Laurel Park picks and ponderings February 6, 2020

by | Feb 6, 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 — $7,989; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None




  • 6-1-4-5
  • 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…


  • 3-4-2-5
  • 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…


  • 8-1-7-3
  • 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)…



  • 8-5-7-3
  • 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…


  • 4-1-6-7
  • 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…


  • 3-8-9-4
  • 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… 



  • 3-9-8-1
  • 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… 


  • 6-4-3-2
  • 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…


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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