Laurel Park picks and ponderings June 26, 2020
Dirty. Photo by Allison Janezic.
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $7,702 Super High 5 –$875 Late Pick 5 — $0
Notable: Until further notice, no fans are allowed to attend the races at Laurel Park. For more info, click here.
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #7 Yikes (9/2): Lightly-raced Maryland-bred takes a drop to the $10,000 level for the first time, and makes his second start off the layoff after struggling on grass last out. In a field full of proven losers and horses who are total unknowns around two turns, he’s worth a shot.
- #4 Lucerito (8/5): Received some solid betting action on debut in his last start, and finished a respectable third while racing wide throughout. That was at 5 1/2 furlongs, and 1 1/16 miles could be a different ballgame. If he can stretch out, he will be tough.
- #5 Aleph (2/1): He’s been knocking on the door against similar, hitting the board in his last three. His best races, from a speed figure standpoint, were over the Charles Town bullring, how will he adjust to going two turns on this track?
RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
- 1-11-5-6 (DIRT: 7-6-1-9)
- #1 Three Quarter Time (3/1): Tampa Bay Downs shipper broke her maiden very impressively in her last start, stalking a strong pace and moving emphatically to the lead. This’ll be just the fourth start for the Tom Proctor trainee, and Proctor hits at 28% with horses who just broke their maidens.
- #11 Tide Storm (3/1): Drops in class from the n/w2L claiming level at Gulfstream Park, where she finished fourth last out with a very strong brisnet figure of 82. She’s faced much better for most of her career, spending most of last year against older n/w1x allowance horses. This spot should be a breath of fresh air. Red-hot Sheldon Russell gets aboard.
- #5 Polished Copper (6/1): Despite a bit of an erratic rally in the stretch, she got up to win against $25,000 maidens in her last start at Gulfstream. Two starts back, she closed well for second despite a rough break. The trainer/jockey combo of Claudio Gonzalez and Alex Cintron are in action here; two of Cintron’s three wins on the meet have come aboard Gonzalez horses.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #5 Swinging Star (5/1): He didn’t do much in a screw-tightening race on grass last time, but it was his first start in almost four months, and now he’s going back to his preferred surface. Finished second after prompting the pace in his last dirt race, earning a sharp brisnet figure of 91. He’s not big on passing horses in the stretch, but he’s got the best recent figures in an inconsistent bunch.
- #4 Earned It (3/1): Won at this level in his last start, back in March. In that race, he stalked the pace and battled down the stretch to get up for a head victory. While he’s not as recently raced as some of the others in here, Dale Capuano is 20% with horses off a 46-90 day break, and that win against similar is a nice feather in the cap.
- #1 Hayne’s Fever (5/2): While he’ll have competition for the early lead, he’s got the inside post position and the best early pace figures in the race. There’s a decent chance he’s able to sneak away to a loose lead, and if he does, he’ll be tough to catch.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- 9-16-13-11 (DIRT: 11-6-9-14)
- #9 Fused (7/5): Drops in for a tag for the first time, has superior speed figures, and goes out for the Motion/McCarthy dream team. If you’re going to single a horse in the early pick 5, this is the one.
- #16 Storm Tower: If he draws in off the also-eligible list, he’d throw a bit of a monkey wrench into things. He almost wired a tougher field in his last start, before giving way in the last eighth of a mile. He’d be in a far outside post, but looks fast enough early to get over to the rail. His races last year against straight maidens at Monmouth Park are also good enough to win this.
- #13 My Moonshine: Exits the same race as Storm Tower. He received lots of wagering action in that start, in a race where he was one of two first-time starters, and closed well to finish fourth. Should improve second time out.
RACE 5 – CLAIMING $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #6 Cobh (9/2): Had a rough break and a wide trip in his last start, but still closed well to get fourth. Now faces an easier $5,000 field and stretches out from 5 1/2 furlongs to a mile. His figures are consistently the strongest in the field, usually running in the high-70s/low-80s. McCarthy gets the mount, as usual jockey Russell jumps off to ride Caladan.
- #5 Twin Valor (6/1): Exits the same race as Cobh, and had an even rough trip. He was bumped around the start, was unable to get into position, and lost all chance. Now makes his second start off the layoff, and stretches out to his preferred distance. Over the winter, and he got a win and two seconds when going a mile, running big figures each time. The only problem: jockey Angel Cruz has been in a major slump this meet. Is this the horse to break him out of it?
