Laurel Park picks and ponderings June 13, 2020
Anna’s Bandit. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $4,822 Super High 5 — $847 Late Pick 5 — $6,922
Notable: Until further notice, no fans are allowed to attend the races at Laurel Park. For more info, click here.
RACE 1: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #8 Coffee Please (9/2): I don’t know what happened in his first start against winners, when he laid an egg after brief speed, but he had been in excellent form before that, with several strong brisnet figures. He was a non-factor on grass last out, but I have to imagine that was a screw-tightener for this spot, as he gets back on his preferred surface. Trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Solomon is a blindingly impressive 41% with horses second off the layoff.
- #2 Curlin’s Knight (7/2): He’s shown speed in his last two races, and there doesn’t appear to be many horses who could go with him early if Trevor elects to send. I know he’s had many tried at this level without success, but this might finally be a race where he can break through.
- #1 Auld Lang Syne (3/1): His closing rallies have been strong, with some giant late paces figures. He tends to fall behind slow paces, and leaves himself with too much to do. He’s got his best chance if he can stay somewhat close to an honest tempo.
RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- #5 Singapore Flash (5/2): This Fair Grounds invader is the only one in the field who can consistently run brisnet figures in the 80s. He’s finished a close second in his two recent races, where he prompted the pace but couldn’t quite get there. Now gets some class relief and adds the riding of the red-hot Sheldon Russell.
- #4 Absalom (12/1): Tampa Bay Downs shipper is one of the few in here with recent grass form, having shown speed and tired against n/w2L horses last out. Races for the barn of Damon Dilodovico for the first time, and has a recent lights-out work in his lines. He should be forwardly placed, and could be a pest in the late stages.
- #3 Toe Curlin Kiss (12/1): Ran some decent figures against n/w1x allowance foes last summer, then got some dirt races in earlier in the year as a prep for a spot like this. Should be running on late for a piece, at, possibly a big price.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #1 Sevilla Sangria (9/2): Drops for a career-low tag, and has dangerous early speed from the rail. Her last race, back in late January, was a strong one. She battled on the early pace, then dismissed her dueling partner and dug in against a perfect-trip rival until the last eighth. Against a field like this, she should turn in a performance at least as good, and if it’s a bit slower up front, all the better.
- #8 Awesome Pal (6/1): She didn’t break well in either of her two races, and it cost her precious early position. Nevertheless, she closed respectably well both times to earn solid figures. Would’ve been nice to see some gate works since her last race, but her improving figures and small number of races make her appealing.
- #5 Tenderness (6/1): Raced respectably against straight maidens in Louisiana over the winter; now tries a tag for the first time. She got outkicked in her last race by two dominant runners; will she find the competition easier in her return to these shores?
RACE 4: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #14 Money Fromheaven (12/1): She impressed in her last race, closing from the clouds to win a n/w1x allowance contest. Tries this level for the first time, and gets to face a relatively soft bunch while doing so. I’m expecting another big rally, although I don’t think you’ll get her 12/1 morning line.
- #3 Hip Hop (5/1): Takes a drop in class from the n/w3x allowance level, which was almost a stakes-quality bunch in her last start. Considering it was her first start in nine months, it was a good effort, as she closed well for fifth with a strong brisnet figure. I’m looking for improvement second out.
- #8 Something Magical (9/2): Cuts back from 1 1/8 miles for her first start of the year, which should benefit her forwardly-placed running style.
RACE 5 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #2 Deco Strong (5/1): Set the pace last out at Penn National, then battled back late, but was collared. Raced well against straight maidens at this track earlier in the year, and has been well-backed in all three of her races.
- #6 Our Sweet Girl (12/1): Switches to the dirt after her debut on grass, where she prompted the pace and gave way. In for a tag for the first time as well; worth a shot if the price is right.
