Laurel Park picks and ponderings February 9, 2020

by | Feb 9, 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 — $10,496; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: Trainer Jerry Robb has 1,999 career wins, and one horse entered today, in the seventh race.



  • 6-5-1-3
  • Favored #6 Crossingthevalley (8-5) drops a level off a pair of middling performances against better; when last seen against nickel runners, she won easily and she should have a chance to work out a good trip from the outside stall… #5 Shak’s Hidden Gem (2-1) ran a pretty good race last out against similar going a mile, and the only question is whether the cutback to 5 1/2 furlongs may leave her some work to do late… #1 R True Sensation (8-1) opened a long lead, completely stopped, and was never asked for any run after five-eighths of a mile last time out; she can improve today…


  • 7-6-2-1
  • Unless one or more of the first-time starters in this maiden claimer can run a little, this is a bad group of horses… We’ll include the two firsters trained by Phil Schoenthal in our mix; #7 Determined Pursuit (5-2) and #1 Inspired Options (4-1) both cost more than the $10,000 tag they’re offered for here — generally a bad sign — and appear to have been working together in the mornings; the former has a sibling that won at first asking, but the latter looks to have been getting the better of the morning breezes… #6 Bourbon Agogo (9-2) ran a stinker last time, but his debut one level up was acceptable, and if he can return to that, he contends with these…


  • 2-1-4-6
  • It’s possible that #1 Lucky Trinity (9-5) is too good for these, but our concern here is that she may have a lot to do late in a race without a ton of pace in it… #3 Combat Queen (3-1) won nicely last out at Laurel and may be the major speed player in this group; trainer Trombetta will leg up go-to rider Pimentel (5-for-15 in limited action thus far this meet)… We want to have #4 Girl Next Door (6-1) in the mix here; this miss makes her first start since July and for trainer Cal Lynch’s son Anthony; she was pretty green in her debut, but when she got clear late, she was absolutely flying at the end and indicated she might have lots more upside…



  • 6-7-1-4
  • This is another race where what a horse doesn’t have makes her the choice; #6 Aciano (3-1) has made all 13 of her career starts on turf and synthetic and will try dirt for the first time here, which is also her first start since May; she’s been working reasonably well for trainer Lacey Gaudet, her sire was a Grade 1 winner on the main track, and in a race in which the rest of the group is pretty lukewarm, if she takes to the main track, she ought to win here… #7 Ortinla (4-1) ran just OK last out when a distant third at the level but should appreciate getting back on a fast track… #1 Bearing Secrets (7-2) closed a little bit of ground late last time out at Parx and may enjoy the change of scenery… This is a race that could go a lot of ways, though; all of these runners look pretty similar, so spread out in your multi-race wagers…


  • 1-6-5-3
  • There’s some speed outside in this race, and some horses light on speed inside, which may create a perfect trip for the tactical favorite, #1 Chasing the Candy (9-5), who should have no problem getting ahead of the three horses immediately to his outside and then be able to sit off the likely speed of the speed, #6 Thunder Grunder (5-1); last time out he was chasing the even-money favorite who went on to win, and two back, he finished fourth behind a next-out allowance winner… #5 Lectric Choke (3-1) has run pretty good races his last two, but he’s had pretty ideal trips and been unable to seal the deal in both…


  • 4-8-2-6
  • Pretty good group of maiden claimers on offer here, including two dropping in class after decent efforts, but we’re going to take a swing with a first-timer: #4 Johnny Jiggle (5-1) is a son of Shakin It Up out of a two-time winning mare by Include; he’s been training well enough, including a bullet half-mile move January 11, at Parx Racing, for trainer Jamie Ness, who wins 21% of the time with first-time starters in maiden claiming company — and is 6-for-16 making that move with horses owned by his own Jagger Inc… #8 Paradise Pride (7-2), third against $40,000 maidens last time, and #2 Day of Honor (9-2), a credible fifth in maiden special weight company on debut, both are dropping from better levels… #6 Supercross (8-1) has been training forwardly for Mary Eppler, who’s 6-for-31 with debut maiden claimers…



  • 2-5-1-4
  • Top choice #2 Sexyama (7-2) drew away to win last time after a wide journey and wheels back on 10 days’ rest for trainer Jerry Robb (9-for-29 at the meet and at 1,999 wins for his career); this one doesn’t have a ton of speed, but may have more of it than this rivals… #5 Jumping Michelle (5-2) figures to have work to do late and has finished second in five of eight tries at the trip… 


  • 2-3-1-6
  • No need to overthink this one: when trainer Linda Rice sends a horse down on the drop in price, she’s looking to win a race and lose a horse via the claimbox, and she ought to accomplish at least the first of those with #2 Eight Oaks (7-5); this 5-year-old mare is dropping from the $16,000 level at AQU, and Rice wins 34% of the time when dropping horses in half or more, including 4-of-8 when doing so at Laurel… #3 Chicken Dinner (3-1) keeps churning out pretty good races and figures the main beneficiary if the favorite doesn’t fire… 


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