Laurel Park picks and ponderings October 18, 2020
RACE 1: Starter/optional claiming
- #5 Annika Gold (8-5): Legit runner at this level even in races scheduled for the main track, catches a tiny and tepid field here; catches a break with scratch of main contender Platinum Paynter
- #1 Mary Alice (3-1): Gorham trainee is on the improve.
- #3 Sidereal (15-1): Somebody’s got to be third.
RACE 2: Maiden claiming $25,000 6 furlongs
- #4 Sugar Daddy (1-1): Win machine trainer Gonzalez weakest on horses coming off layoffs, as this one is, and the drop off a credible debut might give you pause, too, but he showed good speed then and might control it up front against a manageable group.
- #7 More Twirl (5-1): Komlo trainee has been second and third against similar, would benefit from other runners pushing the favorite early.
- #5 Summer Somewhere (7-2): First of 2020 for this Bailes trainee who didn’t miss by much last out going long; has been training forwardly but the suspicion is he may need more ground to strut best stuff.
RACE 3: Claiming $16,000 N2L, 6 1/2 furlongs
- #3 Above Par (7-2): Made a bit of a middle move last out against much better before emptying out, should appreciate cutting back to a sprint distance and easier company.
- #6 Worstbestideaever (7-2): Ran credibly a level up at DEL and has been gradually improving; a pace battle would aid the cause.
- #2 Union Song (5-2): Just an OK fourth last out against $10k rivals at Churchill but makes first start in Farrior barn (30% first off the claim), which has had previous success with bringing Churchill claims north.
RACE 4: Maiden special weight, 2yo, 5 1/2 furlongs (off-turf)
- #8 Chloe Rose (7-2): Twirling Candy filly was a $75,000 auction purchase earlier this year for high-end ownership group; dam Wild About Sonny won at first asking, and trainer Russell can get ’em ready to win first out of the box.
- #7 Honorgetic (10-1): Inclined to give this Trombetta trainee another crack for a couple of reasons: she was fractious pre-race on debut and, predictably enough, tired after showing decent early speed, so can improve if a bit calmer today; and go-to rider Pimentel, who rode her that day, stays aboard despite the presence of another Trombetta horse in #4 Sugar Surge.
- #13 Swirling Dancer (8-1): Dam Sky High Gal was a stakes winner, albeit on turf, and the O’Dwyer barn has a respectable record with first-timers
RACE 5 – Allowance N1X, 6 furlongs
- #1 Pretty Edgy (5-2): Red-hot Sillaman barn has won with four of last five starters. This one has caught some rough customers, including Lil Miss Moppet (a $400k Uncle Mo filly) last out, improving Dontletsweetfoolya two back, and talented Hello Beautiful three before that; when facing more standard rivals, she’s been right there.
- #3 Escape Fund (6-1): Got laster and laster last time out while never being asked to run; this one had the talent to dust Saratoga maidens in July, and a return to that sort of effort wins here.
- #6 Combat Queen (7-2): Pimentel, who rode Escape Fund for trainer Trombetta last time, jumps ship for this Trombetta trainee, who’s working on a six-race losing streak against allowance foes.
RACE 6: Maiden claiming $25,000, 6 furlongs
- #3 All Bull (7-2): Not the most impressive group ever gathered, which opens the door to a first-timer; trainer Russell 4-for-14 with juvenile firsters, and the Bullsbays have been at their best as juveniles.
- #10 House Impeachment (8-1): Showed decent early zip before backing out two back going a mile, drops to lowest level yet while cutting back in distance.
- #5 Natty Beau (3-1): Ham Smith trainee has run competitively versus similar, gets blinkers on today. Winner of last won for $25,000 in his follow-up.
RACE 7: Allowance/optional claiming (N2X), 1 1/16 miles
- #1 Daphne Moon (9-5): Lightly raced sort’s three defeats have all come in stakes company, two graded; first race in five months a challenge but sits right trip off plentiful speed to her outside.
- #2 Landing Zone (7-5): Speedy sort has won three straight by combined total of nearly 17 lengths. Note that none of six to run back from last has won, and only one of those finished in the money.
- #3 Mia Bella Rosa (6-1): May not be good enough but should be running at the end.
RACE 8: Maiden claiming, 1 1/8 miles (off-turf)
- #3 Zola B (2-1): Takes two-level drop after competitive tries versus better on the lawn; half-sis to Alwaysmining, a multiple stakes winner on dirt.
- #10 Ellipsis (15-1): Made a nice middle move into third in upper stretch before tiring on debut after less than optimal trip; can improve second time out. Irish-bred dam was a three-time winner, including once on main track.
- #6 Pearlyville (9-2): Inclined to think that the time away following disastrous debut more responsible for improved recent form than the surface switch; this one’s siblings have been fine on the main track, and she’s competed against better on turf.
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