Laurel Park picks and ponderings October 23, 2020
Dirty. Photo by Allison Janezic.
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $608 Super High 5 –$0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 1/2 FURLONGS
- #3 Hidden Talent (9/5): Ships from Churchill Downs and goes first off the claim for Anthony Farrior. Showed promise on dirt earlier in her career, with some brisnet figures in the 80s, but declined when stepping up to n/w1x company. Should find things easier here.
- #6 Holy Saint (2/1): Cuts back from a mile, and tries this level sprinting for the first time. Four starts back, she broke her maiden over this track in impressive style, zooming to the early lead and drawing off. She got hung wide near the pace in her next start; Jorge Ruiz will have to be aggressive with her and send her straight to the front.
- #2 I’d Like to Know (9/2): The main impediment to Holy Saint’s front-running dreams. This Claudio Gonzalez-trained filly blew away a field of maiden claiming field last out on the front end. She got tired in the stretch of that race, though, so she’ll have to improve her stamina even if she’s able to get the trip she wants.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- #7 Bold Quest (3/1): Drops for a tag for the first time, while making her third start off the layoff. It was a visually unimpressive race last out at Parx, when she stalked the pace and couldn’t get by, but she still ran a figure in the 70s. That might be good enough to win this one.
- #11 My Boy Paddy (3/1): Made a good move to the lead in his last race, got pressed once he got to the top, and got caught late in the stretch. This’ll be just his fifth career start, and he’s run some strong figures in all of his grass tries.
- #13 Enjoy the Music (8/5): Another one trying maiden claiming company for the first time, he actually crossed the wire first against straight maidens at Delaware Park in June, but was disqualified. Gets back on grass after a dull try on dirt, and should fire a big one. The only downside: he looks like a prohibitive favorite.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE
- #3 Wonderwall (9/5): Is today gonna be the day? I think so. She closed well going six furlongs in her debut to finish fourth, and has been working solidly since then. Unfortunately, I believe that everybody will feel the way I do about her now; she should be a solid favorite.
- #6 Danger Zone (4/1): Drops for a tag for the first time, after facing a tough maiden field in her debut. She acted up before the race, then encountered traffic trouble and lost early position. Gets blinkers on and has good works since that last start.
- #2 Tuff But Fair (9/2): Claudio Gonzalez is always good with firsters, and he named Alex Cintron, who was his go-to rider earlier in the year, on this $30,000 purchase. She hasn’t had many workouts, but the drills she’s had have been sharp. Might need a race, but she wouldn’t necessarily have to fire a top effort to get a check.
RACE 4: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #8 Malibu Mischief: This Rudy Rodriguez trainee has won her last four starts, going gate-to-wire each time. Her figures tower over those of the rest. She looks like the slam dunk to end all slam dunks.
- #2 Chiefs Kingdom: West Virginia invader goes second off a long layoff, after winning a stakes at Charles Town in February. She’s done alright when taking just off the pace; that might be her best bet here.
- #4 Too Much Tip: Just missed in her last race, rating off the pace and closing late. That represented a bit of a change of pace from her earlier races on the year, where she stopped in the stretch after stalking the pace. 5 1/2 furlongs on dirt might be a bit out of her comfort zone, but I’m still looking for her to rate and close for a piece.
RACE 5 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #4 Degas (4/1): For whatever reason, he tried starter allowance company in his last race. Despite being in way over his head, he hung on admirably on pace before giving way late. He also earned a career-top figure in that race. Looking for improvement in his second try on the dirt.
- #6 Righteousness (5/2): Just missed wiring the field twice at Presque Isle Downs. Cuts back from a mile and seventy yards, and drops in for a tag for the first time. I don’t know if I’d put him right on the lead, with the speedy Back Charge in this race, but he can rate just off him and pounce.
- #8 Roof Top Bar (9/2): Raced well first off the layoff, making up ground in the stretch to finish third. He’s made some pretty strong rallies in the past at the one-turn mile,
RACE 6: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
- #5 My Candy Girl (5/1): Comes in here off two runner-up finishes against n/w2L claiming company. Both times, she was on or near the pace early on, and battled well to just miss. No matter what, she’s going to be a factor late.
- #6 Awesome Jazz (7/2): Ran on well when she finally got clear in her last start, which was her third race off the layoff. Tends to make these rallies and fall just short, even when clear, so she looks like a better candidate for underneath than anything.
- #8 Delancey’s Philly (6/1): Takes a big drop in class from the n/w1x allowance level at Monmouth Park, a spot where she was in over her head. Grinded her way to a win against maiden claimers two back, in her first race off a long layoff. Trevor McCarthy gets the mount, and should be able to coax a maximum effort out of her.
RACE 7 – ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 2-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
- #3 Jaxon Traveler (6/5): Steve Asmussen sends this Maryland-bred back to his home state, after a dominant maiden win at Pimlico. He won by ten lengths, while only feeling the whip once in the stretch. The runner-up in that race, Lugamo, came back to win here last week.
- #7 Nobody Knew (7/2): Already a two-time winner, he was claimed out of his last start by Claudio Gonzalez. In that race, he went to the lead and drew off to win by six lengths, running a lifetime top figure by six points. He’ll get a stiff class test here.
- #1 Royal Number (12/1): Closed strongly in his debut at Delaware to win by a neck. Should get a hot pace to run into, with many of his rivals looking likes speedballs.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Stroll Smokin (3/1): Dueled through very fast fractions in his last start at Pimlico, but held on well to lose by only 2 1/4 lengths, in a race where the top two finishers both came from well behind. There’s going to be other horses vying for the lead, but he looks fast enough to outrun them early and set his own terms on the front end.
- #2 Charge to Victory (5/1): Since returning from the layoff, he’s run well in each of his five races, but hasn’t quite been able to put it together. Last out, he didn’t change leads in the stretch, but still came on to get a clear-cut second. Things have slowly been getting better in each race since coming back; is today the day?
- #4 The Cairo Kid (6/1): He’s won two in a row, most recently impressively winning a n/w1x allowance after stalking the pace. A bit inexperienced compared to some of his salty rivals, but he’s trending the right way and should sit the trip.
- RACE 9: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #8 Take Me Home: Most recently crushed a similar group at Charles Town. Looks to be in career-top form, with wins in three of her last four races.
- #10 Olive Kat: Speedy filly goes first off the claim for Michael Gorham, who is 23% with that angle. In her last dirt race, she got a great trip stalking the pace in a n/w1x allowance, and drew off to win convincingly.
- #11 Conjecture: A stablemate of Olive Kat, she’s making her first start since March 6, when she set the pace and tired going a mile. Last year, she had a tendency to weaken in the stretch; perhaps the 5 1/2 furlong distance will help her carry her speed.
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