Laurel Park picks and ponderings February 27, 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 — $1,118; Super High 5 — None; Late Pick 5 — None
Notable: Trainer Daniel Velazquez is 6-for-13 (!) with horses making their second career start in maiden claiming company.
- The favorite in this maiden claimer, #5 Just Chill Out (2-1), feels a little suspect; the Ferris Allen trainee ran a good one to be second last out and was well clear of the rest — but his two best races by far came over sloppy or muddy tracks, and today’s will be a fast track… #3 Baby Boy (3-1) had a decent debut going a mile before running poorly in his second, but that was at six furlongs on a sloppy surface; stretched back out to a mile and back on fast, he can bounce back today… #1 Sojourner (4-1) showed improved speed last time and will get blinkers on in an effort to seal the deal today; look for him to be winging it on the lead…
- There isn’t a ton of speed in this claiming sprint; you have to figure that even on the cutback from a mile, #2 Blue Danube (9-2) will show speed, as he typically has before, but that might work to the advantage of #6 Grand River (5-1); the Billy Campbell trainee figures to attain a good stalking spot after breaking from the outside of this compact field, and if he can find his better form he’ll every chance to go on and win this contest… You can’t ignore #1 Big Boots (1-1), who’s dropping a couple of levels to be here, but his poor last outing and in-and-out form make it hard to accept odds that might drop below even when all is said and done; we won’t exclude him, but we will try to beat him… #3 Ticker Tape Parade (3-1) stuck with it OK last time, circling the turn and grinding his way into fourth in a race that set up for him…
- Favored #8 Whoisaprettygirl (7-5) looks tough here; she’s been in the money seven of eight career starts and has competed with better than these… #7 Always a Queen (5-2) broke her maiden last time in a race from which the place and show horses returned to graduate, but trainer Scott Lake wins just 11% of the time with last-out maiden winners… #1 Amphitrite (8-1) has flashed hints of talent and makes her first start in the Gonzalez barn today…
- Too many questions for us to take #3 Ummu Ummu Ummu (7-5) on top; he’s making his first start after a nearly-three-month layoff, is showing just two sluggish works in the interim, dropping a couple of levels to the bottom, and recent rider McCarthy jumps ship; he could certainly win, but those questions don’t instill the confidence you’d like to have in a short-priced favorite… What about #5 Lacrostix (9-2)? The Wayne Potts trainee ran a sneaky good race last time, pressing the 6-5 favorite into submission (he finished 10th) and sticking around until the very late stages while never giving up; the pace may not be quite so breakneck this time… #1 Shadow Boxer (3-1) exited that same race to be third against similar and has been in good form…
- With the scratch of top choice Novus, we’ll move on to #7 Imperial Brew (5-2), who ran just OK last out against better and makes his second start in the Gonzalez barn… #2 Wall (9-2) ran a good one when third last time, trying all the way to the wire at long odds, but we’d prefer he not be moving back up the class ladder…
- Top choice #7 Creative Alibi (8-5) was clearly best last time after a troubled trip but was DQed after brushing with the runner-up in upper stretch; a repeat could make her a graduate once again… That was a willing debut for #4 Awesome Pal (4-1), who got bumped leaving the gate and was in last by the time jock Angel Cruz was able to regroup and then was wide on the turn… In this modest field, let’s give a shot to #5 Suzysellsseashells (5-1); trainer Damon Dilodovico is 2-for-14 with first-timers running in maiden claming company… Good effort last time by #2 Keeper in Spite (3-1), who showed good speed and ended up a clear second; the half-furlong cutback in distance may help today…
- All #4 Muchacho (9-5) has done is run good races when in Corby Caiazzo’s care and enters this contest with two straight wins; he bested the promising Let’s Play Nine last out in a Maryland-bred allowance without ever being hit, and that runner had won an open a-other-than the prior race… #3 Fast Master (8-1) closed nicely to win going away and earn his diploma last time and will try two turns for the first time in his third start after a nine-month break… #2 Flight Risk (6-1) will try Laurel for the first time — he’s based at PRX — and rider Trevor McCarthy lands here, rather than on #6 Itgot Grandma (6-1), with whom he won last out…
- Top choice #4 Palace Candy (8-1) didn’t show a lot on debut, but that was two levels up from here at PRX; trainer Daniel Velazquez is 6-for-13 (!) with horses making their second career start in maiden claiming company, and rider Erick Lopez makes the trek down I-95 for just the one mount… #2 Bear Force Won (3-1) ran a decent debut, finishing third behind a next-out winner in Gone Home and Fugiwhara, who came back to be second against much better… The cutback in distance should help #3 Determined Chance (5-2), who just missed against lesser last time…
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