Laurel Park picks and ponderings February 17, 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 — $25,998; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None
- The late-running #2 Landing Zone (5-2) could find the race shaping up to her liking; there’s sufficient speed here to give her the trip she wants, which was not the case last time at the $25,000 level when 1-2 fave Magical Luna got loose on the lead in a four-horse field… One of the speedy sorts she’ll be behind early is #1 Always Talking (3-1), who enters with a three-race win streak and makes her first start in the Magee barn today… #3 Make It a Double (9-5) has run a couple of bang-up races, but until she does it on a fast track, we’re not inclined to accept short odds on her; her maiden win came on a muddy track, and her last-out second at CT was over sloppy going; her best fast-track Beyer fig is a 48…
- The big ol’ #4 Plot the Dots (9-5) ran a perfectly fine race going six furlongs but should relish the added quarter-mile today… #5 Barrister (2-1) sat a winning trip last time out and just missed getting it done; he gets Cintron up today… Let’s give one more crack to #2 Ragtime Cowboy Joe (15-1), who at least showed a little bit of speed on debut before backing out; Allen’s go-to rider, Karamanos, gets aboard, and the runner-up from that debut contest came back to graduate yesterday…
- Top choice #1 Petion Lass (8-5) ran on willingly for second last time and makes her second start in the Geralis barn; Geralis is 5-for-24 (21%) second off the claim… Second choice on the morning line #3 Close the Deal (2-1) certainly fits on paper, but she’s trying a route of ground for the first time on dirt, and her siblings have been sprinters…
- Pretty good group gathered for this starter/optional claimer, and we’ll give the nod to #5 Divine Interventio (5-1); the late-running type makes his second start in the McMahon barn and ran a good one against similar last time; we like that, while many of these are dropping in class, McMahon moved this one up last time and leaves him there today… #6 Sir Orinoco (7-2) didn’t run a bad race last time, when fourth by a length against similar, and both to have run back have won, including show horse Stroll Smokin, who won the nightcap on Saturday…
- This race and the seventh are the two best on the card, and both are terrific versions of their condition… The slight favorite here is the hard-hitting #6 Bobby G (2-1); the Corrales trainee wore down the talented Benintendi two back to win a first-level allowance but found the water a little deep last time in a two-other-than; dropped back to starter company, there’s no reason he can’t win here… We’ll try to beat him, though, with #3 Awesome Fu (9-2); this one had a five-race win streak snapped last out when fourth in a starter at CT, but in that race, he was compromised when another runner went on what amounted to a suicide mission to prevent him from getting the early lead; it worked, in that Awesome Fu burned himself out and then faded to fourth, though on the other hand, that rival finished two dozen lengths farther back; in this contest, he might get the pace to himself… #5 Sparty (3-1) beat Bobby G two back but emptied out last time to fourth in a first allowance…
- Top choice #1 Zombie (9-2) ran well to be runner-up last out against similar and can move forward in his second in the Ness barn and second off a bit of a break… The winner that day was #7 Midnight Cry (5-2), who certainly fits here, but the question with him is the distance; he’s a speedy sort who’s one his very best work going 5 1/2 furlongs; he’s capable of winning at six, but in a fairly evenly matched field, we’ll try to beat him at a distance just beyond his best… The hard-hitting #3 Miners Quest (7-2) keeps churning out decent races ata age nine, and while he was fifth last out, that was a solid heat that’s produced two next-out winners…
- This race could be a minor stake or at least a money allowance, and instead it’s a starter/optional claimer with a $30,000 purse… Top choice #3 Onemoregreattime (9-5) won a three-other-than last time out, beating #1 Taco Supream (2-1) and Threes Over Deuces; the former, who’s here today, won the Maryland Million Sprint, while the latter ran a near-miss second in the Fire Plug Stakes and then second again in the G3 General George; this one should get a good up-close trip and has never been worse than third at the trip… #4 Brother Chub (3-1) didn’t run particularly well in the Fire Plug but has two wins over the strip and won a Claiming Crown race two back…
- Top choice #6 Gray Gary (5-2) has run back-to-back good races since switching into the Ness barn; Ness scratched him out of the Miracle Wood Saturday for this much easier spot… This looks like a good spot for #2 Tastes Like Plaid (7-2), who was a well-beaten third a level up from here in a race from which winner Bodeflex returned to win an allowance… #1 Rookie Salsa (2-1) ran a big one last out in his first try in the Gonzalez barn to win versus similar, but second-off-the-claim plus won-last-out is an oddly negative angle for the Gonzalez barn; he’s just 8-for-56 in that situation, far below his regular strike rate…