Laurel Park picks and ponderings January 31, 2020

by | Jan 31, 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 — $2,911; Super High 5 — $592; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: G3-placed It’s the Journey is in for an $8,000 tag in race seven.



  • 2-4-5-3
  • Bit of an odd race here, these three-year-old fillies going a mile. A couple who’ve won at the distance looked like they were carrying pianos on their backs in the last quarter-mile, while morning line favorite #4 Amphitrite (8-5), who has the best figs and ran competitively at this level going three quarters, is out of a straight sprinting family and may not take to the added ground… So what to do? We’ll give a crack to #2 Wicked T (7-2), who makes her second start in the red-hot Mancilla barn and has distance influences top and bottom; she’s a half to a seven-time winner going a route of ground…


  • 4-7-5-3
  • Our top choice here is #4 Mona Luna (5-2); the Mike Trombetta trainee is a first-timer by top sire Uncle Mo and out of a Grade 3-winning Malibu Moon mare, which is to say there’s some serious breeding here; she’s been working well enough and gets go-to rider Pimentel in the irons… So curious to see what #7 Fullmoon Bay (6-1) does second time out of the box; the Mark Reid trainee ran a middling third as the favorite on debut at PEN in a race in which she was as green as grass, breaking outwards, lugging in in the lane, and looking around at the lights; she gets blinks on for her second start and exits a race from which the runner-up graduated next out here… #5 Determined Heart (10-1) has been working well enough towards her debut for trainer Phil Schoenthal and is a daughter of well-regarded sire Twirling Candy…


  • 2-3-6-4
  • Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to a.m. favorite #3 Ellanation (9-5); the Vera trainee was a pretty nondescript juvenile on the dirt who turned into a very good sophomore on turf and synthetic; just age and maturity? Or the surface switch? We’ll get at least part of the answer today in this Maryland-bred allowance, because if she runs back to her the form she sported on the lawn today, she’ll get the money; but as a betting proposition, the likely odds figure to be too short, so we’ll leave her on the ticket but try to beat her on top with #2 Little Miss Raelyn (4-1); this Cal Lynch trainee ran a pretty good race last time in her first start in almost a year, leading early and remaining in contention until the final furlong; she should be fitter today in her second start off the long break and probably won’t mind the distance cutback from 6 1/2 to 6 furlongs… Thinking that another who can take a step forward is #6 Snippety (12-1), who didn’t run terribly last out against straight $16k claimers in her first try in a couple of months…



  • 4-6-1-2
  • Top choice #4 Han Sense (2-1) has run a couple of good races recently, just missing in the Dickie Small Stakes here and then running a good third in the Queens County at AQU; in the former, though he got away with easy early fractions, it’s worth noting they came home fast, navigating the final three-eighths in under 36 seconds, and winner Sunny Ridge, a millionaire, came back to be third by a head in G3 company next out; look for this one to control the race from the jump and appreciate the cutback in distance… Big effort last out by #6 Senior Investment (7-2), who rallied into second against similar at PRX despite being stalled two different times rounding the turn; a repeat of that might be good enough, but he’d like to see some speed unwind early…#1 Isotherm (6-1) has kept generally better company, albeit without much success, and should appreciate getting back to two turns after a messy sprint try last out…


  • 2-7-3-6
  • Several of these runners, including a.m. favorite #7 Brooks Robinson (8-5), look to want to be forwardly placed from the get-go; that runner looks to be the speed of the speed, so if any horse gets away and takes them all the way, he’s the one… But if a duel develops? #2 Kneesinthebreeze (6-1) is one horse who figures to benefit; he arrives off a maiden score here and can get a mid-pack trip… #3 Three Phase (7-2) makes his first start since November and first for new trainer Michael Moore; he’s been in the triple four of five tries at the trip and also will be running on late…


  • 2-9-7-8
  • This looks to be a pretty wide open affair with the class-dropping #9 Shecor (5-2) likely to go favored; she makes her second start in the Hugh McMahon barn and didn’t run notably well last out when sixth against a not-very-good starter allowance field; she’ll need to get back to better efforts today… We’ll take a shot with #2 Splendor Gal (5-1) on top; she made a bit of a middle move before emptying out last time in her first start since May; trainer Mark Reid liked what he was seeing enough to waive the claiming tag for her return to action, and she can move forward now… #7 Flirtation Walk (7-2) was favored in that tilt but stumbled and lost her rider leaving the starting gate… 



  • 7-8-5-4
  • Second off a long layoff and first time in the Gonzalez barn seems like a pretty good endorsement for #7 Midnight Cry (4-1) in this claimer… Quite a drop for #8 It’s the Journey (4-1), who’s got all sorts of back class; the 7-year-old lost the 2018 G3 General George by less than a length but has been descending the class ladder for the last several months and arrives off a poor try at PEN…


  • 1-8-2-7
  • Let’s see if #1 Follow the Dog (5-1) can double up after prevailing last out in his first try since July; two of three to run back have finished in the triple, and this one should be forwardly placed throughout… Late-running #8 Sanavi (9-2) arrives after two straight wins versus lesser…


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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