Laurel Park picks and ponderings August 6, 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 — $6,968 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: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Holy Saint (2/1): Woodbine invader goes in for a tag for the first time, off two nondescript efforts over the synthetic and grass last year. Gets lasix for the first time as well; trainer Dale Capuano is 3-for-10 with such horses.
- #6 Royal Thunder (4/5): He went off at low odds in his last start, at this level, and ended up a strong-closing second at low odds. The winner, Kickstarter, is not a better horse than much of who he’ll have to face here, and I’m not big on taking short prices on 0-for-9 horses. On the other hand, he’s got a pronounced advantage in the brisnet figures, so maybe he’s finally found a field he can beat?
- #4 Jamakin Me Run (12/1): He’s also dropping for a tag for the first time, and raced wide throughout in his lone dirt start to date, at Charles Town. On that small track, that’s a nightmare trip. He was also 6/1 in that race, which was his first career start. That’s not a ton to hang your hat on, but somebody must think he’s something if he got that much action. In a field like this, worth a shot at the right price.
RACE 2: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #3 Premier Star (7/2): Got lots of wagering action in a VERY tough n/w2x field last out, and more than held his own. After a rough break, he closed respectably well in the stretch, getting up for fourth. The top three were so clear turning for home, he had no chance of catching them, so it’s about as good a finish as you could expect under the circumstances. Showed lots of promise against fellow 3-year-olds over the winter in Florida; can he keep the progress going?
- #4 Fortunate Friends (9/5): A two-time winner at the level this year, he improved very sharply in his second race off the layoff last out to win by 1 1/4 of a length. Horacio Karamanos has been holding a hot hand in the saddle lately, and him and trainer Damon Dilodovico make a tough team.
- #6 Uplifting (12/1): He’ll have to deal with some speed to his inside, in the hell-for-leather Bullets Child, but he’s shown the ability to rate in the past. Could sit just off his speedy rival, and make a bid for the lead turning for home. Looks to be in improving form as well.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
- #2 Whispering Rose: Runs for the first time since March, after a very easy win from off the pace against fellow New York-breds. This’ll be her first race against winners, and a repeat of that last race will send her to the winner’s circle.
- #7 Polished Copper: Her best dirt figure came over a one-turn mile, when she finished second against maiden claimers at Churchill Downs last September. Closed well in her last race on dirt, making up seven lengths in the last eighth of a mile in a six-furlong contest.
- #8 Shezalemondropkid: Broke her maiden over dirt three starts back at Charles Town, then turned in two gutsy performances at this level on grass, narrowly missing both times. Figures to once again take plenty of action, and should keep moving forward.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Greasedlightning (10/1): Her figures at Delaware Park have been respectable, running in the low 70s in her last two. She doesn’t have a lot of early speed, but packs a strong middle pace punch, and will be dangerous if she can sustain her move in the stretch.
- #6 Rein Supreme (7/5): Drops in class after just missing against starter allowance company last out. This is a pretty flawed field, and she’s going third off the layoff. Last year, she ran in the 80s a few times; those races would win this one handily.
- #5 Joyful Noise (7/2): She’s already raced four times at the meet, and her lines are something of a mixed bag. In her first two races of the season, she had rough trips and rallied well. After getting claimed by Mario Serey, she was a little more forwardly placed, but fell flat in the stretch. This is probably the softest field she’s faced in her recent stretch; what to do?
RACE 5 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #10 Paradise Pride: Ran into two very good horses two starts back, in Toy and Plot the Dots. Last out, at Delaware, he destroyed a n/w2L allowance field. He earned a figure of 93 in that race; if he runs anything like that again, the rest are running for second.
- #8 Gins and Tins: In both of his dirt starts at Gulfstream Park, he was up against better than he’ll see here. In his last race, in particular, he raced wide throughout, but came on to just miss third, finishing well behind two next-out winners. His figure of 81 from that race is good enough to beat anyone in here, except Paradise Pride.
- #2 Rumson Rally: A perfect type to play underneath. He has absolutely no early speed, but lumbers along late and usually gets a share of the minor awards. He’s only 1-for-15 lifetime on dirt, but has hit the board ten times.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
- #1 Karan’s Notion (5/2): Wow, was that an impressive maiden win last out. Granted, he didn’t beat a whole lot, but he moved powerfully down the stretch, and he ran a big figure of 94 to boot. That was at 5 1/2 furlongs; if he handles seven furlongs here, do his people dream of longer stakes next out?
- #5 Abuelo Paps (7/2): Broke his maiden in professional style in his last dirt race, chasing down the leader to earn a strong figure of 92. A grass experiment last out didn’t go so well, now he gets back to his preferred surface.
- #4 Stone Courageous (6/1): Stakes-placed twice as a 2-year-old, he was disappointing in his 3-year-old debut last out at Delaware. It was his first start in six months, however, and it was on the grass. Now he’s got a race under his belt and goes back to dirt. He may have run into some buzzsaws here, but I still expect a respectable performance.
RACE 7 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #4 Live Aid: Goes third off the layoff and gets back to dirt. Had a few tries on the dirt last year, and got involved in some tough pace battles. In spite of that, she held in well every time, earning figures in the low 70s with regularity. Should go out to the early lead, and will be tough out there.
- #1 Esther’s Fortune: Another one going third off the layoff, she was blown away in a pretty good field for the level in her last dirt race. She’s dropping in class here, and has shown promise in her brief career. Last out was an especially good one: she showed speed on grass going long, got clear late, and was run down in the last sixteenth.
- #9 Villamura: Two back, she came from just off the pace and flattened out. Last out, she showed speed and faded. Those are her only two races. What to do? She showed hints of ability with different styles both times out, so I would figure there’s something here.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #4 Indian Ghost (9/2): Soundly defeated a n/w2L claiming field in his last race, matching his recent-best figure of 74. That was going 1 1/16 miles, now he cuts back a bit and faces a slightly better group. Worth a shot with late speed and trying the level for the first time.
- #1 Booby Trap (6/1): Since his disastrous first race off the break, he’s improved his form sharply. Both of his recent figures are in the mid-70s, even though they were not visually impressive races. It’s going to be interesting to see how he does going a mile; that bad race three back was at 1 1/16 miles, and when he raced well in his last two, he was sprinting.
- #2 Chasing the Candy (2/1): Gulfstream Park shipper returns to the barn of Claudio Gonzalez, who has been hitting at a lower-than-usual 17% this meet. While under Gonzalez’s watch, he had speed to spare over this track last year. In his last two, he backpedaled badly. Will a return to this track help him find his best form?