Laurel Park picks and ponderings September 12, 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 — $14,286 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: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Greasedlightning (4/1): She’s been taking steps forward in her last few, including a willing close to get second in her last race. Faces the easiest field she’s had to deal with this meet.
- #6 Marie from Parie (6/1): Her primary asset, her early speed, has not fully shone through this year. She hasn’t been able to get a clear advantage, and has promptly backed up every time. This time, however, she looks like the fastest horse early on. If she’s used aggressively enough, she can cut in front of the rest and run them off their feet.
- #3 Majestic Pic (4/1): Got a perfect trip and won three back going away, followed by two runner-up finishes. She fell well behind fast paces in her last few, with fractions that are seldom seen over this track. Should be closer today.
RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #6 Phantom Ro: A winner of two in a row since coming off the bench, running brisnet figures in the 90s both times. Has the option of challenging for the lead, or rating just off it and pouncing. The horse he soundly defeated last out, VIP Code, is a very hard-knocking sort who won earlier in the week at Delaware Park.
- #1 I Got a Rock: Saw his four-race winning streak get snapped last out after leading most of the way. He knows only one way to go: run straight to the lead and go as fast as he can. Breaking from post one on this track, he should be able to get the trip he wants.
- #7 Odds On: Stalked the pace and drew off to win his last race, albeit against weaker, emphatically. He could get a good pace setup here with the aforementioned speedballs; can he take advantage?
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Kentucky Cool (9/2): Has been working strongly for his debut, with a string of sharp four-furlong drills and a bullet five-furlong workout four back. Robert Bailes is 22% with horses debuting in maiden claimers.
- #3 Reassured (2/1): Brittany Russell and Jevian Toledo will look for their second win with a 2-year-old in as many days. Russell’s 24% with firsters, and this one gets a fairly soft field to debut in.
- #7 What the Flash (7/2): The best of the ones with experience, he ran on well to finish third on debut last out, just missing the runner-up spot. Now drops for a tag for the first time.
RACE 4: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Gifted Heart (7/2): Got some wagering action in the Charles Town Oaks, off a solid Maryland-bred allowance win. She went wide around the tight first turn and faded from the scene. Now gets back to a track where she sports a 3-for-4 record, and reunites with usual jockey Victor Rosales.
- #4 My Queen Michelle (4/1): Gonzalez and Cruz are back with another live one. This filly showed speed and faded on an off track last out, her first race in five months. In the race prior to the break, she crushed a n/w1x field after getting a great trip, earning a brisnet figure of 88. Works since her last race have been sharp, and I’m looking for a return to her top form.
- #2 Phantom Shot (4/1): Ran a solid figure of 84 two races back, despite it being her first race in seven months. In her last race, at Delaware, she began slowly and was no factor against a tougher field. Now races third off the layoff and drops in class. Won at this class last fall at Laurel, coming from behind to do so.
RACE 5 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #7 Glacier Park: Ran on well in the stretch to get third in his first race off the layoff. He’s improved in each of his dirt races, peaking at a 70 in that most recent contest.
- #9 Muhlenberg: Drops for a career-low tag after several unsuccessful tries at the $25,000 level. Trevor McCarthy gets the mount for the first time.
- #5 Brown Chocolate: Faced a tough field on debut; now gets lasix for the first time. He’s the most lightly-raced horse in the field, and is worth a shot at likely big odds.
RACE 6: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #7 Joycee Haz Pizzazz (3/1): Got hung wide on the Saratoga dirt in her debut, and wasn’t a factor. Drops in class and has been working strongly. If she can improve off the 76 figure she earned in his debut, he’ll be very tough.
- #5 Point Driven (3/1): Another one who shipped up to Saratoga and found little success. In the race before that, at Monmouth Park, he rallied well from behind to finish third, with a lifetime top figure of 88. Should find more success in his Laurel debut.
- #4 The Cairo Kid (5/2): Tends to show speed and tire late. In his last race, at seven furlongs, he had a clear lead at the eighth pole, but flattened out and stopped. Will cutting back help him out?
RACE 7 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
- #5 Si Mamacita: Had been dominant around one turn, but struggled when trying to stretch out last out. Her stalk-and-pounce style is perfect for these types of races.
- #3 Morgan’s Z Va: Rated just off the pace in her last start at Presque Isle Downs, and powered away to an impressive n/w1x win. Won twice at a mile on grass over the winter at Tampa Bay Downs, so the distance shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
- #8 Ridgemont High: Ran on well last out, closing from way out to it to get second. Two races back, she lost by a nose against open company at this distance. Will make an impact from far behind in this one.
RACE 8- ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 6 FURLONGS
- #3 Nautical Nature (7/2): Battled on gamely in the stretch last out to lose by half a length to Karan’s Notion. That impressive maiden winner came back to lose an open allowance by a nose on Friday. Two back, he got a loose lead and won handily. I don’t know if he’ll be able to shake away here, but will be tough even if he has to fight for the lead.
- #1 Jebologist (4/1): The main challenger to the front-running supremacy of Nautical Nature. He lasted on the lead to beat an open n/w1x field last out at Penn National, after just missing in his first try at the level two back. Wouldn’t surprise me to see Nautical Nature and Jebologist battle it out the entire way.
- #2 Absolved (6/1): If the top two do fall apart, this one will be right there to take advantage. He was in good form over the winter, with two figures in the 90s. Makes his third start off the layoff here, and will seek to recover after two dull races. Even though it’s a Maryland-bred allowance, not an open allowance like he saw last time, this is not much of a class drop. Still, he’s a stalker who should get a good pace setup.
RACE 9 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #7 Ran Char: Got outkicked in her last dirt race, but held on for second with a much-improved figure of 71. This is just her fifth start; lightly-raced horses are always good bets in spots like this.
- #11 Lady Fox: Her 0-for-11 record is unsightly, for sure, but she’s run figures in the 70s in four of her last five dirt races. Just missed second last out, finishing behind two horses who came back to win their next race.
- #13 All About Audrey: In her debut, she showed speed, faded, then re-rallied and got third. Will be interesting to see what style Marquez employs here.