Laurel Park picks and ponderings February 2, 2020

by | Feb 2, 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 — $5,634; Super High 5 — $1,877; 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 through Jan. 31, 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.



  • 5-1-2-3
  • Trainer Gerry Brooks enters two in this 3-year-old claiming event, one, #6 Down With Brown (30-1), a hopeless longshot that he owns and one, #6 Lilly’s Lil Gem (8-1), a live contender he trains for another owner and himself. It sure feels like the former was entered to ensure this race goes for the latter, and if that’s the case, that looks like decent value on a horse who won nicely two back and now gets back to sprinting against a manageable group… The deserving chalk in here is #2 Always Talking (2-5), who’s won two straight versus similar, but it’s hard to get excited about those odds on a horse whose two recent wins are by a neck and a nose; if she wins, so be it, but it’s not like she’s been destroying her foes… The other Robb runner, #1 Bigdaddysglory (9-2), graduated last out and looks most likely to benefit if a speed duel exhausts the front-runners…


  • 2-1-5-3
  • Each of the horses that’s run before in this maiden special has multiple losses at this level (or below), which pushes us in the direction of a first-time starter, specifically #2 Mucho Macho Eddie (9-2), a son of Mucho Macho Man who’s been working well enough for trainer Jamie Ness, who’s 5-for-30 with debut maiden special weight runners and will leg up go-to rider McCarthy; this one’s out of an unraced Wilburn mare, but his granddam was a G3 winner and three of four grandparents won at first asking… #1 Order for Porky (9-5) has some OK efforts in the bank and last out was a distant second behind a 3-5 John Servis trainee… Wonder if there’s more in the tank than #5 Our Flag (12-1) showed on debut; he’s a $200k yearling who’ll make his first start on dirt today…


  • 6-1-3-2
  • Thinking those last couple of efforts by #6 Tambora (6-1) are better than they look, and this one may be by himself winging it on the front end; two back he saw a tough group of local runners that came back to dominate a $12,500 claimer, and he stuck with it pretty willingly to the end; last out he was chasing an absolute rocket ship in Phonemyposseagain, a Kevin Patterson trainee who’s won 10 straight in very short sprints against starter foes; here he’ll have a chance to clear off early and play catch-me-if-you-can… Can’t argue with the form that #1 Fire Mission (2-1) has been in, and, though that last was so-so, a drier track and a cutback to a friendlier distance (he’s 10-for-22 at the trip) both suggest improvement is in the offing… #3 Sound Off (7-2) won against similar last out and didn’t run a terrible race two back against two-other-than foes; winner Factor It In came back to win a three-other-than in his follow-up…



  • 4-3-1-5
  • Let’s see if the higher-priced Gonzalez horse can turn the tables on his stablemate in this allowance contest; last time out #1 Pitching Ari (8-5) got a dream trip through on the inside to win, while stablemate #4 Court Sky (5-2) had to take the overland route, made the lead in upper stretch, but could not contain the winner; reverse those trips and you reverse the result, and while a straight-up reversal seems unlikely, it seems worth betting against the possibility that Pitching Ari will once again get a perfect trip inside… #3 My Friends Beer (8-1) graduated nicely last time out, and the odds gap between him and #5 Tapping the Glass (3-1), a horse who beat him by just a head two back, seems likely to be excessive…


  • 7-5-6-1
  • Pretty competitive starter allowance field on tap here, and the first thing we’re going to do is take a swing against the favorite, #1 Castle Ridge (2-1); trainer Jerry Robb appeared to be begging for someone to claim this one last out when he doubled up in nickel company after a 10-length win, and that doesn’t suggest confidence in the horse’s ability to handle tougher company; he lost the horse via the claimbox, so we’ll take a wait-and-see as to whether he can move up the ladder… We’ll take a shot here with #7 Dat Dares Gold (12-1) on the (perhaps far-fetched) theory that her improved speed last time out may presage a move back to better form; the Testerman trainee has seen better and earlier this year was running competitively with the likes of Lonely Drifter and Rein Supreme, either of whom would be favored here… First time in the Linda Albert barn for #6 My T Talk (4-1), who won easily against lesser last out and ran competitively two back in a Maryland-bred allowance from which five of six to run back finished in the triple next out…


  • 3-1-6-2
  • Not hard to imagine #1 Kabuki (3-1) leading early in this one-mile contest with #3 Hashtag Selfie (9-5) just to her outside, the latter taking over in the last quarter and going on to win… Sneaky-good effort last time out from #6 Emma’sdiamonddiva (8-1), who completely missed the break but rallied smartly for third…



  • 5-1-2-4
  • The Trombetta-trained #5 Palace Check (9-5) looks like the most likely graduate here off a middling effort last out, in which she finished a length-and-change ahead of the a.m. favorite, #2 Roma Delight (8-5)… #1 Elizabeth T (9-2) takes a multi-level drop from an AQU maiden special in which she showed improved speed in her first with blinks…


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.

What's Hot


Sign Up Now

Get The Racing Biz in your inbox!

Join our mailing list to get our latest news delivered to your inbox each week! And, by the way, we never sell our lists or share your info with outside parties.

You have Successfully Subscribed!