Laurel Park picks and ponderings July 24, 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 — $1,190 Super High 5 –$0 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: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #5 Court Sky (9/5): Has been running brisnet figures in the mid-80s on a steady basis in his last few, and now drops from the n/w1x allowance level. He was fanned very wide in a big field in his last race; I don’t think that’ll happen in this six-horse contest.
- #1 Mucho Macho Eddie (5/2): Broke his maiden last out at Delaware Park, but stalking the pace and rolling on to victory. There’s not much speed in here, so Marquez could elect to send him to the lead, and he might end up getting loose. He’s one of two in here to have never lost against winners.
- #4 Thunder Day (6/1): It would’ve been nice to see some gate works, considering his tendency to break slowly, but he’s lightly raced, has a strong worktab, and gets lasix for the first time.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #1 Walk Away Joe: Turned in a win and a second while going a mile over the winter at a mile, then made a furious rally going six furlongs last out. That was clearly too short for him, and it was his first start off the break, to boot. Now, he’s fully tuned up, and back at his preferred distance.
- #7 Barin: Outside of an up-the-track effort going 1 1/2 miles two back, he was in excellent form over the winter at Turfway Park, running figures in the upper 70s. He doesn’t have any early speed, which will not work to his favor, but he looks like the kind to lumber along late and get a piece.
- #4 Soulmate: In contrast, this one has shown a touch of speed in the past, including a gate-to-wire win over the synthetic way back when at Turfway. Makes his second start off the layoff, and should be forwardly placed, if not outright on the lead.
RACE 3: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #3 Addadore (8/1): She was pressed on an honest pace the whole way in her debut at Delaware Park, but held on grimly until the last eighth of a mile. Gets lasix for the first time, so she should take some steps forward.
- #1 Tellmeonasunday (8/5): Another one coming off an impressive debut, she sat just off a fast pace, then battled on in the stretch and lost a three-horse photo. The horse she pressed on the lead was a favored Churchill Downs invader, who backed up to finish sixth. Her figure of 89 is very impressive, and as long as she runs anywhere in that range, she’s got a big chance.
- #6 Dontletsweetfoolya (5/2): One of the horses in that three-way photo, she turned in a career-best figure of 88 last out, while racing extremely wide and making her first start off the layoff. She came from off the pace in that race, and there’s lots of speed signed on here, too. Ideally, she’ll rate just off it.
RACE 4: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #1 Cruise and Danze: This speedy filly was taken out of her element last out, when she began slowly and couldn’t get to her usual place near the front end. It was also her first start off the layoff, and she’s got a bullet workout under her belt in between. As long as she breaks cleanly, she’s going to be heard from.
- #4 A Great Time: She’ll make her first start on conventional dirt since September 2018, which came over this track. She opened up a clear lead in the stretch, before being caught late. In between, she’s had two synthetic tries at Woodbine, where she came from just off the pace to run solid figures in the mid-80s. Looking for her to show tactical speed and move on the turn.
- #6 Limited View: Comes out of the same race as Cruise and Danze, where she was the beneficiary of that rival’s slow start. This one was able to go out and set an uncontested pace, drawing off to an impressive win. She’s a genuinely fast horse, and has some high quality dirt experience, but I don’t think she’ll have things as easy as she did last time.
RACE 5 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
- #4 La Rubia (7/2): Faced better at Aqueduct over the winter, hitting the superfecta twice against higher-priced maiden claimers. Races second time off the layoff, after returning to the races over the grass. Turned in a strong three-furlong workout in her first time over this surface, suggesting that she might take to it.
- #9 I Am Aine (4/1): Ran some improving races on the grass earlier this meet. Now she’ll have to translate that form to the main track. She’s not as good on dirt, but this not exactly a field of superstars. As long as she improves even a little bit, she’s a contender.
- #2 Why Not You (5/1): Lightly-raced, making her third start off the layoff, ran some relatively respectable figures on grass, and gets the hot-riding Victor Rosales. Why not her, indeed.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #5 Halfinthewrapper: Came very close to clearing this condition in her last start, opening up a big advantage turning for home after setting an honest pace. She got caught late, but it was a good effort for her first try at the level. Should be tough to catch once again.
- #6 Judi Blue Eyes: Finally takes a much needed drop in class after trying starter optional claiming company, without success, over and over again. Makes her third start off the layoff for Claudio Gonzalez, who is 22% with such horses. Her figures over the winter were pretty steadily in the mid-80s.
- #7 Rapidashqueen: Broke her maiden three back at Delaware with a strong front-running effort, then couldn’t quite get to the lead in her last two races. She’s got enough speed to take them all the way, but will have to be used aggressively.
RACE 7 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #5 Benandjoe: He had a bit of a rough time on the lead last out, but now he looks like one of the controlling speeds. He should have a minimal amount of competition on the front end this time.
- #1 Start With Yes: Won a n/w2L claiming contest going away in his most recent dirt try, stalking a fast pace and winning going away. He would’ve won on the grass last time if he remembered to change leads in the stretch. Goes first off the claim for John Robb, and should show tactical speed.
- #2 Closer Look: Has hit the board in four of six on dirt, but hasn’t quite been able to get over the hump. Should plod along and get a piece of the exotics.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #5 Sapphire Shilling: Dueled his rival into defeat last out, hanging in gamely until the last eighth of a mile and fading for fourth. He’s consistently run the best dirt figures of anyone in the field, earning numbers in the high-70s/mid-80s. Jonathan Maldonado is 20% with horses third off the layoff.
- #7 Earned It: Faced a much better field in his last dirt race, getting outkicked in the stretch and ending up third. When facing a field like this one, in his last race before the break, he won with a strong figure of 87. Class relief should help him.
- #3 Threethehardway: Another one dropping in class, he raced against Maryland-bred allowance foes in his last dirt start, and was visually impressive. His mid-70s figures fit in well with these, and gets the drop he’s been craving for a while.
- RACE 9: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
- #5 MJ’s Lady (5/1): Improved sharply second out, finishing third at this distance while her figure rose by nine points. I don’t know if she wants to go this far, but still merits respect in a field like this.
- #7 Ski Bunny (7/5): On one hand, her last race was a game one: she battled determinedly down the stretch to get second at 36/1, improving her figure by 26 points in her first race off the layoff. The winner of that race, Lasting Union, came back to win at Delaware on Wednesday. On the other hand, that was a pretty weak maiden group; this field is much more experienced. Worth respecting, but I couldn’t take her at short odds.
- #4 Tonal Verse (4/1): Hit the board three times against maiden foes last year here and at Parx. Got a race under her belt this year against much better on grass at Belmont Park. You have to figure she’ll take money, coming out of the Graham Motion barn.
LATEST IN HANDICAPPING
We’ve got an 8-race card today at Laurel Park!
In which we dig a little deeper into the four stakes on the card July 10 at Delaware Park, topped by the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap.
We’ve got Delaware Park picks and horses to watch for this afternoon’s racing program.