Laurel Park picks and ponderings January 12, 2020

by | Jan 12, 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 — $5,247; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: Happy New Year!



  • 3-6-5-1
  • Favored #3 Irish Cork (1-1) gave a good account of himself last out  when runner-up in a Parx maiden contest and gets blinkers on today; trainer Servis wins at a 21% clips putting blinks on for the first time and legs up rider McCarthy, a duo that’s 3-for-10 together… #6 Order for Porky (2-1) didn’t run badly last out when second here but was gifted every opportunity to win when leader and favorite Liam’s Fire bore out nearing the five-eighths; even given the free path up the inside, and the lost ground suffered by his rival, this one couldn’t seal the deal…


  • 1-3-4-5
  • Obviously, you need to respect favored #3 Team Effort (1-1), who gets blinks on (after having had them on, then off in his last two) after a pair of middling tries versus better, but… meh… not excited about this horse, whose figs are OK but whose best race result was a second-place finish in a race in which he was allowed to walk the first six furlongs and still couldn’t get it done… Let’s try to beat him with the lightly raced #1 Lotto (5-2), who caught a rugged field on debut — winner Benintendi dazzled that day, and the top five to run back all finished in the exacta next out — and didn’t run terribly last out when beaten fave at this level…


  • 5-4-6-1
  • This contest pretty much has to be won by one of three horses: #4 Twirling Liz (7-5)#5 Sexyama (2-1), or #6 Dance and Dance (2-1). It looks like Twirling Liz will lead for the first half or three-quarters; the question’ll be whether she can hold the lead, as in her last two she’s given it up late… She might be able to seal it today, but we’ll take a mild stand against that and go with Sexyama. Though she was beaten by lesser last out, she makes her first start in the Robb barn today, and he moves her up confidently in class even though she’s out of jail and could run against easier company; Robb is 2-for-10 when moving horses up 50% off the claim…



  • 2-4-5-8
  • The favorite in this contest, #4 Midnight Cry (5-2), certainly warrants respect off good tries against better, and though he’s been away nine months, trainer Linda Albert is 3-for-14 off similar layoffs… We’ll try to beat him, though, with #2 Finbar (5-1), who ran a big one last out when closing willingly for fourth against some rough customers in Birdies Honor, Miner’s Quest, and next-out winner Easy River; any of those three would be favored i here, and this one was less than two behind them; there may be enough speed in here to let this one unleash his late run to best advantage… We’ll have #5 Social Media (20-1) on the ticket at monster odds, too; his last couple are poor, which may just be the new norm for him, but he’s making his second start after a seven-month break, and he’s not many starts removed from some competitive efforts…


  • 8-6-4-3
  • Trainer Anthony Farrior is 26% second off the claim and will leg up jockey Alex Cintron (the duo is 6-for-20) on #8 Always Forgiven (5-2), who ran credibly last time out at the $16,000 level and today drops back to the $10,000 level at which Farrior grabbed him… #6 Marylander (9-2) ran third last out against better in a race that’s produced two next-out winners, and trainer Lacey Gaudet legs up go-to rider Rosado… #4 Top Me Off (3-1) led a long way before fading to fourth last out and might control from the front again, but he’s just 1-for-11 on the main track, which may get all the way up to fast by post time…


  • 8-4-2-3
  • Let’s see if first-timer #8 Evelyn’s Horseplay (6-1) can answer the bell in this maiden claimer; the Outflanker gelding has ripped off a bunch of fast works in preparation for his debut today for trainer Kieron Magee, who legs up Feargal Lynch… #4 Metal Magician (3-1) was the beaten favorite on debut versus better for trainer Gonzalez… 



  • 6-3-7-2
  • The speedy #6 Distilled Spirit (6-1) left bettors a little woozy last out when stumbling shortly after leaving the gate, rushing up to lead, and then tiring to be well beaten as the fave at this level, but let’s give him another taste; his figs are competitive, and the only other speed in this contest belongs to #2 Cocktail Shaker (6-1), who won at the bottom on debut last out… #3 Five Star Perfect (5-2) made up a lot of ground during the middle part of his last race, versus better, and stuck with it willingly enough while on the wrong lead; he should appreciate the class relief today… #7 Boat Over the Hill (2-1) beat similar two-back and is the only two-time winner in the field…


  • 6-1-4-3
  • Top choice #6 Hashtag Selfie (2-1) has certainly proven she fits at this starter level, having finished in the triple in four of her last five tries against similar; last out she was a decent third in a race won by Sweet Home Dixie, who repeated on Friday and now has won five straight… Can #1 Dat Dares Gold (5-1) get back to better form? She won at this level four back and may find the oddball, 6 1/2-furlong distance to her liking…


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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