Anna’s Bandit. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $6,768 Super High 5 — $1,029 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #5 Ms Haiti (6/1): We’ll know in about the first ten seconds if she can win or not. She ran them off their feet to break her maiden last out, and she once again looks like the fastest in the field here. She’s going to be tough if she can get clear in the opening eighth.
- #4 Aspen Rose (5/2): She’s been knocking on the door at this level, finishing second against slightly weaker in her last two races. Last out, she made a bold, wide rally to finish second, while chasing a loose leader. If someone sneaks clear here, she could find herself in the same spot. A strong contender for underneath, at least.
- #7 Sevilla Sangria (3/1): The primary threat to the front-running hegemony of Ms Haiti. She broke her maiden last out in front-running style, lasting on the lead after setting the pace from the inside. Here, she’ll have to do it from the far outside post, and with Ms Haiti zooming to the front from closer to the rail. She’s run decently when forced to come from off the pace, but her best hope may lie in Kevin Gomez gunning her as fast as he can out of the gate.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
- #6 Count the Shells (3/1): If you take out It’s Sizzling Time from his last race, he beat six others in a gate-to-wire effort. Unfortunately for him, It’s Sizzling Time actually wired the field in that race, and Count the Shells finished a speedy second. He ran a brisnet figure of 72 in that race, an eight-point improvement from his debut. There’s lots of unknowns in here, but he could be the one to set the tempo up front this time.
- #1 Triple Titos (7/2): One of two first-timers for Anthony Farrior. Recent workouts have been sharp, and he’s named Sheldon Russell to ride this one. The other one has Alex Cintron in the saddle. Farrior may be tipping his hand with that move.
- #2 Portal One (5/2): Had to close into an impossible pace scenario if he was to win his last start. Because it was impossible, he was beaten almost six lengths. Nevertheless, he’s been in relatively good form his whole career, running at least a 68 in each of his three starts. Hugh McMahon is 23% when adding blinkers.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #5 Adhwaa (5/2): Improved sharply in her second race off the layoff, finishing a slow second while coming from mid-pack at Parx. Usually, I’m not big on 0-for-8 maidens, but she’s fixing to improve third off the bench, and this is one of the easiest fields she’s ever seen.
- #1 Gold Finch (4/1): Another one going third off the layoff. She’s seeking a rebound off a dull try against straight maidens, when she prompted the pace and gave way. Her race two back is more inspiring, when she held for fourth against similar after racing wide.
- #3 Bourbon Wildcat (7/2): She lost all chance at the start last out, after breaking awkwardly. Usually, she’s on or near the lead. As long as she breaks cleanly, she’s going to be very dangerous up top.
RACE 4: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #6 Automate (2/1): Comes in here off an impressive win at Charles Town, where he smashed the field by nine lengths to earn a figure of 89. He’s proven over this track, too, win a gutsy win against a similar field as this two races back. Sheldon gets back aboard, after riding him in that two-back affair.
- #7 English Tavern (4/1): Came from way downtown to win at this level last out. He’s raced on dirt four times. Twice he came from way out of it to win, the other two times, he fell flat. Which version of him shows up here?
- #4 Amen Corner (7/2): Gets class relief after facing some pretty tough customers in his last two races. He won against n/w1x foes three back, battling in the stretch to get up over the tough Nick Papagiorgio. He’s the only one in the field to run at least an 80 in each of his last three.
RACE 5 – MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #2 Lambeau Lady (2/1): The Russells are ready to unveil another big 2-year-old filly. This one was purchased for $100,000 at Fasig-Tipton earlier this year, and has been working like a good thing. Her most recent workout was a four-furlong bullet in 47 2/5 seconds.
- #10 Door Buster (9/2): Among the ones in here with experience, she’s got the best shot. Closed well on debut at Charles Town to finish second. Obviously, it’s a different ballgame here, but she showed enough closing kick, on a track where it’s tough to close, to give me reason to believe.
- #9 Super Sport (6/1): She got bet in her debut at Churchill Downs, going off at 4/1. She had a rough break, rushed up, and stopped badly. This’ll be her first start since that mid-September race, with two scratches in between. Should run better if she breaks cleanly.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
- #6 Thundrinthevalley (5/2): Got outrun by Ms Haiti in her last start, but pulled clear of the rest and finished a sharp second. If that one comes back to win today, it’ll make this one look better. This one has been a consistent sort, and looks to finally break through after five straight races where she hit the board and lost.
- #2 Solea (8/1): Also comes out of the race with Ms Haiti. It was this one’s first race in more than nine months, and it was a solid effort, as she finished third after saving ground. Looks to take another step forward second off the layoff.
- #4 Belly Flop (5/1): Like Solea, she’s lightly-raced; this is just her fifth career start. Fell a bit further off the pace than she might’ve liked last out, and rallied five-wide for a piece. Should be forwardly-placed here.
RACE 7 – CLAIMING $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #7 Charging Lion (5/2): He might’ve won his last race if he hadn’t lost his whip in the stretch. As it were, he battled for a quarter-mile and lost by a nose. He’s earned at least an 80 in four of his last five starts, stalking the pace and grinding in the stretch every time. Of course, Jamie Ness and Trevor McCarthy are always a tough trainer/jockey combo.
- #4 He’s Zippin on By (2/1): A winner of two in a row, including that tough stretch battle with Charging Lion in his last start. Should sit his usual good trip just off the leaders and box on by in the stretch.
- #2 Indian Ghost (7/2): He’s also been on a nice little tear as of late, winning three of his last four races. Beat conditioned horses last out, coming from well off the pace on a Pimlico track that was not necessarily playing to his style.
RACE 8: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #6 Tyreek (7/2): Ran an impressive race on debut, closing strongly in the stretch to lose by half a length against $16,000 foes. If he improves off his debut figure of 78, he’ll be very tough.
- #1 Trustyourinstinct (3/1): Drops for a tag for the first time, after two mild efforts against straight maidens. He’s run two figures in the mid-70s in his career, both of those races might be good enough to win this one.
- #8 Push to Start (5/2): He ran a big race in his first start off the long layoff. He set the tempo, including a very fast second quarter, and held well for second. Looks fast enough to outrun these early on; from there, he could be gone.
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