Laurel Park picks and ponderings March 15, 2020

by | Mar 15, 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: 1:10 p.m.

Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $16,494; Super High 5 — $1,160; Late Pick 5 — None

Notable: Until further notice, no fans are allowed to attend the races at Laurel Park. For more info, click here.



  • 6-5-4-3
  • Hard to get excited about the obvious chalk in here, at least not at the prices you can expect to get. #5 Khalos Vision (7-5) certainly ran well last time to be second against similar, but the Dale Capuano trainee has lost twice at this level, including last time at 1-5, and is stretching out from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles… Have him on the ticket, by all means, but we’d like fewer question marks before taking probable odds-on… We’ll take a bit of a swing with #6 Micro Margarita (5-1); she makes her first start in the Gonzalez barn after making limited impact in NY, but perhaps the change of scenery can help… Wondering if trainer Ricky Sillaman can get #4 Hoss Kitten (15-1) back on track; this one ran a couple good ones in the Gonzalez barn, but his two since the claim have been, let’s say, suboptimal; the value should be there…


  • 7-1-5-6
  • You gotta figure that the favorite, #7 Bucked Tooth (7-5), is the one they’ll have to reel in; he’s got all kinds of early lick in a race without much of that, and he’s shortening up to a 5 1/2-furlong distance he’s thrived at… We’re gonna draw a line through that last one for #1 Looks Good (10-1), who was up the track at long odds vs. much better; he ran just fine two back against similar and makes his second start in the Robb barn today… 


  • 8-2-4-5
  • Let’s see if the speedy #8 Baron of Bluegrass (5-1) can rediscover his better form; last time out he was a bit too keyed up, broke through the gate, showed speed but not surprisingly emptied out; breaking from the outside today, you assume they’ll try to grab the lead or press the pace, depending on the break… Speaking of horses with questions, there’s #2 Air On Fire (8-5); trainer Linda Rice claimed this one from Jason Servis three back, but his two in the Rice barn have not been particularly good; if he can get back to his earlier form, he’ll win here, and even a repeat of his two-back fifth against better might be enough, but, I dunno, you want short odds on a horse like this? Draw a line through that last for #4 Shadow Boxer (9-2), who just ran a bad one and was eased late; he can improve…



  • 1-3-6-2
  • Chalk it is, as #1 Sierra Leona (8-5) drops from a win against $8,000 company; trainer Gaudet claimed this one for a nickel, turned around to win against better (as the 6-5 choice), and drops back to the nickel spot, where this mare figures tough… #6 Miss Aliphant (7-2) galloped against lesser last out, makes her first start in the Magee barn, and usually runs well at this mile trip…


  • 3-1-6-4
  • In a field with plenty of early speed types, a runner who may get the advantage is #3 It’s the Journey (5-2); this one makes his first start in the Ness barn, Ness legs up go-to rider McCarthy, and this G3-placed runner has all kinds of back class… The drop from Md-bred allowance company to conditioned nickel claimers ought to help #1 Catonsville (7-2) rediscover his better form; when last seen against similar, he just missed after leading most of the way; he might be the speed of the speed here… 


  • 1-5-6-2
  • Trainer Carlos Mancilla has cooled off a bit (2-for-his-last-16) after a blazing-hot start to the year, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see #1 Top Me Off (7-2) to get him back on track as he drops from much better to this spot… #5 Successful Zip (5-2) has kept much better company than this his last few and here lands in perhaps the right spot; the concern is the declining recent efforts, so we’ll leave him on the ticket but not on top… #6 Big Boots (3-1) just missed against similar last time and rates a shot here; trainer Magee is 24% second off the claim…



  • 3-9-2-1
  • Despite the scratches, there’s still plenty of speed in here, and the only runner who looks to be running late is #3 Two L’s Meow (5-1), who didn’t run especially well last time but makes his second start in the Ness barn, has beaten similar, and should get the right setup in here… 


  • 1-7-4-8
  • The question in the nightcap is pretty simple: how does #3 Glengar (5-2) come back? He’s been away a year and has some OK works in the tank, including a bullet half-mile on February 9; on the other hand, new trainer Magee has just a middling record off long layoffs (and it’s worse when the horse is making his first start in the barn), and this one is dropping out of $25k starter company not just to $10,000 but is also running at the bottom of the claiming range, in for $8,000; if he returns as he was, he wins, but given the negatives, we’ll try to beat him (and he’s kind of an all or nothing horse: you either think he wins, or he’s nowhere)… #1 Coffee Please (7-2) crushed bottom maidens last out and makes his first start in the Sanchez-Salomon barn today; after a dozen cracks, maybe the lightbulb’s gone on… 


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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