RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #6 Greeley’s Banker (2/1): He was claimed out of his last start from the Wayne Potts barn, but he didn’t miss a beat. He dueled through sharp fractions, then pulled away to win handily and match his career-top brisnet figure of 85. The last time he was here, back in June, he stalked the pace and drew of to win. The runner-up in that race, Forfiftyfiverocket, came back to win his next race, while the third-place finisher, Walk Away Joe, went on to win his next two.
- #3 Keeping the Peace (5/2): Takes a drop in class out of a salty starter allowance field at Delaware Park. His form has been on the decline in his last few, but this is the weakest field he’s seen in a while, and I’m venturing his current ability is still enough to win this one. He tends to stalk fast paces and pounce. With some speed looking to get ahead of him, a great trip is very possible.
- #1 Higher Purpose (6/1): One of the aforementioned speeds, his goal will be to pounce to the front and keep going. He set an extremely strong pace against gems of a lesser water two back, and held on to win. Three back, when he got entangled in a speed duel, he stopped badly. If Tais Lyapustina can work out a clear lead on her charge, the rest could be in trouble.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Fearless Lassie (10/1): Bred at the University of Maryland, this filly has been going much faster than a terp in the mornings, with a string of strong four-furlong drills. If she gets wagering action, we’ve got a live firster on our hands.
- #6 Miss Leslie (3/1): She got throttled in her debut, finishing second by nine lengths to Trip to Freedom. However, there’s no shame in that defeat. Trip to Freedom went on to finish third in the Maryland Million Lassie, and this filly finished nine lengths clear of third place. She ran on well in the stretch, and should improve second time out.
- #4 Targe (9/2): Missed by 2 1/2 lengths in her debut last out, in a close finish. Trainer Cal Lynch is 24% with horse second time out, so I’d expect some improvement off that first race. If she can build on her figure of 67, she’s in good shape.
RACE 3: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
- #13 Le Petite Papillon: Lightly-raced filly has improved her figure in each of her last four races. She finished second last out behind Halfinthewrapper, who’s a three-time winner at Laurel this year. The distance is a question mark, as she’s never been beyond six furlongs. However, if anyone will help her get it, it’s Trevor McCarthy.
- #4 Queen of Tomorrow: The distance isn’t a question for her; she won a mile race handily three starts back at this level. She’s also improved in her last few races, just missing last out after making a premature move at six furlongs. Angel Cruz will look to time his move a bit better here.
- #2 Pretti Xtreme: Put in a nice closing effort last out, coming from way downtown to finish five lengths back after a seven-wide bid. Both of her career wins came at a mile, albeit in a two-turn format at Delaware. The longer distance will help her late-running style.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
- #3 Tapit’s Girl (6/1): Hung in there the best she could on debut, but faded in the last eighth after dueling with a leader who had experience and was one of the favorites. Now, this filly’s got a race under her belt, and looks like one of the dominant early speeds.
- #6 Salamina (3/1): She faced a tough maiden field on debut at Pimlico, and got hung wide after breaking from post position. Now, she’s drawn further to the inside, gets an easier field, and picks up McCarthy in the saddle. Looking for improvement second out. One promising sign: she got bet in that maiden race, going off as the 7/1 fourth choice in a field of ten.
- #9 Moonsafe (6/1): One of two firsters for Mike Trombetta in here. I’ll give her the slight edge over her rival, given her slightly faster workouts, her slightly higher morning line, and the fact that Victor Carrasco is actually better with Trombetta horses than Julian Pimentel. The only downside is her post.
RACE 5 – MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE
- #5 Gherardini: Sheldon and Brittany Russell are ready to unveil another 2-year-old. This filly is a $150,000 purchase who has been working steadily, both here and at Saratoga, for months. She had an unusual drill last out, going a mile in 1:47 in preparation for this race. They may have the grass in mind with her, but with a wet forecast for Thursday, they’ll have to settle for dirt if they want to race her today.
- #7 Cajole: Tried to stretch out last out, and it was a disaster. Her first start gives me hope; she closed well to finish a sharp second going six furlongs. Cuts back to one turn here, and almost has to move forward.
- #12 Our Bella Nicole: The most experienced member of the field, this will be her fifth start. She’s been improving in each race, closing well with a three-wide rally to get third in her last attempt. It was also her first start beyond six furlongs, but she handled the stretch-out without trouble.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #10 Brutus (6/1): He’s a winner of two out of his last three, with both of those wins coming after stalking the pace and drawing off. He should be prominently positioned once again, and should go off at good odds in a wide-open field.
- #3 Sunman (6/1): He’s been claimed three times in the past thirteen months. Here, he’ll go first off the claim for Crystal Pickett. Enjoyed a good trip against conditioned horses last out, drawing off to a strong 2 1/4 length win. His late pace figures are some of the best in the field, and he’s shown that he enjoys the long one-turn mile stretch run. Sheldon Russell gets aboard for the first time.
- #1 Starinthemaking (9/2): He’ll be the half of the Jamie Ness entry to run today, as his entrymate competed at Penn National last night. Comes in off a solid second at Delaware, where a classy rival got the jump on chasing down a loose leader. He’s earned a figure of at least 82 in three of his last four; that number should be good enough to win this one.
RACE 7 – ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #4 Annamated Moon: He might have been the best horse in his last race, losing by just half a length despite a tough trip. He’s run big figures at this level, and although he’s had plenty of tries against similar, this isn’t the toughest group he’s seen.
- #10 Ego Man: Edged out Annamated Moon in a blanket finish last out, in his first try against winners. Broke his maiden in sharp fashion two back, setting a snappy pace and drawing clear late despite consistent pressure.
- #8 Rock the Comet: Made a heroic closing effort to win two back, winning going away at six furlongs despite falling way behind early on and losing his whip in the stretch. You can toss his last effort; he had an awful break that ruined his chances. This’ll be his first race since that January effort, and while I wouldn’t expect a top try first off the bench, he’s lightly-raced and has shown upside.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Trellis (10/1): The only one in the field trying winners for the first time, after a strong maiden-breaking score at Charles Town last out. She’ll have to take a few steps forward to win this one, but she’s got early speed from the inside, and Dale Capuano is 23% with horses off a 46-90 day break.
- #2 Toma (5/2): Goes second off a long break, after a total non-effort at Presque Isle Downs last out. She ran some figures in the upper 70s earlier this year, numbers that would destroy this field. Alex Crispin, off a strong meet at Delaware, gets the mount, and trainer Mark Reid is 27% second off the layoff.
- #4 Princess Anne (8/1): Another one going second off a long break, she cuts back in distance and tries a n/w2L sprint claiming race for the first time. Gary Capuano is 22% second off the layoff. Most of her best running will be done at the end.
LATEST IN HANDICAPPING
We provide full-card picks and analysis for this afternoon’s races at Laurel Park.
Full-card picks and analysis for this evening’s live racing card from Charles Town Races!
We provide full-card picks and analysis for this afternoon’s races at Laurel Park.