Laurel Park picks and ponderings February 1, 2020

by | Feb 1, 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 — $3,826; Super High 5 — $1,446; Late Pick 5 — 6,391

Notable: With one month of 2020 in the books, our Picks and Ponderings top picks have a $2.00 ROI of $1.93, meaning that if you’d wagered on every one of our top picks during the month, they would have returned $1.93 for each $2.00 you risked.



  • 1-3-2-6
  • Trainer Carlos Mancilla has found the keys to the castle of late, and in the last few months, his first-off-the-claim runners have won three of eight starts with a $10.67 ROI, which is good enough reason to back #1 Top Me Off (5-2) in the lid-lifter… #3 Antrim Aubrey (4-1) didn’t run terribly last out versus better and should appreciate the easier spot, as should #2 The Magical One (3-1)…


  • 7-3-6-2
  • You can make a pretty good case that #7 Cause He’s Western (5-2) was best last time out when running at this level; the Annette Eubanks trainee suffered through a trying trip, getting bumped while breaking slowly, rushing up inside, then steadied back almost to last before swinging outside and rallying willingly; winner Monkey’s Medal came back to win at a higher level… The class-dropping #6 Magician’scalendar (2-1) is the a.m. favorite off two middling tries versus allowance foes; when last seen at this level, he won by five… 


  • 4-1-5-2
  • The Todd Pletcher-trained #1 One Eyed Jack (1-1) is the morning line favorite in this nine-furlong test and figures to get bet down from there; he ran well twice at Belmont and Saratoga last summer, but his last, after a four-month break, was dismal, as, as the 4-5 favorite, he pressed the pace early but stopped badly; he catches a modest group here, but those odds — and the poor last out — make us want to try to beat him, and one runner who should appreciate the long trip here is #4 Antipoison (10-1); the Tim Vick trainee enters off two terrible efforts, but both were on slop, which he may not have relished; three back, when going this distance, he didn’t run badly at all when rallying into third; it was an odd race in which the top pair were allowed to run off and stage their own private contest through tepid early fractions, but it’s worth nothing that this one ran fastest of all for the last seven furlongs… The Trombetta barn sends out a likely contender here in #5 Welling (8-5), whose best race to date came around two turns…



  • 5-2-4-6
  • Top choice #5 Noble Weed (5-2) ran a good one to be second at this level last time out and should be able to get a good trip with his tactical speed in a field light on early zip… Bit of a rough outing last time for #2 Benandjoe (5-1), but he can make amends in his second start in the McMahon barn… Felt like a good race to stand against the favorite, #4 Casper Slew (2-1); he could certainly win here but is arriving off four straight sprint tries, so while his breeding says he should like a route of ground, and his one dirt route try was OK, we’re not inclined to take short odds on him here…


  • 3-1-7-4
  • Looks like #3 Abaco Dream (2-1) has just seen better company than her rivals here; now in the Magee barn, she’s won two of four dirt starts and note the two losses: she was fourth in a Keeneland allowance behind subsequent graded winner Bell’s the One and second in a claiming race at GP from which the winner returned to win against $16,000 rivals; she’s tatical enough to sit a winning trip here against company that should be to her liking… Let’s see if #1 Atlantic Avenue (6-1) can bounce back to better form with the blinks removed and facing more manageable company…#7 Marie from Parie (9-2) ran a good one last out when on the engine and will try to replicate that effort here…


  • 6-4-1-8
  • Who here faced the best field last time out? None of the obvious horses; in fact, it was #6 Princess Cadey (10-1), who, despite the race being a humble starter/optional claimer, ran into Ankle Monitor and Naughty Thoughts that day; those two runners had finished second and third, respectively, in the Gin Talking Stakes in what was both of their prior outings; either would be favored here; this miss led a long way and stuck with it pretty willingly and a repeat of that with more modest rivals might be enough to spring the upset… #1 Dancer’s Melody (5-1) just missed at this level last out and might get it done here…



  • 6-2-3-5
  • Favored (and top choice) #6 Let’s Play Nine (4-5) certainly has had the look of a star so far, winning both his starts with ease while posting solid speed figs; he should be tough in this Maryland-bred allowance spot… Late running #2 Crowheart Butte (10-1) was just up last time out to win an allowance at Parx at long odds and will hope for some speed to materialize up front; he brings jock John Bisono along for that one’s only mount…


  • 5-7-2-3
  • There’s some speed in this contest, which may make it hard for confirmed front-runners like the favorite to hold on; that all could be good news for #5 Monaco Princess (6-1), who ran evenly last out against similar but should sit a good trip in her second try in the Gonzalez barn… Favored #7 Bye Bye Bertie (9-5) has impressed to date and makes her second start off a 16-month layoff; if she can survive early pace pressure, she’ll be tough to reel in…


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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