Laurel Park picks and ponderings October 9, 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 — $365 Super High 5 –$1,408 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: M. TYSON GILPIN STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, VA-BRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #1 What the Beep (3/5): She was about as impressive as can be in her 2020 debut, handily defeating the field in the Camptown Stakes at Colonial Downs. Won this race last year, when it was held at Colonial. Will be very tough against these types.
- #3 Wolverette (9/2): The perfect kind to use underneath. Her 1-for-29 record is nothing to be inspired by, but she has good tactical speed, and has shown some signs of life over the synthetic at Presque Isle Downs.
- #6 Virginia Beach (7/2): Lightly-raced filly tries the grass for the first time, for trainer Mike Trombetta. Ran a career-top brisnet figure of 81 in her last race, although it was a visually unimpressive race. Goes second off the layoff here, and has some decent grass breeding.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #8 Approvethismessage (8/1): Goes second off the claim for Anthony Farrior, who hits at 27% with such horses. It’s his first dirt race since the claim, after showing speed and fading on the grass at Pimlico two races back. Ran big races for Asmussen earlier in the year down south, and seeks a rebound after a dull local debut two back.
- #6 Sunman (9/5): Closed well in his last few going six furlongs, now drops in class and stretches out to a mile. He’s shown plenty of aptitude over this track, finishing in the top two eight times from thirteen starts. Of course, Claudio Gonzalez and Angel Cruz are always tough together.
- #7 Glengar (7/2): Ran on well going 1 1/16 miles last out, just missing after making a good move on the far turn. He began his campaign with his first start in more than a year, and his figures have been steadily improving since his comeback.
RACE 3: BROOKMEADE STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, VA-BRED, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- #1 Bella Aurora (5/2): Chased loose leader What the Beep in her last race, and ran on well to get third. Stretches out for the first time, likely in an attempt to avoid stablemate Virginia Beach. She’s been working strongly and looks well-bred to go long.
- #3 Pink Pearl (7/2): Just missed wiring in the field in her last race, her second off a layoff. Looks like the commanding speed, and will be very tough to catch if she can slow things down up front.
- #4 Fionnbharr (7/2): Got outkicked by Fed Up Fired Up in her last race, but still held well and ended up winning a photo for second. Even though this is a stakes, this probably a drop in class compared to the tough n/w1x field she saw last out. Could get caught behind a slow pace, but should still run on well late and grab a piece.
RACE 4: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #6 Fortunate Friends (9/5): He’s been on a tear at this track, with three wins in 2020. Last out, he wired the field at this level, with a career-best figure of 100. Usual jockey Horacio Karamanos jumps off, but Trevor McCarthy isn’t a bad substitute.
- #5 Zenden (7/5): Way back in January, he almost wired the field in the Fred Hooper Stakes at Gulfstream Park, before getting tired late. After a non-effort in the Gulfstream Mile, he got some time off. He doesn’t face the easiest field in his comeback, but he’s got plenty of backclass and some dangerous early speed.
- #4 Hall Pass (10/1): Deep closer was relatively close to the pace two races back, and stormed home to beat a n/w2x field. His lack of early speed might doom him against these, but he still should close sharply late and grab a piece. That’s something he’s familiar with; he’s hit the board eight times in 22 starts at this track.
RACE 5 – JAMESTOWN STAKES, 2-YEAR-OLDS, VA-BRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #2 Kenny Had a Notion (6/5): Takes a big drop in class after a sixth-place finish in the First State Dash at Delaware Park. Turned in a good grass work earlier in the week, looking sharp in preparation for his debut on this surface. Broke his maiden in determined style two starts back.
- #4 Cool Enough (8/5): Broke his maiden in handy front-running style on dirt last out at Colonial Downs. Seeks improvement off his lone grass try, which was a dull effort at Keeneland earlier in the year.
- #5 Pauping (8/1): Has a recent bullet workout and gets first-time blinkers. He didn’t do much in his first two races on grass, will third time be the charm?
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #7 Runaway Star (8/5): Took a giant step forward in his last race, finishing second after showing speed with a much-improved figure. He’s lightly-raced, having made just four starts so far, and has shown tough early speed.
- #11 Grays the Bar (4/1): Goes out for the first time since March 3. Chased the leader all the way around in that spot and got second. I imagine something similar will happen here.
- #4 Nic Nic Boom (9/2): Ran a career-top by a considerable margin last out, rallying for third after falling far back early on. He’s had his chances at this level, but he’s at least improving.
RACE 7 – BERT ALLEN STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, VA-BRED, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- #8 Kendama (5/1): Made a big, but premature, move last out at Kentucky Downs. Showed promise earlier in the year at Laurel, then flew for second at Penn National. He’s lightly-race and has taken big leaps forward in each of his races. If you want to try to beat the favorite, he’s the one to do it with.
- #1 Largent (2/5): Defeated Virginia-breds two back, grinding it out in the stretch to win at 1/5. Finished second in the Lure Stakes at Saratoga last out, getting a trip that he probably should’ve won with. This is obviously an easier spot, and he’s got speed and a good post. He’ll be tough if he can get the trip he wants.
- #3 Great Camanoe (10/1): Wired the field to break his maiden last out at Delaware. He’ll have a tough time clearing in front of Largent, but he should be at least forwardly placed. If Alex Cintron really wants to gamble, he can be aggressive early, send this horse to the lead, then try to slow things down and steal it.
RACE 8: PUNCH LINE STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, VA-BRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #7 Lynchburg (6/1): Closed with a rush to break his maiden three back at Colonial, in his last grass race to date. He’s had some tune-ups on dirt since then, now gets back to his preferred surface. Should thumb through traffic and roll late.
- #5 Embolden (9/5): Drops in class after some stakes tries at Kentucky and Saratoga. Almost defeated Largent three races back, against fellow Virginia-breds. Showed lots of promise sprinting on grass towards the end of his 2-year-old season last year; now gets back to this distance in the mid-Atlantic, against a relatively soft field.
- #9 Uncle Andrew (12/1): Comes off two stalk-and-pounce wins at Gulfstream Park. Cuts back from a mile, and should get a strong pace to close into.
- RACE 9: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
- #5 Tweet Away Robin (8/5): Beat a better field than this one two races back, then faded after being on a fast pace last out. She’s the only one in the field who can consistently run figures in the mid-70s.
- #2 Punk Rock Princess (9/2): Finally finds a condition that suits her, after wandering around between several tracks and surfaces. She’ll seek to recover her form from the winter, when she was running figures in the 80s. Should get a nice pace to run into.
- #4 Hoss Kitten (5/1): The “lightbulb” angle applied last out, as she won her second start in a row after breaking her maiden. Cuts back in distance, and might want to be taken off the pace, which could be hot.
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