Laurel Park picks and ponderings July 31, 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 — $4,202 Super High 5 –$1,946 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 $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
- #4 Hydra (9/2): Her last race wasn’t particularly awe-inspiring, as she was somewhat flat in the stretch at this level. Then again, that was on the grass, and now she’s trying this class on dirt for the first time. Goes third off the layoff, and has shown tactical speed against better in past races.
- #5 We Are Family (2/1): After thirteen races against straight maidens both here and in New York, she’s finally trying a race for a tag. It’s always hard to swallow horses with 0-for-13 lifetime records at low odds, but her brisnet figures are clearly the best in the field, and those races were against much better horses. Worth using in multi-race bets, for sure.
- #2 Catch the Sky (12/1): Closed well on debut going six furlongs two races back, then struggled at a mile last out while racing wide. Going to seven furlongs should help the cause.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #4 Absalom: Has shown decent dirt form in the past, running in the low 70s twice over the winter at Tampa Bay Downs. Last year at Presque Isle Downs, he was a stone-cold front-runner. He hasn’t shown that much speed this year, but he’d be wise to go to the front once again and try to wire them.
- #13 Brutus: His lone race on conventional dirt can be thrown out: it was against a tough n/w1x allowance field on Florida Derby day at Gulfstream Park. He was rushed up to be on the pace, then was eased up when it became clear he wasn’t going to get anything. Broke his maiden on synthetic last year at Woodbine going 1 1/16 miles, and ran some figures in the 80s over that surface. Facing easier competition here, he should be able to find that form.
- #2 Mine to Hold: Tries winners for the first time, after breaking his maiden on grass last out. Hit the board twice against maiden claimers this winter, and looks like a serviceable plodder who can suck up for a piece.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #6 Whispurring KItten: This is one fast filly. Last out, she dueled through an opening quarter of 21 2/5 and a half of 44 1/5 seconds, and still held on until the last eighth. It’s really a matter of if anyone can go with her early, and I don’t think anyone can. In that case, it’s ballgame.
- #1 Perfect Kind: If anyone can be even close to Whispurring Kitten in the early stages, it’s her. She’s making her second start of the year, and showed tactical speed and good dirt form last year. In her most recent dirt race, she was a clear-cut second against straight maidens at Delaware Park. That’s always a good sign in a field like this.
- #2 Spun Glass: Drops for a tag for the first time, after showing brief foot and giving way on debut at Monmouth Park. Her sire, Hard Spun, has a good strike rate with horses in the mud, of 17%.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #4 Girls Love Me (3/1): This is his third start off a layoff almost two years long. He may have run the best race of anyone two back: he got involved in a speed duel, lost to a rival who sat a perfect trip off the battle, but held well for a clear second. A grassy experiment last out didn’t work, now he gets back to his preferred surface. Looking for him to be the dominant early speed.
- #6 Casper Slew (9/2): Runs for the first time since early March, and comes in off a strong win against n/w2L foes at Penn National. He earned his career-high figure of 86 at this track a few starts back, and his worktab since mid-May has been steady and strong.
- #1 Successful Zip (5/2): He’s run in the mid-80s in four out of his last five starts, including a near-miss in his last start, back in March. His most recent workout was a bullet, going four furlongs in 47 3/5 seconds on July 26 at Pimlico. Looking for him to sit not far from the lead on the inside.
RACE 5 – ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
- #1 Matty’s Magnum: Faced much better n/w2x allowance competition over the winter at Aqueduct on dirt. In one of those races, she lost to Jennemily, who recently won here at this class level. Her brisnet peak of 91 came on dirt, and shouldn’t have much trouble with a scattered bunch like this.
- #4 Artful Splatter: The big question for her is if Jabuticaba elects to stay in the race, with it being washed away. If she decided to scratch, Artful Splatter is going to end up on a long, lonesome lead, and could prove impossible to catch. There’s no wonder about how she’ll do over this track: she won five races in a row on the Laurel dirt over the past fall and winter.
- #6 Ebullient: Made a premature move in her last dirt race, going two turns at Gulfstream Park, and paid the price. She’s steadily run in the mid/high 70s in her four career dirt tries. She doesn’t have enough early speed to go with Artful Splatter, but has shown early foot in the past, and should get clear of the rest and hold them off.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #6 Pardon the Pun: Got wagering action in his second start off the layoff last out, but breaking from post eleven, he had no chance. He was hung wide every step of the way and gave way late. He’s been steadily running figures in the 60s and 70s as a 2-year-old, and in his third off the bench with a fair draw, should have a good shot.
- #11 Diten: His last race on dirt was easily, when he almost wired the field at Charles Town in a 1 1/16 mile contest. He wasn’t a factor on grass in his last two races, but perhaps getting back to the dirt, with a possibly favorable pace scenario, will play into his favor.
- #14 Security Breach: Steadily ran in the 70s on the dirt last year, then was a complete non-factor in his dirt debut earlier in the meet. Made mild ground on the grass last out, now returns to what is probably his preferred surface. Should sit midpack and rumble late.
RACE 7 – CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #6 Susikin (3/1): Parx invader led almost all the way around in her last two, then gave way in the last eighth to hold second. Her last race is especially notable, as she broke through the gate before the start, but still ran her usual race and turned in a game effort. Rosado should have her forwardly placed once again.
- #7 Vaunt (12/1): Considering she’s first off the claim for Claudio Gonzalez, I can’t imagine that you’ll get her morning line odds. In fact, I can’t imagine she’ll be even half those odds. Still, considering her dull last few efforts, she might slip through the cracks. She showed strong form over the winter at Tampa Bay Downs, including a big win against n/w2L company in early March, so she’s a good bet to recover that ability.
- #3 Hendaya (7/2): A bit of a wildcard, as she clipped heels and fell in her last race. She won against better back in February, and now goes third off the layoff. This’ll also be her first start on the Laurel dirt since February 16, with her last two coming on grass and on the Charles Town bullring.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, MD-BRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #7 Gifted Heart: Gets back to the dirt after two uninspiring races on grass to begin her 3-year-old campaign. She showed a lot of promise on dirt last year, beginning her career 2-for-2, before finishing second in the Dickie Moore Stakes at Charles Town. Her figures have improved at three, but it doesn’t look like she’s got the same punch on grass that she does on dirt. Getting back to the main track should help.
- #3 A Great Time: The last time she was on conventional dirt, she finished second at this level, behind the very good sprinter Margie’s Money. That was back in 2018, however, and most of her career since then has been on the grass. This’ll be her third race off the layoff, after knocking on the door against much better. If can switch back to the dirt without trouble, and all indications are she can, the rest of the field will be in trouble.
- #11 Elegant Gal: She’s a perfect 2-for-2 to begin her career, most recently blowing away the field on dirt in a n/w1x race at Delaware. She improved her figure sharply in that race, going up to an 86. A repeat of that figure makes her a contender.
- RACE 9: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
- #8 Bonaca: Has been working well at Fair Hill for Arnaud Delacour, who hits at 16% first out. Most recently, she put in a four-furlong bullet in an impressive 48 seconds.
- #9 Curly Ruth: Showed promise in her grass debut at Monmouth Park, losing only to a Chad Brown horse who blew the rest of the field away. Her dam, Rutherienne, was very accomplished on grass, but her sire, Curlin, had some of his greatest moments on a wet surface. Going to be interesting to see how she does here on the wet track; if she can transfer any of that grass form to the dirt, she’ll be tough.
- #5 Good on Paper: Ran very well in her first start off the layoff, battling down the stretch after a wide trip. Also has respectable mud breeding.
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