Laurel Park picks and ponderings January 19, 2020

by | Jan 19, 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 — $2,487; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: Trainer Kelly Breen wins at a 26% clip second off the claim.



  • 2-1-6-7
  • Obviously, favored #6 Make Us Smile (1-1) has to be on the ticket, but taking short odds is not enticing; he failed as the 1-5 favorite last time out, and though there was a slight bump with the winner at the top of the stretch, the reality is he had no real response… Let’s try to beat him with the multi-level class dropper #2 Determined Chance (4-1), whose debut, in maiden special weight company behind next-out stake winner Rookie Salsa, wasn’t terrible and who makes his second start with blinkers today…


  • 2-1-4-5
  • The top pair in the Gin Talking last month were seventh and eighth in the early going before rallying, and runner-up #1 Ankle Monitor (1-1) is here… But we’re going to try to beat him with the show horse from that race, who was the only runner involved in the early action to be around at the end; that’s the improving #2 Naughty Thoughts (9-5), who was just nosed out by Ankle Monitor for second and may face a more relaxed early pace today…


  • 1A-2-4-8
  • Some horses simply don’t take to the deep, slow surface at Parx Racing, and one of those may be #1A Military Hop (5-2), who made a bit of a middle move before stopping last out in his first try off the claim and first over that track; the cutback in distance can aid his cause today, and what should be at least a somewhat glibber surface won’t hurt, either… 



  • 2-6-5-1
  • Let’s give another crack to #2 Tappin Cat (5-2); he was a mile the best two back when DQed after crossing the wire first against similar, but last time out he didn’t run so well after breaking slowly and rushing up to lead; trainer Gary Capuano entered by scratched from a stake yesterday, preferring this spot, and you can expect new rider McCarthy to look to replicate the one-run style that has yielded this one’s best results… In the race in which Tappin Cat finished fourth (last out), the runner-up was #6 Hammerin Aamer (3-1), and the Brittany Russell trainee makes his second start after a seven-month break here; that day’s winner, Musical America, repeated ni an Aqueduct allowance… 


  • 6-4-1-2
  • Morning line favorite #7 Hell of Afire (2-1) has been stuck at this a-other-than condition for a long time (she’s made 38 career starts), and while she could win here, why accept short odds on the proposition? The most lightly raced runner in the field, our top choice, #6 My Queen Michelle (5-1), ran a sneaky-good race last time; after a pretty rugged trip, in which she was in trouble multiple times, she closed nicely despite there having been no pace at all and ended up missing by just a length; there ought to be a more honest pace today, and with a cleaner trip, she can move forward… The red-hot Kieron Magee sends out a pair in #1 Dr. Ann (7-2) and #4 Bird Traffic (3-1), both entering off decisive wins and looking live in here…


  • 1-7-3-4
  • Two back #1 Its a Journey (5-1) got loose on the lead under Karamanos and never came back to ’em, winning easily at this second allowance level; there’s a chance she’ll get that same trip in here today, or a close-up stalking trip, in a race without a ton of confirmed speed signed on… That lack of speed may compromise the favorite, #7 Warm (9-5), who won nicely (over Its a Journey) last out when racing for the tag; trainer Magee wheels right back for the condition here… #3 Lucy’s Town (3-1) makes her second start off the Breen claim (he’s 26% second off the claim) and last out didn’t run badly in a Claiming Crown races that’s produced three runners who finished in the triple (one winner) from four to run back…



  • 5-3-1-7
  • All of the major contenders in here — including favored #2 Sierra Leona (2-1), who drops off a win at the $12,500 level — like to be in the early vanguard; could that bring an otherwise-outsider into play, like, say, #5 Letmeslidebyyou (12-1)? The Bobby Plummer trainee has won in her only off-track try and does her best work when running into a pace…


  • 3-4-5-1
  • The obvious favorite in here is #4 Too Much Minutia (9-5), who’s dropping after an even effort against better and looms a major player today? So why’s jockey McCarthy jumping ship to #5 Chicken Dinner (3-1)? And how will the cutback to 5 1/2 furlongs affect her? That’s too many questions bugging us to use the chalk on top, so let’s try our luck with #3 Vampish (9-2), who ran evenly as the favorite last out versus similar, likes this trip, and makes her first start in the high-percentage Farrior barn today…


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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