Laurel Park picks and ponderings January 20, 2020
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 — None; Super High 5 — $3,047; Late Pick 5 — None
Notable: Trainer Jose Corrales wins at a 21% clip first off the claim with an ROI of $7.08.
- Morning line fave #3 Under a Spell (3-5) certainly has the speed figs to win here, but he also seems to find ways to lose races; he’s lost three straight as the favorite, including three back at 1-5 and last out at 3-10… That’s enough of a reason to try to beat him on top, and the most likely horse to do so is #2 Fort Royal (2-1), who ran OK last out one notch higher in a race where the runner-up, My Man Post N Pans, returned to win at another level higher… Trainer Gary Capuano is 7-for-18 when making big drops with his horses, which is reason enough to have #6 San Marco (10-1) on the ticket…
- Some of the major players in this contest have done their best work on the lead and may be working at cross-purposes today; that might open this up to a runner who’s shown some ability to pass horses, #2 Rookie Salsa (10-1); this guy debuted with major promise, winning at first asking and then taking a stake at Churchill Downs; he hasn’t really gone on since and last out was claimed by Claudio Gonzalez; seems worth noting that Gonzalez protects him today first off the claim… Morning line chalk #4 Candygramformongo (7-5) beat better last out and should be formidable unless cooked in the early pace…
- When last seen, in the fall of 2018, #3 Universal Payday (7-2) ran a couple of decent races, the most notable of which was a solid third behind next-out Grade 2 winner Maximus Mischief; he’s been training forwardly towards his return for trainer Trombetta and attracts the services of leading rider McCarthy… Favored #2 Fast Master (2-1) makes his second start off a nine-month break and should be fit on the cutback from a mile… We’ll put #8 The Cairo Kid (10-1) on the ticket; he was a $150,000 auction yearling in 2017 who then was sold at a mixed sale last January for a more modest $29,000…
- With the scratch of half the entry, maybe we’ll get more appetizing odds on #1A Always Forgiven (4-5), who is just a race or two removed from efforts that would win here… Trainer Lacey Gaudet takes the blinkers off #5 Rumson Rally (6-1), who two back just missed at this level… One of the main contenders here, #3 Campari (5-2), is OK but is winless in seven tries on fast tracks… Kinda worth having #7 Voodoo Valley (12-1) on the ticket; trainer Jose Corrales wins at 21% with a $7.08 ROI (!) first off the claim…
- You could make a case for all five of the horses in here (after one scratch), and since that’s the case, let’s see if we can get an upset home with #4 Sacred Mountain (6-1); the Seville gelding won at first asking after a bit of trouble last out at Penn and the show horse was one of two (from four to run back) to graduate next out; it’s rider Beato’s only mount of the day… Don’t sleep on #1 Bernie’s On Fire (3-1), who won by a pole at first asking, ran poorly in a stake in his follow up, and then was gelded and has been away two months; trainer Gonzalez had two entered and scratched the other…
- It’s a somewhat motley crew lined up for this maiden claimer, and we’ll take — kinda by process of elimination — #10 Keeper in Spite (4-1), who showed a bit of speed before backing out in his debut against better and today gets blinks on in his first try in the Robb barn; Robb’s 3-for-11 with first-off-the-claim horses in maiden claiming company… Morning line favorite #8 Astarte Gold (2-1) has some decent efforts against better and takes a two-level drop today, but after seven starts seems to be pretty much just a horse… There are five first-timers in here, and this is the exact kind of race in which firsters can win…
- Top choice #1 Mortal Storm (6-1) makes his first start in the Gary Capuano barn today, and the new trainer protects the horse from being claimed, generally a good sign; he’s 5-for-16 with horses making their first try in his operation… #5 Firth (3-1) trounced allowance foes two back but ran poorly last out; a bit of class relief and a little more ground today could play to his advantage…
- Top choice #3 Sacred Lady (2-1) gave willing chase to the 8-5 favorite last time at this level but could never get to that runner; she may be by herself up front today… Two other from that race — #2 Beckon (5-2) and Stiva (5-2) — also are here, and that trio generally looks like the major players in this spot…
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