Laurel Park picks and ponderings Mar. 14, 2021
Anna’s Bandit. Photo by Laurie Asseo.
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $13,588 Super High 5 — $6,397 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- We’ll kick off the Sunday card with a nice starter optional claiming race going short. #2 Belle Tapisserie (7/5) is taking a drop in class off a win, having scored in a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race last out. He won handily against starter optional claiming foes two back, lasting after an early duel to draw off. He might not be a bettable win price, but he’s uber-classy and has speed from the inside post. Could be tough to shake on the lead. Jamie Ness has a pair in here; giving the slight edge to #1 Appealing Future (5/2), as he was in good form last fall at Parx and has had some time off to recover after some dull races over that track. #5 Tip for Tap (8/1) is an interesting longshot prospect. He’s lightly raced and has good closing speed. Might round out the trifecta at a decent price.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $40,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 7 FURLONGS
- Going to take a shot against the heavy morning line favorite here. #1 Shackaboom (7/2) ships back from Penn National off two gate-to-wire wins over that track. Her brisnet figures have been in the mid-70s/upper-80s range, right in the range needed to win this race. The distance is a bit of a question mark, as she slowed down in the last eighth last out going six furlongs. She also went pretty fast early in that race, and I don’t think she’ll have to go that fast here. #3 Targe (4/5) is certainly live in here, as she’s been facing a lot better, and ran a big second last out while rallying from behind. If Shackaboom can’t get the distance, Targe will be there to pick up the pieces. The last race of #4 Chloe Rose (6/1) was almost too bad to be true, so I’ll have to discount it. She broke her maiden in sharp fashion two races back, after dueling on a fast tempo and drawing off. She hasn’t won without being on the lead, and she might have to rate off the pace here, to avoid getting burned up by Shackaboom.
RACE 3: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
- Brittany Russell did indeed have big things in mind when she shipped #8 Dream Big Dreams (7/2) up to Aqueduct last out, off a sharp second against Manor House on debut. On a track that was favoring horses on the rail, Dream Big Dreams got hung wide the entire way, and backed up badly. Returns to his home track and a fairer surface. If he can improve off the 70 he earned in his debut, he’ll be tough. That last race might scare some bettors, inflating the price. #6 Alyosius Luck (9/2) ran a lifetime top figure by ten points last out, finishing third in his first start off a six-week break. Stretches back out to a mile; it’s possible he prefers shorter. #5 Imagine Hongkong (3/1) showed promise on debut, coming from behind with a sharp rally at 6 1/2 furlongs to finish second. He regressed last time, but still ran a respectable figure in the 70s. Very much a mixed bag. Not sure if he’ll be the favorite or not.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
- The Rainbow Pick 6 has built up to a decent amount, and the sequence begins here. That race two back might scare some away from #2 Blue Sky Venezuela (5/1), but take that race out, and she’s been consistently earning figures in the mid-70s in her recent races. She got hung wide in that race, and backed up badly. Last out, she had a similarly tough trip, but held on well and earned a better figure. The drop in class here should help. #5 Sammie Sunshine (2/1) makes her local debut here, after a disastrous try at Charles Town in her introduction to this circuit. She ran some good races against better in Florida; might get overbet because of the good class lines. #8 Stated (4/1) got some time off before heading down to Tampa Bay Downs, and needed it, as she rattled off four figures in a row in the 70s. Cuts back in distance and has early speed. Might get hung wide from the outside post.
RACE 5 – CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- A tough field to figure, as not many of them like to win. #3 Nic Nic Boom (8/1) showed some life in his last start, closing for third at big odds. He’s relatively lightly raced, with “only” 13 starts. In a race like this, it’s worth it to go price-hunting. #9 Bandolini (4/1) makes his first start since July 4, when he was fourth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths for second, at this level. Ran a huge figure of 83 when breaking his maiden last year, and has just two losses against winners. Interested to see the board on him. I never thought #1 Pardon the Pun (2/1) would ever win, but he finally broke through at 6/5 last out. He knows one way to go, which is to open up a big lead and try to sneak away from them. He’ll likely try that again from the inside post. Worth noting that he’s shown some improvement since Charlie Marquez got the mount. He stays on, taking him over Nic Nic Boom.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #8 Scottsdale (3/1) adds lasix for the first time, after showing speed and fading three times in a row. This is his first time in for a tag. #5 Here Comes Rudy (9/2) was in for $40,000 in his lone start to date, and showed little. That was back in October, and he’s been working well since. Adds lasix as well. #6 Inject the Light (2/1) chased a loose leader who left them all behind last out, but he outkicked the rest and held on to second throughout. He’s always rated off the leader, but he’s very fast early relative to his rivals, and Marquez might elect to send.
RACE 7 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- Since joining the Anthony Aguirre barn, #7 Dinosaur Ben (7/2) has taken dramatic steps forward. He broke his maiden in easy fashion at Charles Town two back, with a big figure of 86, then ran an 87 when third at this level going two turns at Laurel last out. He had a clear lead late in that spot, but tired. Interested to see how he does at the one-turn mile with the long stretch. #5 Ice Rain (4/1) has had tough trips in his last two, but ran on well both times, earning an 84 each time out. Victor Carrasco gets the mount for the first time. #8 Mine Not Mine (3/1) was stakes-placed twice as a 3-year-old, but has shown little since then. Didn’t shown any early speed last out against Maryland-bred allowance company. Will have to be more forwardly placed here to seriously contend, but has very respectable figures in his recent lines.
RACE 8- ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- The performance of Deep Red in yesterday’s Conniver Stakes didn’t do any favors for #5 Decoupage (3/1), who lost to that rival by a head last out. Still, relative to these, Decoupage’s figures are very strong, having run at least an 88 in two of her last three. It looks like she’s rounding into form at the right time. #4 Gifted Heart (3/1) runs for the first time since January 9, when she won at this level after stalking the pace. She’s shown glimpses of being very good. An effort like last time should be enough to get the job done. #1 Hydra (6/1) turned in a tenacious effort to win against n/w1x horses last out. She beat Vic’s Cool Cat that day, who has won three of her last four.
RACE 9 – CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W3L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- A field of seven wraps up the Sunday show. #2 Bouncing Around (5/2) closed well for second twice at this level. The figures are consistently solid. Might end up a solid value play. #7 Skyscanner (8/5) drops in class from New York races, where he was very flat, but at least ran figures comparable with these. #4 Welling (7/2) ran figures in the mid-80s earlier in his career, but was very dull at Parx last out. He’s pretty good at this track; let’s see if that wakes him up.
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