- #7 Sierra Leona (8/1): Winner of four in a row runs first off the layoff, and first off the claim, for Tom McMahon. All four of those wins came at a mile. He should do his best running near the end, after sitting somewhere in midpack early on.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- 15-2-6-14 (DIRT: 2-10-7-9)
- #15 Hinting (10/1): May very well have won his debut, if he wasn’t forced to check sharply in the stretch. Gets lasix for the first time, and faces a field that’s very inexperienced on the lawn.
- #2 Karan’s Notion (5/1): Lasted in a brutal pace duel last out in his first start, hanging on for second at 61/1. He outfinished his dueling partner in that race by four lengths. Should be the primary speed from the inside.
- #6 Makoto (8/1): Races for a tag for the first time, and has been working on the grass at Colts Neck Stables, not something you see too often. It looks as if they’ve had a grass race in mind for this one for a while. Chris DeCarlo, who doesn’t usually ride here, comes down for the mount.
RACE 7 – ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 1 1/16 MILES
- #10 Plot the Dots (3/1): He might’ve needed that last race, as he made a big move entering the stretch, but couldn’t sustain it. It was his first race in almost three months. In the start before that, he lasted on a mild pace duel and drew off to victory. There’s a few big dogs in here, but he raced well enough against open company to make me believe.
- #9 My Friends Beer (5/1): It’s hard to take a bigger class drop than this guy’s taking: he last ran in the Arkansas Derby. He was a non-threatening ninth behind Charlatan, but he was in good form over the winter at Laurel. He hit the board twice at this level, while running figures in the high-80s. In his only start around two turns at Laurel this far, he fell way behind in the Private Terms, but still closed well for second. Expect another good rally here.
- #1 Marylander (6/1): Won two in a row against weaker this winter, stepped up to the open n/w1x level last out, and gave way after showing speed. Now finds a level somewhere in between. I’m interested to see how that goes.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- 9-5-7-12 (DIRT: 10-7-1-2)
- #9 Eifs (9/2): Made what might have been a premature move in her last start from the far outside post, and flattened out by the time they turned for home. Last year, she won twice over the grass, with better trips both times. Should do better in her second race off the layoff.
- #5 Checkbouncin Billy (5/2): Exits the same race as Eifs, while coming off an ever longer break. Rallied well late to lose by less than two lengths. Jamie Ness is 21% with horses second off the layoff.
- #7 Dorothyfromdublin (6/1): Goes first off the claim for Wayne Potts, after she was held at the gate by the assistant starter in her last race. In spite of that, she closed well to get third, and may very well have won if not for that bad beginning. That race was on dirt, but her grass form is strong, too; she won an open $16,000 race at Colonial Downs last summer.
- RACE 9: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- #6 Not in Jeopardy: It’s clear that her last start was not her objective; it was at 5 1/2 furlongs, and she’s a router. Last year, she won a n/w2x allowance on this track, and narrowly missed winning the All Along in the race after that. In her last race of 2019, she went off at 87/1 in the Zagora at Aqueduct, but might have been the best horse in the race. She rallied very wide to lose by less than two lengths.
- #5 Theodora B: Stakes-placed six times last year, without a win, she’s making her first start since November 29, when she was second in the Forever Together after a wide trip. This field is just a cut below those that she was facing last year, but considering how many times she was the best horse against better fields, you have to figure she can handle a field like this if she’s 100%.
- #8 Summering: Ran a big figure at this level last out at Churchill Downs, losing by half a length after making a strong bid for the lead on the turn. She tends to make a big move and then flatten out; the key for Feargal Lynch will be to time it properly.
- RACE 10: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #6 El Dulce: Goes first off the claim for Kieron Magee here. He’s been in a slump, but this lone-speedster might be the horse to shake him out of it. Trevor will send and try not to stop.
- #10 Godloveasinner: Makes his first start since November, and should prompt the pace from the outside. The 2-for-35 record is a bit unsightly, but he should be on the pace and can hang around to get a piece.
- #11 Lime House Louie: Ran a big figure in his first start off the layoff, finishing sixth against better after checking in the stretch. Should enjoy the drop in class.
LATEST IN HANDICAPPING
We’ve got Delaware Park picks and horses to watch for this afternoon’s racing program.
The original and best Colonial Downs tip sheet returns: Nick’s Picks is back, along with picks from the legendary Derby Bill Watson.
John Piassek shares his thoughts on today’s Pimlico card here.