The GQ Approach – Laurel January 11

by | Jan 11, 2020 | Breaking, Handicapping, Maryland, MD Racing

Photo by Dottie Miller.

The GQ Approach features full-card selections from Laurel for the live winter racing meet, Post Time 12:25pm EST including a daily Best Bet, Longshot Play, and multi-race wagers — including the 20 cent Rainbow Pick-6, 50 cent Early and Late Pick-5s, as well as Pick-4s and rolling Doubles, Pick-3s and the Super High-5.

Today’s carryovers

  • Rainbow Pick 6: $4,046
  • Super High 5: none
  • Late Pick 5: none

Multi-race wagers

  • Race 1 – $2 Double  1, 5 w/ 2, 3 ($8)
  • Race 4 – 50 cent Pick-5 2, 8 w/ 2, 3, 9 w/ 5 w/ 2, 4, 7 w/ 4 ($9)
  • Race 7 – $2 Double 2, 4, 7 w/ 4 ($6)

Best Bet of the Day

  • Race 8: #4 – Leading Man (9-5)

Longshot Play of the Day

  • Race 2: #3 – Cause He’s Western (5-1)


  • Weather: Mostly Cloudy ; high mid-60s
  • Projected track conditions: Main – FAST

First Race Post Time 12:25pm EDT

Race 1 

  1. #5 – Top Hat Treason (5-2): Game gelding has earned a minor share in all seven outings (7: 0-1-4-2) while facing a level better in five; claimed for $16k by trainer F. Allen III in latest when caught at the wire as PT favorite; gets H. Karamanos to ride who normally gets the call on trainer L. Rice shippers (#6 in here)      
  2. #1 – Bourbon Agogo (10-1): Ran evenly in debut at this same level to be a distant fourth behind two others who return in this spot as well; did that without Lasix which he’ll get today and should give extera help to the natural progression from first to second career race  
  3. #6 – Icy Dude (9-2): Only entry on the Laurel card for NY-based trainer L. Rice for Drawing Away Stable who like to put their runners in spots to succeed so the steep drop from $30kMCL at Aqu makes sense off dull effort but gotta be leary since they claimed this First Dude colt for $40k out of debut  

Race 2 

  1. #3 – Cause He’s Western (5-1): $$$ LONGSHOT PLAY $$$ Banking on a gate-to-wire performance without much pressure early on based on how jock K. Datie has ridden this 8-year-old in the past; that could be wishful thinking as #5 exits two sprints while forwardly placed; cuts back a 1/16th to favorite distance (5 of 8 career wins going 1 mile)  
  2. #2 – Caladan (2-1): Blinkers go back on following two lackluster efforts at this distance versus better, the latest as beaten favorite; drops to lowest level in this $8k open claimer making fifteenth career start, seeking first win on the Laurel dirt oval    
  3. #6 – Sir Brahms (5-1): Has been more of a follower throughout 34-race career, getting to Winners Circle just 3 times (just once on dirt) but has been a good bet to be part of the Trifecta (14:1-2-4); makes second start for trainer K. Magee (23% with this scenario) after dropping the slip for him for $5k in November            

Race 3 

  1. #4 – Lucky Junior (9-2):  Problems exiting the gate of late; good to see K. Gomez stays on versus on the #3 (7-2 second choice); last two have been on off tracks where he’s 0 for 3; stretch out back to one mile could prove to be a winning move   
  2. #8 – Quality Matters (5-1): Young apprentice Charlie Marquez got first career win the other day and looked good doing so; gets the mount here on trainer A. Farrior runner he calimed for $5k who was badly beaten favorite; shows just one drill since that November claim but it’s a bullet  
  3. #3 – Lucid Dream (7-2): Hasn’t been in good form since early spring when winning against better competition; finally drops to lowest level in Maryland seeking to regain confidence; Morning Line odds tell the story that others are no prize either 

