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 — $0 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, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #10 Tauber (3/1): Finally gets back to sprinting on grass, the type of race where he broke his maiden back in May. Showed speed and faded in routes in his past few. This distance is right in his wheelhouse.
- #3 Xmasinthecity (7/2): I’ve been chasing in this horse in his past few, but I think today could *finally* be the day. He’s making his third start off the layoff, and drops in class from the n/w1x allowance level. He hasn’t shown the blazing early speed he showed last fall; it’ll be interesting to see if he can stalk and pounce, or if Trevor McCarthy will elect to send.
- #2 HRH Jellybean (6/1): Broke his maiden in very impressive style three back, rating just off the pace and drawing away to an emphatic victory. Got hung wide on the pace last out, now draws further inside and should sit just off the speed.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #1 Ghost on a Mission (8/5): His last appearance on a track was less of a race, and more of a workout for Silent Malice. That horse got away with a ridiculously slow opening quarter of 26 seconds. As a result, Ghost on a Mission had no chance of catching him. In spite of that, he ran on well to finish second, just missing his career-top brisnet figure with a 76. Goes second out for Dale Capuano, who is 33% with horses second time in his stable.
- #5 Pardon the Pun (6/1): If Ghost on a Mission gets caught behind a ridiculously slow pace again, it may well be at the hands of this rival. Jogged to victory three races back, but was disqualified after the fact, and retains his eligibility for this race as such. Jorge Ruiz would be wise to send this horse right to the lead again.
- #4 Feature Act (5/2): He’s been steadily improving in his last four, while trying to rally from way behind off slow paces. Should suck up for a piece, but in a race like this, I fear he’ll once again be pace-compromised.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #7 Gloriously (5/1): Got hung wide against tougher in her last grass race, in a race that also featured a slow opening quarter. Ran much better at Belmont Park earlier in the year, over a track playing towards speed. Three back, she ran a huge figure of 88 when closing well for fourth. Faces the easiest field she ever has, and looks primed for a big one.
- #11 Sunday Red (12/1): Gets back on grass after a disastrous dirt try last out. She’s been rounding into form this year, finishing a solid third in her first start off several months’ break, then improving ten points while chasing a loose leader. Looks like a very live longshot.
- #10 Midship Lady (7/2): Ran some big races against better earlier in the meet. Disappointed as the 4/5 favorite in a starter optional claiming race in her last start, after racing erratically. She’s been rank in her last two starts; will be tough if she can settle.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $25,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
- #3 Lion’s Court (10/1): Got a good ground-saving trip and rallied strongly to break his maiden last out at Delaware Park. He also ran huge on debut, when he broke in a tangle and made up tons of ground. Should get a great trip stalking the pace. J.D. Acosta, who has been riding at Charles Town most of the year, gets his first Laurel mount since March 15.
- #5 Nobody Knew (8/5): On one hand, that was a really impressive maiden win. He crushed the field at Pimlico by 6 1/2 lengths, in a gate-to-wire effort. On the other hand, he’s wheeling back in seven days, and that was a pretty speed-favoring track. He’s got a good shot, but tread lightly at low odds.
- #2 Let’s Workout (9/2): Worked a similar trip to Lion’s Court in his debut, battling in the stretch win a three-horse photo at Finger Lakes. His rallies weren’t as explosive as those of some of the others, but I’m looking for some improvement second time out.
RACE 5 – ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- #12 Rising Perry (4/1): Stretched out from 5 1/2 furlongs in his last race, and it went well. He got a great stalking trip and drew off to a handy win. Both his wins have come on the Laurel grass.
- #3 Benny Havens (12/1): He’s had some weird trips in his last few, but has occasionally popped up with some big figures. Last out, he was hung four-wide the entire way against open company, but still made up ground in the stretch and lost by just five lengths. He also had to come from off the pace in that race, usually, he’s on or near the lead.
- #6 Daddy’s Cozy (9/2): Ran a giant race last out at Presque Isle Downs, finishing second in his first race in seventeen months. Prior to going on the shelf, he ran three figures of 85 or above in a row. Trainer Carl Doran had been sharp at the Laurel summer meet, and Trevor picks up the mount here.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #3 No Down Days (2/1): Ran big in her debut, battling on the pace, sending her dueling partner to a sound defeat, and holding on well for second. Now, she drops for a tag for the first time.
- #8 Mischiefs Model (3/1): Closed well to finish second in her debut, behind Juror Number Four, who went on to finish fourth in a stakes at Delaware. Worked four furlongs in a solid 49.1 seconds getting ready for her second start.
- #5 Keepyourskateson (6/1): The only one in the field who’s crossed the wire first, she won her debut handily at Delaware. Unfortunately for her, she was disqualified after bumping her rivals. She got a great stalling trip in this race, and will look to work out another one.
RACE 7 – ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #10 Shippy (9/5): New York invader just missed wiring the field in the Coronation Cup last out at Saratoga. Before that, she set the pace and drew off to win the Blue Sparkler Stakes at Monmouth Park. Looks tough on the lead once again.
- #6 Unaquoi (5/1): Held her own at this level earlier in the year, then closing strongly to win a n/w1x allowance at Colonial Downs last out. Her primary asset is her good tactical speed. While she’ll have trouble outrunning Shippy early on, she can stalk that leader and try to hang on for a piece.
- #9 Aiken to Be (12/1): Ran some giant races in the midwest last year, steadily running figures in the 80s. Got blown out of the water on dirt last out at Delaware, but that was just a screw-tightening race. This’ll be her second race off a long break, and she should fire a big one.
RACE 8: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #4 Catch the Sky (3/1): Ran a career-top figure of 73 in her only try at this level, which was also her debut. Cuts back in distance and should run on well late.
- #7 Esther’s Fortune (7/2): Returns to dirt after mixed results on grass. Drops from the $25,000 level; trainer Jeremiah O’Dwyer is 3-for-10 with horses taking that big a drop in class.
- #2 Belly Flop (7/2): Flew late in her debut to just miss. Takes a slight drop in class second out, for a stable that is very sharp with second-time starters.
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