Laurel Park picks and ponderings February 14, 2020

by | Feb 14, 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 — $15,411; Super High 5 — $986; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: No truth to the rumor that it always rains in Laurel, but today, with a sloppy track again, it does feel that way.



  • 7-3-6-5
  • We’re not 100% buying the favorite, #6 Campari (8-5), in this spot; two back he was life-and-death to win a never-won-two race, and while that last-out speed fig certainly impresses, he was actually never much involved in the race and just kind of went with the flow… Let’s see if we can get a minor upset from #7 Blue Danube (7-2); we’re looking for bug boy Charlie Marquez, riding this one for the first time, to use his natural speed to best advantage by getting him out to the lead or pressing from the outside; last time, he was between early, and Karamanos rated back out of the duel, but he faltered thereafter… #3 Last Chukker (4-1) did not run well last out but his two-back effort wasn’t bad at all in a race that produced two next-out winners…


  • 2-5-3-1
  • Two starts and two pretty good efforts from #2 Smoking Baby (2-1), who has the look of a graduate in this spot; on debut, she won the speed duel but could not contain the late run of Calypso Ghost, who returned to be second at the $16,000 level, one of three of the top four to finish in the exacta next out… Leading rider McCarthy sticks with #5 Tiz Included (4-1), who hasn’t shown a lot in two tries versus better but should be happy to find the bottom today… #3 My Lila (6-1) ran well at this level two back and last out, going a mile, was right there until the final furlong; the cutback is her friend… #1 Creative Alibi (4-1) tries the main track for the first time; both her sire and dam were dirt horses…


  • 4-2-7-5
  • Favored #2 Olive’s Bumpa (5-2) certainly could win in this spot, but she’s lost three times as the favorite against similar and is just 1-for-11 in her career; you’ll want her on your multi-race ticket, but you’ll also want to try to beat her in the win spot here… #4 Win Then Grin (3-1) did win (and perhaps grinned) two back at this level going a mile, as they are today; last out, going seven furlongs, she was foiled by Magical Luna, who was 1-2 and lone speed and won handily; the added ground today aids this one’s cause, and trainer Capuano and rider McCarthy have a 38% strike rate together… 



  • 3-1-5-1A
  • It feels like there’s enough speed in this $16,000 claiming event to bring some of the late runners into play, and none is more formful than the 9yo #3 Monkey’s Medal (5-1); the Mike Gorham trainee has won two straight while climbing that ladder a bit and goes for the hat trick today… Jamie Ness sends out a coupled entry of #1 Even Thunder/1A Try Flying (2-1); the former figures to be on the engine early, while the latter will do his best work late; of note is that Trevor McCarthy was named on both and picks the former… #5 Savvy Street (8-1) makes his third start off an 11-month layoff and second in the Geralis barn; he won two back, and last out, in starter company, was pretty well beaten but by the very formful Awesome Fu, who would be favored in this spot…


  • 7-6-1-4
  • The chalk in here, #1 Simmard Shenanigan (1-1), looks tough to beat; this one beat better two back but was DQed, ran just OK last out but against much better (two of whom have returned to win next out), and catches a pretty manageable field today… Might be #6 Line of Roses (12-1) on the lead early off a win at CT and with good gate rider Acosta up, and if she clears, she might take them a ways; the one-turn mile might be to her liking… #1 Holiday Hopes (7-2) drops two levels in his second start in the Michael Merryman barn and second off a two-month break… 


  • 9-6-4-3
  • This one seems to come down to two runners, #9 Honorable Profit (8-5) and #6 Expect Talk (2-1); those rivals saw each other two back, with the former getting the edge, and Honorable Profit seems to be just a bit more tactical, as well, which is enough to give her the nod here… Seems like #4 Variance (10-1) has some better efforts to run back to and, back on a fast main track, can move forward today…



  • 4-8-7-5
  • Good effort last out by #4 I’mthetapitnow (7-2), who won the duel for speed supremacy but could not hold off the later-running Seany P; this one can step forward in his third start off a five-month break, and any improvement at all would make him too much for these… The Magee barn is clicking at a 31% rate the last two months and sends out #8 Cape Lookout (8-1) first off the claim here; this one ran evenly against similar last out, but this is the right spot for him, and if he can get back to his late fall form, he rates a major chance… #7 Baptize the Boy (8-1) didn’t run terribly last out at this level, and winner Day the Music Died returned to win a Maryland-bred allowance…


  • 4-1-7-5
  • The $12,500 claiming level at Laurel has been pretty unpredictable of late; some of the races at that level have been really good, while others have basically been nickel claimers with enlarged purses; a horse coming out of one of the really good races drops here to nickel company, and that’s #4 Unbridled Outlaw (7-5), who was a very good third behind next-out winner Easy River; this one probably wouldn’t mind a touch more ground than is on offer here, but on the drop to the bottom, it probably won’t matter… 


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