Laurel Park picks and ponderings November 6, 2020
RACE 1: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
- #6 Toughest ‘Ombre (9/5): Drops in class and cuts back in distance after some good races against n/w2x allowance types. He ran a big race last out, recovering from a bad break to close for third, behind Galerio.
- #4 Girls Love Me (5/1): One of the few pure sprinters in here, he’s been making most of his bones at six furlongs. Easily beat a conditioned claiming field two races back, with a strong brisnet figure of 88. Ran on well for second against slightly worse in his last race. Should be a prominent pace presence.
- #3 Futile (9/2): Midwestern shippers have been doing well here this meet. This one was claimed out of a dull effort last out at Presque Isle Downs, where he was no factor against open claimers. Earlier in the year, he ran some big races there, including an impressive win against better. The runner-up in that race came back to win his next two starts.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Thatwouldbegrand (4/1): Impressively cleared his n/w2L condition three back, then was taken up and was severely hampered in his most recent dirt start. He should get a good trip sitting off the pace, and has the late pace figures to make his presence felt in the stretch.
- #4 Great Go Go (5/1): He got caught up in a brutal duel last out at Parx, and backed up. When he’s able to get a clear lead early, he runs his best races. There’s speed to his inside, but they’re pretty cheap horses, and he looks fast enough early to outrun them. You’ll know if he can win within the first ten seconds of the race.
- #5 Dragon Moon (3/1): Took a big step forward in his last race, running a career-top figure and finishing second after a good battle in the stretch. The winner of that race, Inside Risk, came back to beat a field just like this one. Like Thatwouldbegrand, he should enjoy a good trip stalking the pace.
RACE 3: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 7 FURLONGS
- #1 Juror Number Four (7/2): After a sharp maiden win here, she went to the Small Wonder Stakes at Delaware Park off a 15-day break. She held her own against a tougher field than this one, finishing fourth while declining slightly from her maiden-breaking figure. She’s had just one workout since then, but it was a sharp one: a four-furlong bullet in fifty seconds. Trainer Brittany Russell has been doing well with 2-year-olds lately; she’s got Jevian Toledo on this one.
- #4 Infinite Reward (8/1): Ran a big race on debut. She set the pace, in a race where everyone else near the early lead fell apart. She kept going, however, drawing off to win by more than six lengths. Granted, it wasn’t a great field, but still a pretty gutsy performance.
- #5 Liv and Let Liv (3/1): Delaware shipper won two of three there this summer, making her the only horse in the race who has defeated winners. Should be prominent on the early pace.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #7 Polished Copper (2/1): She’s the only one in the field who consistently runs figures in the 70s, and has great early and late speed. Won twice for $10,000 earlier in the year, now drops even further after disappointing against better. I’m not sure if six furlongs is her best distance, but her form is so much better, it may not matter.
- #4 Eighty Six Mets (6/1): Ran a big race first off more than a year’s break, lasting on the pace to finish fourth against a relatively tough field. Last year, she ran a few numbers in the mid-70s at Delaware, against similar horses. Looking for a return to that form second off the layoff.
- #3 Gottaflathaveher (5/2): Chased two pretty good horses time in her second start off the layoff, and ended up a clear-cut third. This is the lowest tag she’s ever run for.
RACE 5 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #14 Booyakasha (5/2): I’d feel a lot better about his chances if his post position was not out on Brick Bridge Road. Still, he’s lightly-raced, he’s a midwest shipper first off the claim, and hasn’t run a figure worse than 67 in his two dirt starts. All those make him a strong contender.
- #11 Boss Life (12/1): You might get a better price on this midwesterner. He was very dull last out at Keeneland, but ran some relatively good races earlier in the year. A few races ago, he finished less than two lengths behind the winner at Keeneland, after a wide trip.
- #8 Favor Maker (10/1): Cuts back from a mile, after an overambitious race last time, where he zoomed to a clear lead and stopped. He’s fairly lightly-raced, making his eighth start today. He’s another to consider at good odds.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #11 McElmore Avenue (6/1): He ran some big races as a 2-year-old, including a maiden-breaking score where he came from twenty lengths out of it to win going away. This will be his first start as a 3-year-old on dirt. If he can improve off those races on this surface, he’ll be tough.
- #10 Wind Ridge (9/2): He’s also fairly lightly-raced, as this will be just his second start against winners and fifth one overall. Began his career with some promising races in Florida, then was dull after a wide trip against better in his local debut. He broke his maiden with a figure of 87, which would smash this field. Even his mid-70s from earlier in the year make him a strong contender.
- #2 Silent Malice (7/5): In the best current form of anyone in the race. Went gate-to-wire two back, earning a figure of 82. In his last race, against better horses going two turns, he ran another lifetime top, while closing off a slow pace.
RACE 7 -ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, MD-BRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #4 Combat Queen (2/1): Speedy filly almost wired an open n/w1x field in her last race, but was caught late. She took a big step forward from a speed figure standpoint, running a career-best figure by seven points. Looking for her to continue that improvement.
- #1 Fille d’Esprit (9/2): A winner of three of her last four, she’s also improving by leaps and bounds. Stalked the pace last time and drew off to a big win against weaker. She could get a similar ideal trip here.
- #2 Two Shots (10/1): Tries winners for the first time, in her first race off a long layoff. Broke her maiden in a tenacious effort last December. Worth a look at a price.
RACE 8: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #6 Aliferous (10/1): Drops for a tag for the first time, in his third career start. He’s shown promise in both his races, finishing a solid third against straight maidens, while improving his figure by eleven points, to a 75.
- #5 Souper Houdini (5/1): Goes back to the dirt after a sojourn on the lawn. He has good late speed, but would need to be more forwardly placed to fulfill his maximum potential.
- #8 Jolly Swagman (9/2): Closed well on grass to finish fourth in his last race. Gets lasix for the first time for trainer Dale Capuano, who is 36% with that angle.
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