Laurel Park picks and ponderings November 7, 2020
RACE 1: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
- #7 Appraised (5/2): A prime example of the “lightbulb” angle. After starting his career on a losing streak, he’s won three of his last five, while rounding into what’s been career-best form. Last out, he got up to win at a mile and 70 yards by a neck, with a lifetime top brisnet figure of 80. Based on late pace figures, it looks like he tends to tire going longer. The seven furlong distance should fit him well as such.
- #2 Greek Prince (9/2): He steadily runs figures in the 70s, although his races haven’t been visually impressive. Looks like the kind to lumber along and get a piece of the exotics.
- #3 Alphastest (4/1): Clearly the fastest horse early on, he goes back to dirt after spending most of his campaign on grass. He tried to wire fields going two turns, and did not succeed, although he usually hung around for a piece. Going shorter looks like his forte, and he should be fast enough early to outsprint the others and set his own terms up top.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
- #4 Magic Election (2/1): Scratched out of a weaker spot a few days ago where she figured to get action, now surfaces here. She was a distant third in her debut, behind two horses much better than anyone she’ll have to face here. The winner of that race, Trip to Freedom, came back to finish third in the Maryland Million Lassie. Cal Lynch is 25% with second-time starters.
- #6 Lookin Back (3/1): Finished about three lengths behind Magic Election last out, after rushing up fter a bad break and fading. Two back, she broke cleanly, she ran a solid figure of 68 against much better. With a clean break, she should be prominent on the early pace.
- #2 Sublimity (5/2): Brittany Russell has won with three 2-year-old fillies in the past six days; she’ll send out this firster here. The only reason I’m a bit wary is that she’s the only firster in the field; generally I prefer horses with some experience. Still, the connections merit respect. Watch the board.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #6 Bear Force Won (3/1): He was huge in his first start off the bench, rating off the pace against maiden claimers and drawing off. Ran a giant figure of 82, to boot. This’ll be just his fourth career start, and is one of three in here who has never lost against winners. Alex Cintron keeps the mount; he enjoyed success with Claudio Gonzalez in Maryland earlier this year.
- #1 No Fooling Dude (4/1): May well have won his last race, if he remembered to change leads. As it were, he finished second, while narrowly missing his lifetime top figure. He’s had his chances at this level, but his form is too consistently good to disrespect. He’s been within five lengths of the winner in every race at the condition.
- #3 B Determined (15/1): Another lightly-raced sort, he’s closed well in his two tries against winners, and races on dirt for the first time. He’s worth a look at possible long odds.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- 7-10-13-4 (DIRT: 9-2-1-14)
- #7 Dancing Til Dusk (4/1): She’s just missed in her last two races against similar. Last out, she was clear in the stretch, but got run down in the final jumps. Looks like one of the primary speeds in here. Sheldon Russell gets aboard for the first time.
- #10 Smart Entry (12/1): Has shown improving form since moving to grass. Both times, she closed off extremely slow paces to finish reasonably well. Last out, she was third at 78/1, after falling behind a half-mile fraction of 50 1/5 seconds. Could upset the exotics at a price.
- #13 Guilder (4/1): Drops for a tag for the first time, in her third career start. Ran a big race on debut at Colonial Downs, then took a step backwards last out at Delaware. She’s been freshened by Graham Motion since that early September effort, and should be primed for a big one.
RACE 5 – ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 2-YEA-ROLDS, 7 FURLONGS
- #1 Alwaysinahurry (7/2): He got action in a wide-open Maryland Million Nursey field, going off at 4/1 off a very sharp maiden win. He closed nicely for second, outfinishing some very good horses in the process. Looks like the kind who will keep moving forward.
- #6 Pensamiento (6/1): His only bad races came when he fell too far off the pace. When he was just off the lead two races back, he drew away to win emphatically. His kick is powerful, and if Jamie Rodriguez can time the move right, he could find himself in the winner’s circle.
- #7 Tate (5/2): He was severely pace-compromised in his last race, falling behind loose leader Dreamer’s Disease, who cruised to the win. When this one had a more honest pace to run at, in his debut at Delaware, he drew off to a four-length victory. This’ll be a much easier spot than that most recent try, and I’m looking forward to a much-improved effort.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE
- #2 Lucky Lorraine (7/2): I’m willing to give her one more shot against these types. She’s hit the board in each of her three career starts, closing off slow paces each time. She’ll look to avoid getting caught behind another slow one.
- #4 Joyful Jill (6/1): Drops for a tag for the first time, and looks for a rebound after a poor performance last out at Parx. She’s had a strong 49 1/5 workout since then. She’ll look for a return to the form she showed on debut, when she battled in the stretch while racing wide and lost by a half-length.
- #5 Hello Gracie (5/1): Dale Capuano is 24% with first-timers, and hits at the same percentage when debuting them for a claiming price. She looks well-bred and well-prepared for longer distances.
RACE 7 – CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #1 Team Tim (8/1): Outside of a dull effort two back, when he raced wide over a speed-favoring track, he’s been running figures in the 70s pretty steadily. He has good tactical speed, and could kick on well at solid odds.
- #8 Time Flies By (6/1): Beat a similar field two starts back, rating off the pace and drawing off for a sharp win. Last out, he got hung wide and wasn’t able to put in his normal kick. He’ll look to rate closer to the pace and save all the ground he can.
- #2 Fort Royal (6/1): Delaware shipper should be involved with the early pace, and has hung on well after some solid fractions in his last few. He’s going first-out for Anthony Pecoraro here.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 1 MILE (GRASS)
13-1-4-14 (DIRT: 5-4-8-7)
#13 Dundalk (8/5): He’s going to have to draw in off the also-eligible list, but if he does, he’ll be very tough. Makes his third start off the layoff, after almost wiring two better fields. He’ll be tough to catch on the lead.
- #1 Closer Look (9/2): Ran well first off a brief freshening, getting the trip and getting up run a career-best figure. Angel Cruz gets the mount for the first time.
- #4 Somekindofmagician (2/1): Tends to rate in mid-pack early and make a grinding rally. He’ll look for a rebound off a sixth-place finish in the Maryland Million Turf, a race where he got plenty of wagering action despite a tough field.
- RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #5 Back Charge (3/1): In his last start, he got hung wide on a fast pace, but held on respectably well. The two other horses involved on the lead got beat by more than 35 lengths. Now, he’s the dominant speed. He could end up getting very loose on the lead. The Gonzalez/Cruz trainer/jockey combo helps the cause.
- #2 Ghost on a Mission (7/5): Couldn’t close the deal in each of his last two with good trips. He ran big figures in both, and in fact, he’s never run worse than a 72 on dirt. I don’t know if I’d want to take low odds on him, though, considering his plethora of runner-up finishes.
- #8 Milardo (4/1): Makes his third start off a long break, after taking all of 2019 off, and not making his season debut until September of this year. He ran on well going six furlongs twice at Presque Isle; should enjoy this distnace.
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