Laurel Park picks and ponderings February 6, 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 — $7,989; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None
- It’s a sloppy track and a day of yuck in central Maryland… The favorite in the lid-lifter is #4 Start With Yes (8-5), who certainly has found a comfortable home in the maiden ranks; so comfortable, in fact, that he’s been in them for now 13 races; he’s the exact favorite you have to try to beat: a runner whose figs say he should win but who repeatedly fails as the favorite (five times on the page at this level) and who will be overbet here; keep him around in your horizontal wagers by all means, but beat him on top, and if he wins, he wins – on to the next race… One logical spot to look is the Mike Trombetta-trained #6 Universal Payday (2-1), who ran OK last out at the special weight level in a race that’s produced a next-out winner and takes a small drop today… You gotta figure #5 Dr. Rusty Raymond (4-1) will lead early, but he couldn’t seal it last time in a race in which the entire field was in the photo at the end, and you have to wonder if that’s his fate again…
- Top choice #3 Mary’s Jewel (5-2) looks to be the controlling speed in here and has competed twice at this level; her second two back has been flattered as the three to run back have produced two winners and a runner-up…
- This maiden claimer has the look of a wide-open affair, and while a.m. favorite #7 Lotto (5-2), off a decent effort one step up at a mile, ought to be on the ticket, you can certainly look for other alternatives… #8 Bandolini (4-1) makes his first start since last April and also his first in the Geralis barn after being claimed; this guy has a couple of quick works in the bank in preparation for this contest, and it’s worth noting that Geralis protects him from being claimed… It’s pretty obvious that #1 Willmakeyouhappy (6-1) was bred to be something better than a $16,000 maiden; he’s a son of well-regarded sire Speightstown out of a Quiet American mare who was a multiple graded stakes winner; but here he is, and he is in the care of trainer Cal Lynch, who can get ’em ready to win first out of the box (9-for-40, 23%, with runners debuting in maiden claiming company)…
- The morning line favorite in this maiden claiming contest, #7 Zig (5-2), makes his third start in trainer Dale Capuano’s barn (and ninth overall), and has some pretty OK efforts that might suffice here… Zig and #8 Solea (6-1) exit the same race, with the former finishing a length-and-change ahead of the latter, and it seems worth taking a swing that Solea can turn the tables here; the Edwin Merryman trainee is lightly raced (just two starts to date), still has some upside, and gets Lasix on for the first time today… Three of these — #1 Not My Money (12-1), #3 Stiva (7-2), and #4 Holly’s Lady (20-1), exit the same race, having finished second, third, and sixth, respectively, that day, so if you like particularly the #1 or #3, you kinda gotta like the other one too…
- The most interesting runner in this never-won-three claimer is #4 Baron of Bluegrass (6-1); the Jose Corrales trainee, a forward factor in every prior race on the page, had an awkward break last time out that left him well behind the early speed; game over, right? Wrong; despite the sluggish break, he rallied while wide around the turn and into the lane and made up a ton of ground to miss by less than a length; it was an entirely new dimension and might presage a move forward… He finished just behind #1 Shadow Boxer (5-1) that day; this one was dead game while never far off a fast early pace (21.93 opening quarter) and stuck with it to the end (but do note the 0-for-4 off-track ledger)… #6 Bucked Tooth (5-2) controlled throughout to win last time but may not have it so easy today…
- A pair of these, #3 Cold Hearted Gal (6-1) and #4 Carousel Marge (5-1) exit the same race in which they finished third and second, respectively; we like the order to reverse today; both ran pretty willingly to make up some late ground into a glacial early pace (50.38 seconds for the half, 1:17.56 (!) for 3/4), but for the former it was the first start of his career and it came going a mile; she’s got a bigger shot to move forward today… The favorite, #8 Hoss Kitten (2-1), makes her first start in the Sillaman barn today after being claimed from leading trainer Gonzalez; it’ll be her first try stretching out beyond six furlongs…
- It was a credible debut for #3 Baby Boy (3-1), who ran fourth first out of the box going a mile, rallying smartly after lagging well back early, and trainer Brittany Russell is 5-for-14 with second-time starters; this runner should be dead fit on the cutback to six furlongs… Favored #9 Gone Home (2-1) led a ways last time out but couldn’t get it done, his fourth consecutive failure as the chalk; that’s enough for us to try beat him on top…
- We’re reluctantly endorsing the chalk on top in here in #6 Let’s Rumble (9-5); making his first start in the Magee barn, this one figures to be on the engine early, and the question will be if he can stay late; recent returns may not be super-promising, as he gacked up a two-length lead two back going 5 1/2 furlongs and stopped badly last time going six, so… you can certainly take a swing against…