Laurel Park picks and ponderings December 12, 2020
Hello Beautiful. Photo: Allison Janezic
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $880 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #7 Cougar Vision (9/5): Everyone else has lost at this level multiple times, except her. She broke her maiden third time out, and has lost against winners just once, last out at Delaware. Hasn’t run a brisnet figure below 67 yet, and should have this field at her mercy.
- #6 Adabel (7/2): She’s been slowly improving since returning off a brief layoff in August. Last out, she churned on well for third, earning a solid figure of 71. Doesn’t have any early speed, so she’ll have to slog from behind to win this one. A better candidate for underneath spots.
- #4 Scarlet Tanager (5/1): Makes her third start off a layoff of more than a year. Tired after showing speed going seven furlongs last out. Now, she’s the lone speed, and cuts back by a furlong. Certainly possible that she’ll set a very comfy pace and have enough left for the end.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
- #1 So Dialed In (4/5): Drops from a $150,000 maiden claiming race at Churchill Downs, where he was seventh after a wide trip. Jonathan Thomas now puts him in here, a gigantic class drop. It’s a bit suspicious, but his figures are so much better than those of the rest, he can win this thing even if he has a decline in form.
- #7 Doublbarrelbourbon (10/1): Showed that he couldn’t get a mile last out, in his first start for the Thomas McMahon barn. He showed some decent closing kick going six furlongs in each of his first two races, but a mile proved too far. Seven furlongs might be the sweet spot distance.
- #6 Luxero (10/1): Looks for a rebound off a disappointing try last out, when he showed nothing, without an apparent excuse. In his first race, at least he displayed some mild closing punch. Perhaps the drop from the $25,000 level will do him some good.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 1/2 FURLONGS
- #5 Starting Tour (5/2): She’s won two in a row going gate-to-wire, and she’s the fastest horse early on in this race. Everything should fall right into place for her in the early stages.
- #6 Grace Isabella (5/1): Might have won at this level two races back, if not for encountering some traffic trouble in the stretch. Showed little after racing wide against better last out. Should save a little more ground and rate fairly close to the pace here.
- #3 Tapete Claire (3/1): Tried to stretch out to a mile last out, and stopped badly. If you toss that race, she’s been in great form, with figures of 77 in six of her last seven races at seven furlongs or shorter. The hot-riding Sheldon Russell gets aboard for the first time.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #2 Johng (7/2): Several horses in here are stretching out to a route for the first time, and as such are unknowns under these conditions. While this guy hasn’t won going 1 1/16 miles, of course, he ran well going two turns last out. He finished a clear-cut second behind a vastly superior rival, earning a career-best figure of 72. Looking for him to keep up that good form in here. Even though it’s technically not a class drop, there’s no one in here as dominant as Wye Mumbo, who won his last start.
- #5 Super Houdini (9/2): His best race to date came two back. He fell way behind a very slow pace, and had no chance to win. In spite of that, he churned on well with a seven-wide rally to lose by less than four lengths. Most of his starts have been for $40,000; this’ll be his first time facing these types.
- #3 Roof Top Bar (9/2): Another one coming off a heroic closing effort, he closed from way out of it to lose by half a length last out. He took advantage of the long one-turn mile stretch in that race; will he like the extra distance that comes with two turns?
RACE 5 – MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
- #4 Dream Big Dreams (5/2): Hey, it’s another well-meant Brittany Russell 2-year-old. She’s winning at just under 50% with them this meet…and that percentage is actually worse than her overall winning percentage. This guy was purchased for $115,000 at the Fasig-Tipton May sale, and has had some pretty solid workouts getting ready for this spot. The board will tell the story.
- #2 Manor House (3/1): Mike Stidham’s got a promising firster in here as well. He’s had three bullet workouts in a row at Fair Hill. Looks well-suited for a mile. Another horse to watch the wagering action on.
- #5 Rippolino (7/2): Ran into the well-meant Shackqueenking in his last start, but closed well to get second, while improving his figure six points from his debut. Cuts back to a mile and gets Angel Cruz for the first time. He has to deal with two tough firsters, but he’s clearly the best of those with experience.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 1/2 FURLONGS
- #9 Big Hambone (15/1): Earlier in the year, he was steadily running figures in the 80s, numbers that would be good enough to win here. He had no chance to win last time, after getting hung wide going short at Charles Town. Two back, he ran into a tough field first off a brief break, and struggled there as well. He’s had two races to re-acclimate, and faces a fairly easy situation. If you still believe, you’ll get the right price.
- #11 Meo Desperado (12/1): He’s in sharp form right now, running back-to-back figures of 77. Made a strong middle move last out, before flattening out in the stretch. If he can keep it going late, he can grab at least a minor piece.
- #1 Mr Chesapeakecity (6/1): Went off as the big favorite at this level last out. He recovered well after a poor break to finish fourth. Another one making his third start off the layoff, he’s gotten right back to his usual mid-70s numbers since coming back. Will be tough should he avoid trouble.
RACE 7 – CLAIMING $25,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
- #8 Indian Lake (8/5): Broke his maiden easily last out at Parx, stalking the pace and drawing off to a strong win. Being on a fast pace didn’t bother him then, and there’s not as much speed in this spot. He could find things very easy for him up front.
- #5 Boss Logic (4/1): Goes first off the claim for Dale Capuano. He was well-bet against slightly weaker last out, but was forced to check up and lost crucial position. In his two races prior, he ran figures in the 70s, including a strong 78 two races back.
- #3 Passage of Lines (9/2): Broke his maiden three back after sitting just off the pace, earning a sharp figure of 74. Last out, he closed well for second, and ran another figure in the 70s. Should run on well in the stretch and grab at least a piece.
RACE 8-STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #2 Dashing Lou (6/1): Ran a strong race in his second recent try on dirt, stalking the pace and drawing off to a big win against slightly weaker going longer. After a slow start, Alex Crispin has been improving, and should give this one a good trip stalking the leaders.
- #3 In Him With Him (5/2): Uber-consistent sort has hit the board in his last five. Last out, he disputed the advantage through a slow pace, and just missed. He should be allowed to set a slow tempo here, as there isn’t much speed signed on.
- #5 Moti (7/2): Makes his first start since late September, and goes first out for the Niall Saville barn. He was in good form all spring and summer long, before turning in a clunker at Parx last out. If he can go back to his old ways, he’s got a good shot. Any bet on him is essentially a wager that the time off served him well.
RACE 9 – MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
- #2 Zola B (9/2): Drops back in for a tag, after trying straight maidens in her last race. Last out, she couldn’t get to the front, and showed little. Two back, she got to the lead, and held well going nine furlongs. A loose lead at a mile could be just what she needs.
- #3 Maliceinthepalace (5/1): Tries dirt for the first time after several attempts on grass. She’s got no early speed at all, but has produced some good closing rallies on the lawn. The long stretch of the one-turn mile should work to her advantage.
- #7 Imagine Victory (6/1): The lightest-raced member of the field, making just her third career start. Ran on well to get fifth in her dirt debut last out. Dale Capuano claimed her out of that race. Looks for improvement going longer.
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