Laurel Park picks and ponderings January 3, 2020

by | Jan 3, 2020 | 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 — $943; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: Happy New Year!



  • 5-2-6-7
  • Top choice (and, sigh, favorite) #5 Castle Ridge (9-5) beat better rivals than these nickel claimers three races back and looks to recapture her good form after a couple of tough outings in allowance company; loves the trip and has a win in slop… #2 Slewzer (9-2) didn’t run badly last out on the slop, leading a long way before settling for runner-up laurels, and she’ll likely be looking for that trip here, as well…


  • 6-2-1-5
  • The favorite in here — and why not? — is the Mike Trombetta-trained #2 Pretty and Fast (2-1), who’s a half-sister to two recent graded stakes winners including March to the Arch, a winner of over $500k; this one is by Tiznow, has been working well enough, and is set to make her debut today with Trevor McCarthy up; but we don’t love taking what figure to be short odds on a first-timer, so we’ll have her on the ticket but look for an improved effort from #6 Omni Diva (5-2), who’s been just OK in two starts to date… The other Trombetta runner in here, #5 Uniquely Mine (3-1), seems to have worked (well) in company with Pretty and Fast last week; she’s a daughter of Mineshaft who’s a half to the multiple graded winner Nikki’s Sandcastle — but the dam’s best runners are, like Nikki’s Sandcastle, who was born in ’07, from a few years back…


  • 3-6-2-1
  • The deserving favorite in this Maryland-bred allowance is #6 Torch of Truth (6-5), who certainly enters in pretty good form and makes his second start in the Trombetta barn; but he has been the beaten favorite at this level three different times, which suggests looking elsewhere in the top spot… #3 Brooks Robinson (9-5) enteres with three straight wins, last out versus allowance foes at Penn National, and likely is the major speed in this spot… Inclined to give another crack to #2 Can He Shine (15-1), who dueled for a half before stopping last time but figures to be fitter today for his second start after a six-month break…



  • 5-1-8-3
  • Feels like a good opportunity to take a bit of a swing in this pretty competitive field of horses who’re pretty similar to each other… #5 Vics Cool Cat (10-1) was a pretty easy winner last time out against $16,000 maidens, which generally isn’t a great spot from which to turn around and beat $25,000 winners, but this one emerges from a race from which all three to run back graduated next out; let’s see if this daughter of Sky Mesa can make it four-for-four… #1 Whoisaprettygirl (6-1) posted a front-running score last out at CT (as the 2-5 fave) and will try to replicate that journey from the inside post today… Favored #8 Olive’s Bumpa (2-1) has shown speed but tired in two prior tries at a mile and will try to seal the deal here; she has the best figs of the group but just one win in nine starts…


  • 8-2-4-5
  • The formful #8 Cort’n Asong (4-1) enters with wins in three of his last four while moving up the class ladder; he loves this six-furlong trip and owns three wins from six starts on off tracks… First time in the Magee barn for #4 Easy River (4-1); Magee has a 23% strike rate first off the claim while moving horses up the claiming ladder like this, though this one’s 0-for-11 ledger on off tracks is a concern… 


  • 2-4-1-5
  • Favored Taco Supream (8-5) won the Maryland Million Sprint two back and loomed a mjaor threat in the lane last out in the Bender Memorial but kinda ran out of gas late, a victim, perhaps, of a wide journey and a leader, Lewisfield, who stubbornly refused to fold; he’s done good work rallying from off the pace in his last couple, and certainly his better efforts will win here today, but you have to wonder a little bit whether there’ll be a pace for him to run at… The horse who figures to provide most of it is #2 Oldies But Goodies (5-1) who dueled with Lewisfield in the Bender before fading late (though in the end he was beaten just two lengths); he might catch an easier spot today where he can use his speed to best advantage… This might be a bridge too far for #1 Eastern Bay (12-1), but he had an excuse in his last (when carried out into the parking lot by tiring leader Old Time Revival), has four wins at the trip, and does love him some off track (5-for-8)…



  • 3-6-2-1
  • Not quite sure where that last performance came from, but it was a huge one for #3 Lady George (6-1) who sat off the pace and then simply ran by her rivals to win an allowance at Penn National by five lengths; jockey Wolfsont is along for the ride once again, and the conditions — the same six-furlong distance on a track with some moisture in it — mirror those of her big win, so we’ll take our shots at 6-1… #2 She’smysunshine (4-1) arrives in good form after a 13-length graduation score two back and a decent third in the Parx Juvenile Fillies last time out; that day’s runner-up, Fly On Angel, returned to win an allowance contest next out… The top morning line selections here are #1 Steady Love (5-2), who won last out for new trainer Gonzalez, who’s (oddly enough) just 8-for-54 with a $0.92 ROI with horses second off the claim having won last time, and #6 Chilly Sky (3-1), who got clobbered by our top choice last out…


  • 6-3-9-4
  • Last out, in her first start in a couple of months (and second overall), #6 Oya (3-1) was an easy winner, hand ridden to the wire while well clear; she returns to action today and catches the kind of group that could give her back-to-back wins… #3 Shak’s Hidden Gem (6-1) didn’t run a terrible race last out when dropped to this level and has better tries to run back to… 


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!