Laurel Park picks and ponderings January 18, 2020
- So, here’s the scoop: morning line favorite #1 Song of the Night (7-5) makes his first start in five months and first in the barn of Penn-based trainer Todd Beattie; Beattie is 0-for-17 in maiden races at Laurel Park, and that makes short odds tough to accept… Second choice #2 So Gracious (9-5) is 0-for-7 and has lost three times on the main track at this level, twice as the favorite; that makes short odds tough to stomach on her, too… Both could win, and in fact, they are the most likely winners, but is there any value to be had? Perhaps on #5 Zig (5-2), making her second start in the Dale Capuano barn; generally, we don’t like horses rising off defeats, but in this case it seems to show some confidence in what he saw out of her last time, and it’d be no surprise to see her a bit more involved early in this one…
- Morning line choice #4 Orbette (2-1) ran a good one last out to be second at this maiden special weight level, but here’s the rub: she gacked up a three-length lead in the final furlong that day, and today she’ll have to go another half-furlong farther; maybe she’ll seal the deal this time, but we’ll try to beat her with first-timer #6 Mama’s Grey Ghost (5-2); the Farrior trainee has been working well enough and is a half-sis to multiple Grade 3 winner Indyanne; Farrior is 5-for-11 this year with first-time starters…
RACE 3 — WHAT A SUMMER STAKES
- Morning line choice #3 Needs Supervision (8-5) might be too good for these; she won nicely in the Safely Kept two back and returned with an even effort in the G3 Go For Wand behind multiple G1 winner Spiced Perfection; the question here is the distance, as she’s done her best work going seven-eighths or even farther, and she got the fast pace she wanted when winning the Safely Kept, a scenario that may not materialize today… A runner who was involved in the early running in the Safely Kept is #2 Victim of Love (6-1), who chased the leader before fading late; with a more modest pace expected here, she has every right to be around late and may offer some wagerng value… The place horse from the Safely Kept, #1 Hey Mamaluke (5-2), returned to win an allowance at PRX and is 2-for-2 at this 6 1/2-furlong trip; the track played to inside speed on Friday, which might work to her advantage today…
RACE 4 — GEISHA STAKES
- Morning line favorite #4 Anna’s Bandit (4-5) ought to win here and run her win streak to seven, but this feels like a place you can take a shot against: she’s stretching out to a mile for just the second time in her career, and while the way she finishes up her races seems to say it shouldn’t be a problem, you never know until you know… Which means this might be a good spot to try to beat what is sure to be a strong favorite, and we’ll take a swing with #6 Enchanted Ghost (9-2), who makes her second start in the Stidham barn and has some pretty good efforts in her past and does like this one-mile trip… Can #5 Limited View (5-1) build on her recent good work today? She’s won two straight, dominating a two-other-than last out…
RACE 5 — JENNINGS STAKES
- It’d be fun to see two-time winner #1 John Jones (7-2) make it three Jennings wins in this spot, and this old-timer loves this mile trip (9-for-15)… But it really seems like a winning spot for ’19 Preakness runner #3 Alwaysmining (8-5), who ran a good one last out when leading late before settling for second i the Native Dancer; he should be dead fit for his third after a five-month break, appears to be rounding into form, and cuts back to a distance that should hit him right between the eyes… Let’s see if late-running #8 Pretty Good Year (15-1) can make a little noise here; he’s among the least accomplished horses here but is also lightly raced and has been moving in the right direction; his allowance win last time has produced two next-out winners from three to run back…
RACE 6 — FIRE PLUG STAKES
- Nice effort last time out from #2 Arch Cat (4-1), who gave a willing effort in the Dave’s Friend when chasing 1-2 choice Threefiveindia and finishing well clear of the rest; a repeat might get it done here… In a race without a ton of speed, one with some early lick is #5 Dupree (6-1), who might control this one early; he’s making his first start in the Hugh McMahon barn, and McMahon has a record of 4:0-0-3 when moving horses into stakes company first off the claim… Favored #6 Tiz He the One (7-2) won the Challedon nicely last out over next-out Maryland Million winner Taco Supream, but he’s been away since September and may not get the pace scenario he wants today…
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