Race 4 

  1. #2 – Life in Flash (5-2): Steadied at the half-mile pole in latest when seeking third consecutive victory; should return to Winners Circle with clean trip  as trainer C. Gonzalez runners make amends after being beaten favorite nearly 30% of the time     
  2. #8 – Ravenel (8-5): Benefited from top picks traffic trouble to get hard-fought victory while earning career best Brisnet number; was claimed for $10k three races back so it’s somewhat surprising trainer D. Capuano keeps him at this $5k level; vulernable Morning Line favorite as she may regress today   
  3. #7 – Postino’s Secret (20-1): Will need an honest pace to get going late as she’s failed to do in last few but those were sprints which isn’t her game; use her in your vertical exotics and you’ll get paid handsomely as she figures to give an effort similar to one on Aug. 18th race when getting up for the SHOW purse   

Race 5 

  1. #9 – Going to the Lead (7-2): Appropriately named 4-year-old gelding knows only one way to run… on the lead; hoping she gets first jump on others to discourage them from testing him early so jock A. Whisman, who’s been aboard for all seven starts, can conserve some energy to hold off late-comers in deep stretch  
  2. #2 – Galatians (12-1): Supposedly the weaker of the two uncoupled D. Dilodovico entry (other is #5 at 4-1 ML) but taking a stab at reading this trainers motives, bringing this one back after 6-month layoff while working constantly in the A.M. since late October; go to jock H. Karamanos (20% witthe past year w/ trainer) takes the call
  3. #3 – Benandjoe (9-2): Fresh off trainer H. McMahon $16k claim just 3 weeks ago, steps up a level while being protected shows confidence; makes second start with blinkers which often results in positive ROI 

Race 6 

  1. #5 – Blue Eyed Girl (2-1): Holds a huge advantage over rivals in here as her Brsisnet Prime Power number (141.8) is 15+ points better than nearest foe; this Prx-based runner was a prudent $20k claim at CD in June never worse than second, winning 3 of  5; the waters get deeper though as she makes Laurel debut; IMHO she’ll be up to the task  
  2. #10 – Saltworks (12-1): Away since early July as something must have gone amiss after bobbling at the start when Post Time favorite but was never involved; prior to that chased a very good Majestic Reason after breaking maiden by seven-lengths here; work tab looks solid for a decent effort in return at a price 
  3. #1 – Nth Degree (6-1): Travels down I-95 from home at Prx where she’s been an ATM versus Alw25000s (9:2-2-4); goes for the turkey today as speed figures have been ascending; regular jock J. Bisono makes the trip for only mount on the card 

 Race 7 

  1. #7 – The Poser (4-1): Quality effort when runner-up in latest at same level with T. McCarthy in irons for first-time, as he will be again today; counting on this Bandbox gelding to continue to improve under the conditioning of trainer “Hammy” Smith who earned win #2,000 yesterday  
  2. #2 – Rock the Comet (8-1): Much improved effort in second career start to break maiden versus $40kMCL sprinting here just 2 weeks ago; should like the added distnace but concerned that regular rider V. Rosales picked other G. Capuano trainee (#4)   
  3. #4 – Tapping the Glass (7-2): Speaking of the other G. Capuano trainee, he has the highest mid-to-late speed numbers coming off of last race; might be a good reason why V. Rosales will ride him instead of #2… but hey, this wouldn’t be the first time a jock made a jock or his agent made a bad decision; runner-up in his maiden win came back to win in next start   

Race 8 

  1. #4 – Leading Man (9-5): *** BEST BET *** Had an absolutely horrific trip in latest after being steadied at the half, jock then tried to split rivals in mid-stretch when ther was no room and thus had to check yet still gathered himself to finish strong just a half-length behind the winner; woouldn’t shock this Capper if we get less than even money     
  2. #6 – Paid Holiday (6-1): Showed early foot at this distance when coming off a 4-month layoff to be a distant third and wheels right back three week later; there’s other “cheap speed” in here so let’s hope K. Gomez can harness his speed and pass others in the final furlong    
  3. #2 – Egregious (7-2): Returns to Laurel after two runner-up efforts at CT’s bottom level maiden going four and half panels; needs to improve stamina to get the extra furlong back home; A. Cruz must have faith or need to money to stick around all day to just ride in the nightcap