Laurel Park picks and ponderings January 16, 2020

by | Jan 16, 2020 | Breaking, Handicapping

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 — $6,572; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: Trainer Carlos Mancilla is 8-for-30 at Laurel Park since November 1, 2019.



  • 4-3-6-2
  • Four of these look to have a shot (and look, more or less, like the same horse), while three appear to be filling out the field. Of the contenders, we’ll give a slight nod to #4 Laurel Lady (5-2), who was the beaten favorite at this level last out after getting thumped leaving the gate; she’s run OK at the distance, and a clean getaway could help her cause today… Morning line favorite #3 Margie’s Band (2-1) has been the beaten favorite three straight and finished third and behind #6 Pigeon Creek (3-1) two back…


  • 6-5-1-2
  • Two straight terrific efforts for #6 Marden (5-2), who’s won his last two by five lengths each, give him the nod as top choice here as he makes his second start after being claimed by Claudio Gonzalez… Morning line favorite #5 Robin Hood (9-5) has certainly kept better company than these, including several starts in two-other-than allowance company and even a couple of stakes tries, but he’s not entering this in the best of form and does appear vulnerable… Like Marden, #1 Flip (5-2) seems to be making short work of his conditions…


  • 2-6-3-5
  • This race feels like one in which there could easily be an upset… #6 Thirst for Quality (7-5) gets the nod as favorite here off a much-improved effort when second against similar following an awkward start; but he was 9-1 that day, and while he certainly could win today, anything like those odds feels a little aggressive for a horse that’s lost at the level five times… Let’s take a swing at beating him with #2 Tiger Road (8-1); the Charlie Frock trainee didn’t show much on debut, albeit at the $25,000 level at Penn National, but he gets Lasix on, easier company, and a rider switch for his second career start; most of these have amply demonstrated they’re just horses, while this guy hasn’t had enough starts to amply demonstrate anything yet…



  • 8-1-5-6
  • He broke his maiden for $25,000, so this $12,500 claimer probably should be a good spot for #8 Mucho Macho Danny (3-1) to earn his second career win; his last was poor against better, but the easier company ought to aid his cause… With a Kentucky-bred based at Charles Town and three-year-old allowances not filling there, trainer Jeff Runco finds a prudent spot for first-out winner #1 Playground (10-1), who scored in maiden special weight company there on debut and then was an OK fourth in an allowance at MNR; go-to rider Bocachica comes along for the ride… #5 Pataz (4-1) finds his way to a good spot in his second try in the Gorham barn after a poor try versus better…


  • 3-10-9-7
  • Favored #10 Hargus (5-2) drops in half for his first try in the Farrior barn – not a move Farrior typically makes, which gives us pause using him in the top spot… We’ll try to beat him with #3 All Clear (5-1), who drops from mostly better company at AQU and PRX and makes his first start in the Gonzalez barn; rider Chiappe has a 31% strike rate with Gonzalez horses… This is a pretty wide-open affair, so you’ll want to use a few if playing horizontal wagers…


  • 3-5-10-7
  • Trevor McCarthy remains aboard #3 Make the Rules (4-1), who had a modest two-race win streak snapped last out when fourth at PRX in what was not a bad effort; interesting that the rider rode those horse in two Parx tries, though he did have one other mount each time; he can get back to winning ways here… One horse who may offer value is #5 Oceanographer (12-1), who had won two straight at the nickel level before trying his hand against starter foes, which was pretty much of a mess (he finished last at 57-1); he’ll get major class relief here, and trainer Carlos Mancilla is 8-for-30 at Laurel since Nov. 1… #10 Kierland (4-1) rallied nicely to win last out but will need a pace to materialize, and his 0-for-9 mark on fast dirt tracks causes some concern…



  • 5-7-3-2
  • Favorite Don’tbaggagecheck scratches out, leaving #2 Mary’s Jewel (7-2) as likely post-time favorite, but it’s hard to get excited about a horse that’s never finished in the money in three fast-track tries and owns a career-best fast-track Beyer of 38 (and, for that matter, is a five-year-old still in never-won-two company)… We’ll try to beat her with #5 Data Princess (5-1), who ran poorly last out but two back was dominant in her maiden score…#7 Go Amanda (9-2) makes her first start since September (trainer Dilodovico wins at a 14% clip off similar breaks); she easily broke her maiden three back at the $25,000 level and finds her way down to what should be a good spot for her…


  • 2-3-4-1
  • Top choice and morning line favorite #2 Lion Lord (9-5) beat similar last out in his bow for trainer Jerry Robb and has won two straight, showing the versatility to lead or stalk… #3 Thurman Merman (2-1) parlayed an absolutely perfect trip into victory last time out against conditioned $16,000 claimers, but we’re not 100% sold on the Beyer fig, and trainer Scott Lake has won just seven of his last 100 starts at Laurel since the beginning of 2019… 


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!