Laurel Park picks and ponderings November 21, 2020
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $3,161 Super High 5 — $2,130 Late Pick 5 — $5,293
RACE 1: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Decorated (5/2): Ran big in his first start off the layoff last out, earning a lifetime top brisnet figure while facing some salty allowance horses. Now adds lasix and drops in class.
- #5 Moonachie (4/1): Once a promising New York-bred 2-year-old, he’s making his first start since being vanned off in a New York-bred allowance at Saratoga in August. As a 2-year-old, he tended to get mixed up in very fast paces, and back up. Now, he’s the fastest horse in the race early on, so he’s the one who can outrun the others, as opposed to being outrun himself.
- #4 Goodluckjohnathan (8/1): Doesn’t have much in the way of early speed, but he’s closed like a bullet in each of his last few. In his last race, which was his first off a long layoff, he lagged behind most of the field, but closed well for fifth. Looking for him to round out the exotics.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 7 FURLONGS
- #3 Quickstrike (4/1): Ran a career-best race last out going six furlongs, when she recovered from some traffic trouble and closed well for second. She gets blinkers for the first time; her trainer, Anthony Pecoraro, is 40% when doing that.
- #1 Joyful Jill (7/2): The stronger half of the Ed Allard entry, in my opinion. She raced big in her debut at Delaware Park, but has tailed off a little bit since then. Cuts back from a mile, where she boxed on in the stretch to finish fifth. This is the easiest field she’s ever seen.
- #5 Gary Doing Biz (5/1): Finished fourth on debut for $25,000 at Penn National, which is probably the equivalent of this kind of race. She has the highest last-out figure of anyone in the race, a 63, and can improve on that second out.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #8 Whats the Chances (2/1): Improved sharply in his last race. He got in a speed duel from the far outside, brushed off his rival, and finished a clear-cut second. The only horse who beat him was a favored rival who got a great trip. Can he keep the momentum going here?
- #12 Sensationalist (6/1): This Woodbine shipper is fairly lightly-raced, making just his fifth start. He finished fourth last out against a similar field, stalking the pace and moving evenly in the stretch. Still has room to move forward.
- #1 True Shipman (6/1): Ran on well in his last start to get third. That’s a notable change of pace from his prior efforts; usually, he fades after rating near the pace.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $25,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #7 Liv and Let Liv (4/5): Already a winner against better, she handily beat a starter optional claiming field at Delaware two back. Faced a solid n/w1x field last out, got action, and ended up third. Not much value in the win department, but a horse to single in the pick 5, if you’re looking for one.
- #3 Breeze Off the Bay (4/1): Lasted on the pace and held on against winners in her last race. Might get involved in another speed duel here, but she’s shown the tenacity needed to win. Trevor McCarthy gets the mount for the first time.
- #1 Honor Your Mother (10/1): Goes against winners for the first time, after getting a great stalking trip and drawing off at Delaware last out. With the speed in here, she could stalk on the inside and moved up the rail if they melt down. Don’t know if she can outkick Liv and Let Liv, but she can get an underneath spot.
RACE 5 – MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Little Huntress (7/2): The Russells are ready to unveil another 2-year-old here. She was a $100,000 purchase out of the Keeneland sale last September. Workouts have been very sharp. The board will tell the story.
- #11 Ephemeral (10/1): Kelly Rubley firster has been working holes in the wind at Fair Hill, with three bullets within her last four timed drills. Rubley isn’t great with horses on debut, so if she runs well here, it’s a good sign going forward.
- #5 Cookies and Cream (9/2): There’s four in here who have experience, and this filly looks the best out of the ones who have it. She set the pace in her first start, and while she was blown out by the uber-impressive Out of Sorts, she held on well to get third. Look for her to show speed once again.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #4 Galerio (2/1): How can you not love this guy? He’s finished first or second in his last ten starts, including a gutsy stretch battle at this level last out. Steadily runs figures in the low 90s, the exact kind of figure needed to win this kind of race. If he scores here, will stakes company be next?
- #7 Tattooed (7/2): One of two exiting a Maryland Million race, he finished third in the Classic at 45/1. He went off at those big odds for a reason, though: he always makes what looks like a menacing move, only to flatten out and miss. This year, he’s hit the board six times from eight starts, but only one win. He’ll have to buckle down to get by Galerio.
- #2 Let’s Play Nine (5/1): I know it was his first start off a long layoff, but I would’ve liked to see a little more out of him in the Maryland Million Sprint. He couldn’t get to the lead and was a non-factor, after showing abundant speed earlier in the year. Turned in a sharp four-furlong work getting ready for this spot, so it’s possible he’s back in prime form. If he wins this one, it’ll be by outrunning the others, and gamely holding off Galerio.
RACE 7 – ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #7 Fille d’Esprit (7/2): A winner of four of her last five, including a strong performance against Maryland-breds last out. She sat off a slow opening quarter, moved into a hot pace at the half, and drew away. That’ll likely be the strategy again here.
- #10 Escape Fund (6/1): After two disastrous efforts, she bounced back nicely last out, surging in the last sixteenth to lose a three-horse photo. In her four-race career, she’s run two figures in the high 80s, which would be enough to win this one, but those bad races are sandwiched in between. Supporting with caution.
- #5 Patriotic Punch (4/1): The “lightbulb” angle certainly applies to her. After starting her career as a chronic maiden, she won three in a row, and may have been the best horse in her last start. I doubt she’ll be the favorite here, like she was last time, so if you still believe, you’ll get a square price.
RACE 8- ALLOWNACE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #5 Pretty Good Year (4/1): Goes back to dirt after pulling the upset in the Maryland Million Turf last out. He’s had trouble breaking through at this level on this surface, but he’s been facing much better fields than this. Has also shown aptitude at this distance, winning his last two starts at this track going 1 1/16 miles. Should rate mid-pack and deliver a strong punch late.
- #4 Beyond the Victory (9/2): He’s clearly the dominant early speed in this race; the only question is the distance. He tired going a mile last out, but he had to set a relatively sharp pace in there. If he’s able to crank it down here, he could have enough to hold on till the end.
- #7 Universal Payday (9/2): Ran two big races coming off the layoff in the summer, winning with gutsy efforts both here and at Saratoga. Fell a bit too far behind the pace in his last two, and left himself with too much to do. Should be a little more forwardly placed here.
RACE 9 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #4 Successful Cure (7/2): He’s won two of his last three, including a victory at this level last out. He drew off impressively in that race, finishing more than nine lengths clear of third place. Should get another good trip and be able to pack his punch.
- #3 Walk Away Joe (7/2): Makes his third start off the layoff here. Despite two good figures, he was visually unimpressive in both, as he fell far behind slow paces and was unable to keep up. Will be get pace compromised again?
- #6 Pitching Ari (3/1): Battled on the lead last out against better at Parx. He won the battle, but lost the war. He outdueled his partner by a neck, but a stalker who sat the trip got up to win by a nose. Should be a fighter on the lead once again.
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