Laurel Park picks and ponderings January 4, 2020

by | Jan 4, 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 — None; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: Happy New Year!



  • 3-4-6-2
  • Trainer Justin Nixon’s 4-for-15 bringing horses back off long layoffs, as is the case with #3 Garrison’s Charge (5-2), who has some decent works under his belt…


  • 1-2-6-5
  • Thinking that trainer Claudio Gonzalez likes what he sees of #1 Baptize the Boy (5-1) in the morning perhaps more than what he’s gotten out of him in the afternoon, given his relative slowness to drop him in class; can improve today…


  • 5-3-6-2
  • Trainer Jerry O’Dwyer is 5-for-28 with horses making their career debuts and tackling maiden special weight company, as is the case wwith #5 Amen Corner (3-1); the son of Malibu Moon is out of a stakes-placed mare and is a half to a three-time winner…



  • 4-5-3-2
  • Trainer Hugh McMahon pretty much never drops horses in class first off the claim, which gives us pause on the favorite here, #3 Elevated Forever (9-5), who ran credibly at the $10,000 level last time… Instead, we’ll try our luck with #4 Campari (5-2), whose third-place finish last out was better than it might appear; winner Paul the Waiter returned to be second against $25,000 rivals…


  • 8-7-3-1
  • Four of seven from his last race have returned to finish second, which perhaps is why trainer Bob Klesaris drops near-miss runner-up #8 Make Us Smile (1-2) who kept fighting to the end and was clear of his rivals… #7 Two L’s Meow (3-1) rates consideration after closing nicely last time out, though the cutback in distance may not do him any favors… It would be somewhat stunning if one of these two didn’t win this race…


  • 3-2-7-4
  • Usually a front-runner, #3 Run for James (3-1) stumbled pretty badly leaving the starting gate last time out, which left him stuck in mid-pack, but he showed some gumption, closing willingly to be second (as the 3-2 favorite); if he gets away cleanly, he should make amends today in his third start off a three-month break… 



  • 5-3-1-2
  • The speedy #5 Ten Oaks Miss (3-1) arrives in this spot off a dominant win and figures to get just the trip she wants, either by herself in front or just off #1 Bye Bey Bertie (2-1)


  • 5-3-7-2
  • Trainer Jamie Ness wins at a 21% clip with first-timers in maiden claiming company, as is the case with #5 Mighty Molly (4-1), a 4-year-old Blame filly who’s a half-sis to a stakes-placed horse, and she gets our nod in the top spot… The top pair in the morning line both have questions to answer: #3 Edit and Simplify (9-5) is making her first start in nearly 11 months and dropping into claiming company off a credible debut, while #2 Hydra (5-2) is also dropping into claiming company and wheeling back in just a week — a move that trainer Graham Motion almost never makes (once in the last five years)…


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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