Laurel Park picks and ponderings January 31, 2020

by | Jan 31, 2020 | Breaking, Handicapping

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.

ANALYSIS

RACE 1

  • 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…

RACE 2 

  • 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…

RACE 3 

  • 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…

ANALYSIS

RACE 4 

  • 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…

RACE 5 

  • 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…

RACE 6 

  • 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… 

ANALYSIS

RACE 7 

  • 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…

RACE 8

  • 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…

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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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