Laurel Park picks and ponderings February 22, 2020

by | Feb 22, 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 — $1,031; Super High 5 — $781; Late Pick 5 — $4,563

Notable: 

ANALYSIS

RACE 1

  • 3-5-1-7
  • #3 Dyna’s Knight (2/1): Gets a much-needed cutback in distance after a non-effort going 1 ⅛ miles last out. Also dropping back to maiden claiming company after dipping his toe into the MSW waters.
  • #5 Burn and Turn (5/2): Minnesota-bred makes his local debut for the Scott Lake barn. Last out, he drew off to a big lead in the stretch at Parx, only to wilt late and finish third. He’s been knocking on the door against similar types, with brisnet figures consistently in the mid-70s. That could be good enough to win this one.
  • #1 Power Back (10/1): Made decent ground in the stretch to finish fourth last out, ran a career-best dirt figure two races back. Should be heard from late with a strong closing kick.

RACE 2 

  • 7-4-6-2
  • #7 Save Me Paula (5/1): That was a sneaky heroic effort two starts back: he closed from way out of it off a very slow pace just to get within seven lengths in the end. Last out, he rallied well in the last eighth to get second. Russell will need to keep him a little more forwardly placed, but he’s got the ability to run a big one.
  • #4 Wild Wood North (3/1): Makes his first start against winners here, after breaking his maiden at Penn National last out. In that race, he ran a career-best figure by 19 points. Will he regress off that race, or keep going forward? He got a good setup in that big win, for sure, but there’s enough cheap speed in here that it could happen again.
  • #6 Awesome at Riedes (9/2): Another lightly-raced sort, he’s won two races in a row, including a 17/1 upset score last out. Most notably, he’s the only one in the race with a win against winners. He also should stalk and pounce.

RACE 3 

  • 1-5-4-2
  • #1 Harpers First Ride (2/1): The Harrison Johnson Stakes has to be on the mind of his people. He’s a perfect 3-for-3 over the Laurel track, including a desperate neck win last out at the n/w2x level. Lightly-raced 4-year-old gelding looks like a near-certain stakes winner by year’s end.
  • #5 Smooth B (6/1): Stretches out after an eye-catching win at Parx two races back, and a third-place finish in the Dave’s Friend Stakes last out. He’ll try to go as fast as he can, as far as he can.
  • #4 Toughest ‘Ombre (7/2): Finished a pace-challenged second to Senior Investment last out, who came back to win at Parx earlier this week. If Smooth B flattens out on the lead, he’ll be the first one to get a crack at picking up the pieces.

ANALYSIS

RACE 4

  • 6-1-5-3
  • #6 Final Prospect (9/5): Returns to his native state after spending time in Pennsylvania. Raced wide last out but flattened out, running a strong figure of 91 in the process. In fact, he’s run at least an 87 in each of his last three races; the other six in the race have only done that twice between them in their last three.
  • #1 Bob’s My Uncle (4/1): He’s hit the board in his last seven races, without a win to show for it. This veteran is a great candidate for the exacta and trifecta spots, not so much for win betting.
  • #5 Federal Walk (7/2): Races for the first time since July 27. He’s won five of fourteen at Laurel lifetime, mostly by getting a loose lead. He’ll hope to do the same thing here.

RACE 5 

  • 5-4-7-1
  • #5 Garrison’s Charge (12/1): Ran a big race first off the long layoff last out, beating a maiden claiming group by three lengths. Takes a jump in class here, but is coming in here with good works and is lightly raced enough to make me think an upset could be in the works.
  • #4 Going to the Lead (5/1): Appropriately named gelding has great tactical speed. He’s never missed the board in seven dirt starts, and battled on well to finish third last out.
  • #7 Goodluckjohnathan (4/1): The 1-for-23 career record is unsightly, to put it kindly, but he did run a big race first off the layoff in his last start. He’s also consistently running figures in the mid-80s/low-90s. Gomez jumps off to ride Outside the Box; Sheldon Russell picks up the assignment.

RACE 6 

  • 4-5-1-2
  • #4 Beyond the Victory (8/1): I’ll take another stab at a horse running second off the layoff. He’s taking a big drop in class from his first race back, has been working very well since then, and hopefully won’t be pulling like he did last time.
  • #5 Wild River (5/1): Impressive maiden winner takes a shot against winners for the first time. Improved sharply first off the claim for Gonzalez; I have to imagine the second time will be just as good.
  • #1 Moti (3/1): This closer soundly beat a field of winners last out at Penn National, but was disqualified for lugging out late. The long stretch run at Laurel should play into his hands.

ANALYSIS

RACE 7

  • 8-3-4-5
  • #8 Steady Love (4/1): Already a two-time victor against winners, including a professional two-turn score at Parx last out. Has good tactical speed, and should be able to stalk and pounce.
  • #3 Miss Tap Dance (3/1): After an impressive maiden win, showed speed and stopped against n/w1x foes last out. Not a ton of dangerous speed here, so the only question is if she can stretch out.
  • #4 Baby Karats (10/1): Grinded on and won her debut at Turfway Park last out, with an impressive brisnet figure of 78. Interested to see how she stretches out from 6 ½ furlongs.

RACE 8

  • 5-1A-7-2
  • #5 Liquid Hero (7/2): Faces an easier field than last time, when he was second with some mild closing kick. That was also a career-best figure, an 85. Marquez keeps the mount.
  • #1A Bucked Tooth (3/1): Speedy gelding has won two in a row while winging it on the front end. You have to imagine Cintron will be gunning it once again.
  • #7 High Roller (5/2): Was compromised by a slow start last time, but when he broke cleanly two races ago, he won easily. Can he get away well this time?

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About The Author

John Piassek

John Piassek has written about mid-Atlantic racing for The Racing Biz, Danonymous Racing, and his current website, the Daily Gallop. He graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2018 with a degree in marketing, and is a member of the inaugural Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program class of 2017. Find John on twitter: @theyreoff.

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