- #3 It’s Timeless (5/1): Another one to add to the long list of well-backed Trombetta firsters, she’s turned in some good drills at Fair Hill getting ready for this spot, including a bullet work two starts back. Trombetta’s 18% with horses debuting in maiden claiming races, with a slightly positive ROI.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- #2 Shrew Meaning (7/2): Raced wide every step of the way last out, and ended up beaten more than seven lengths. She’s fairly lightly-raced, has shown speed in the past, and gets Trevor back in the saddle. Should save more ground and have a strong late punch.
- #5 I Love You (5/1): Turned in an impressive victory against starter allowance company when sprinting on the grass back in the fall, then checked at the start in the Maryland Million Ladies and was compromised. Has been working well for her first race since January 1.
- #12 Shake D Moon (8/1): Another one who has to shake off the rust, she’s never lost at this level on the grass, and should show speed from the far outside.
RACE 7 – CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #9 Miners Quest (4/1): Takes a major drop in class from the open $8,000 level, and comes in here with a race under his belt off the layoff. Raced well against open claimers earlier in the year, and should find the conditioned level up his alley.
- #5 Cape Lookout (9/5): Kieron Magee has been in a slump to begin the summer stand, but this is as good a spot as any for him to break out of it. This horse has been steadily improving, including a big win against n/w3L horses last out. In that spot, he stalked the pace, then made a strong move on the turn and drew off.
- #10 Black Stetson (7/2): Didn’t show any of his customary early speed last out, but closed well and got up for second. Ideally, he’ll be used a little more aggressively this time.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #11 Beantown Baby (3/1): Had some traffic trouble as the heavy favorite in her last start, at Tampa Bay Downs, and ended up second as the heavy favorite. As one of the few in here with recent form, she’s got a fitness edge over the rest, and has a decided figure edge. I’m hoping for smoother sailing for her in her second start at the level.
- #6 Waiting for a Star (12/1): Showed speed and held in well in her grass races last fall at this track. Should be forwardly placed and enjoy the cutback in distance.
- #13 Introduced (5/2): Sent off at 2/5 in her final start last year, at this level, she came up empty without much of an excuse. She hasn’t been seen since that September 29, but has been working steadily and looks to be coming in here in strong form. That being said, her figures aren’t decidedly better compared to those of the rest, and considering she’ll likely be the favorite, I don’t know if she’ll be worth a win bet. She is classy, though, with a stakes placing as a 2-year-old and five in-the-money finishes in seven tries on the grass.
RACE 9: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #9 Lucky Britches (5/2): Ran some gigantic figures ovr the winter at Parx, and comes in here with the best last-out figure by seven points. Last out, despite drifting in the stretch, he beat a stronger field than this one with a career-top figure of 99. That being said, this is his first start over this track, which plays differently than Parx, and he might get lazy down that long stretch run and begin drifting again. Still, he’ll have to regress quite a bit to lose this one.
- #4 Hammerin Aamer (9/2): Goes out for the team of Brittany and Sheldon Russell, which has been dangerous as of late, and drops from the n/w2x allowance level. He’s not too big on winning, with his last trip to the winner’s circle coming in June 2018. Still, he has a strong closing punch that should get him an exotics spot in this race.
- #3 Whirlin Curlin (6/1): A multiple stakes winner at 2, he’ll make his first start as a five-year-old here, and his first outing of any sort in almost a year. He’s won six times over this track, including a sharp win against allowance foes in his most recent dirt start. If you believe off the long layoff, he’s worth a shot at his likely odds.
RACE 10 – CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #4 Charlie Mops (5/1): He’s a winner of three in a row in races at less than a mile, so it was little surprise that he disappointed going 1 1/16 miles last out, back in October. He should improve with the distance cutback.
- #5 Too Much Data (8/1): Was in the midst of a big rally last out, in his first start in almost four months, when he checked off heels and lost precious ground. He managed to rerally and lose by less than three lengths. Now, he’s got that crucial race under his belt,
- #12 Tale of E Dubai (3/1): The post draw is far from ideal, but McCarthy and Ness is always a dangerous combination, and he’s got boatloads of early speed. Not to mention, he’s undefeated on the Laurel grass.
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