the same spot early — the front — which should make winning here a challenge for all of them and could set it up for our top choice, #4 Leaveuwithasmile (9-2), who ran ’em down last time out to win pretty easily at this level… Flashy win last time out for the speedy #1 Make It a Double (2-1), who’ll try winners for the first time after an eight-length graduation…



  • 5-7-6-3
  • Trainer Claudio Gonzalez has won with four consecutive two-year-old first-timers and six of 16 overall in 2019, which means you have to respect #5 Metal Magician (2-1); she’s by young sire Bourbon Courage out of the very talented Jazzy Idea, a stakes winner on turf and dirt who earned nearly half a million in her career… We’ll include #7 Rock the Comet (12-1) on the ticket; the Gary Capuano trainee didn’t show a lot on debut, mounting the mildest of mild rallies, but Capuano has a 35% strike rate with second-time maidens and a $3.12 ROI…


  • 6-1-8-5
  • Here’s another race in which two of the appear better than the rest: top choice #6 Justwaveandsmile (4-5) ran big to be second a nose in his debut against maiden special weight rivals, and two of those have come back to win next out at or above today’s $40k claiming level; trainer Dale Capuano adds blinkers for this one… #1 Toy (4-1) was a good third in his debut and, while his follow-up was subpar, he’s been gelded in the meantime…


  • 7-1-2-9
  • Not a ton of speed in this contest, and the horse who appears to possess the most is #7 Forfiftyfiverocket (9-2), who scratched out of a race yesterday for this spot and won at this level in front-running fashion last time out, repelling a bid and drawing away… #1 Little Harbour (8-1) has a chance to outrun those odds today; he’s had a variety of gate issues in his last couple but has been gelded and makes his first start in the Gonzalez barn… #2 Rookie Salsa (4-1) showed great promise early in his career, winning at first asking here and then going to Churchill to win a stake; it’s pretty much gone sideways for him since – will gelding be the answer?



  • 5-3-1-9
  • First time in the Sillaman barn for #5 Fourteen Carrot (5-1), who, at this maiden level, rallied nicely to the lead leaving the furlong grounds last time out before tiring late; that’s the kind of performance that often presages a good next outing… The added ground ought to be a benefit to #3 Wild Wood North (10-1), who was fractious in the gate and just kinda slugged along towards the rear in his debut going 5 1/2f; he’s a son of Flat Out (whose best work was at 9 and 10 furlongs) and gets Lasix and blinkers for the first time today… Favored #9 Gone Home (3-1) rates a shot here, certainly, but has failed as fave in three of his last four…


  • 1-4-8-2
  • Make no mistake: #1 Tappin Cat (3-1) was a mile the best last time out against similar, and while the disqualification was earned – he impeded his rival in the final yards – this Tritap gelding overcame a ton to get in position to win; a repeat of that (minus the late issues) makes him a winner here… #4 Hamerin Aamer (4-1) has flashed talent at times while struggling to find consistency; he makes his first start in the Brittany Russell barn here and first in seven months… #8 Jefazo (7-2) has won at htis level twice already for trainer Kieron Magee…


  • 8-2-7-3
  • In his best efforts, #8 Top Czar (12-1) has been on or near the lead, and here he fiugres, in his first start in four months, to be able to get to his preferred spot, with the only other major speed player being #7 Battle Ready (15-1), who stumbled at the start last out but ran a good second against similar two back at CT… Favored #2 Here’s a Jetpack (5-2) was third at this level lastout and makes his third start off a four-month break… #3 Swing Step (3-1) runs competitive races but is working on a 12-race losing skein with most against similar…


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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