Laurel Park picks and ponderings February 16, 2020

by | Feb 16, 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 — $23,322; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: Could be a day of shorter prices, but races 5 and 6 may offer value.



  • 5-4-1-3
  • Let’s see if #5 Galerio (2-1) can get back on track here in this maiden event; this one’s had in-and-out form, with big races interspersed with stinkers and failed last out at 3-5, but Gonzalez legs up go-to rider Cintron in this spot… Morning line favorite #4 Vero Sun (8-5) has decent speed figs but is still a maiden after eighth tries, all but one at PRX; the winner of his last went to CT to win an allowance next-out…


  • 3-1-6-4
  • Longshot #5 Slewzer (10-1) has a bit of early lick, but the only real speed in here is #3 Fender Baby (2-1); this one makes her first start in two months-and-change and first after being claimed by trainer Wayne Potts; Potts has a 21% strike rate first off the claim and similar layoffs and puts up a bug boy, so look for this one in front early… Morning line favorite #6 My T Talk (9-5) loves this trip and has the ability to compete with these but enters off a pretty bland performance against better; we’ll want to see her bounce back before accepting favoritism on her…


  • 6-3-1-5
  • Good effort last out by favored #6 Gauzy (2-1), who bid up to even terms, perhaps even a head in front, in the lane before settling for second while clear of the rest; she should be set for a good effort in her third off a lengthy break… #3 Sweet Talking Girl (9-2) didn’t show a ton on debut but gets some added ground for her second start, and you like to see rider McCarthy remain aboard for trainer Motion… #1 Savedbythebelle (3-1) has run OK so far in her brief career…



  • 3-4-6-1
  • Big effort on debut by #3 Bright Dawn (1-2), who chased the speed, made a bid to the lead, and was just denied while remaining well clear of the others; a repeat of that makes him a graduate today… #4 Souper Cohiba (9-2) ran evenly in that same event after a slow break, but his breeding says he wants to go farther, which may mean that this race is more a tuneup to stretch out next time… #6 Lord Tiz (6-1) has run a couple of pretty good races, which makes that last trainwreck a bit of a puzzle and, perhaps, one to toss…


  • 5-2-1-3
  • This allowance contest feels like a place where you might be able to take a swing; the morning line favorite is #2 Reflect (2-1), who ran fine to be third last out versus similar in a race from which the fourth-place finisher returned to win for $16,000, but it seems worth noting that rider Feargal Lynch, aboard last time, takes the day off today; she could certainly win, but short odds not enticing in this wide-open group… The Mancilla barn continues to enjoy 2020 — it had a first-our runner-up yesterday — and has #5 Our Star (9-2) in today; this Tapizar filly, out of the millionaire Silmaril, won easily last out and makes her first start off the claim today; Mancilla is 3-for-6 in recent months first off the claim… Trainer Jamie Ness has a pair in today in #1 Heatherly (15-1) and #3 Olive Kat (5-2), and it’s interesting that that go-to rider McCarthy lands on the former, although he rode the latter last time; it’s a big move to claim a horse for $12,500 in a race in which she runs poorly and move her up to allowance company (Ness: 24% first off the claim, claiming to allowance) and suggests some confidence in a runner with a half-dozen works under her belt since the first of the year… 


  • 7-5-4-2
  • Trainer Aaron West is a 23% trainer over the last five years, but an unknown quantity locally; he caught everyone off-guard when sending out #7 Fugiwhara (7-2) to a six-length romp at 13-1 odds last month and wheels right back in this starter contest; rider Jose Montano, one of the top CT pilots, comes in for just the one mount today… #5 Justin Front (6-5) won against similar last out, has three wins in his career, and looks to be one of a trio gunning for the early advantage (which also works to Fugiwhara’s benefit)… 



  • 4-1-2-5
  • We’d like the favorite, #4 Case Dismissed (9-5), better if there were some more pace players, but the late-running sort does love this seven-furlong trip and enters in good enough form… Let’s keep #2 Wilko Lovesong (20-1) on the ticket, just for yuks; this one has been in terrible form of late, but you just have to go back to October to find a horse who fits nicely with these…


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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