Laurel Park picks and ponderings September 12, 2021
Dirty. Photo by Allison Janezic.
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $2,720 Super High 5 –$0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- There’s 8 races on today’s card, which will once again be conducted under sunny conditions. #3 Sassy Babe (7/2) switched to the grass last time for her second career start, and got up to win with an impressive brisnet figure of 73. Cal Lynch and Charlie Marquez are a tough trainer/jockey combo everywhere. Marquez won the Pimlico riding title and is off to a hot start at Laurel. #5 She’s Classy (5/1) goes second off the layoff and looms as the primary early speed. She ran in the 70s at Gulfstream Park earlier this year against similar. #2 Green Eyes (3/1) has finished second twice in her last three starts at the level and will also be a serious pace presence. She dueled through a fast pace when on the lead two races back, and held in gamely until the last sixteenth.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
- #4 Jack Bo (7/5) won his last dirt start for a $12,500 tag back in May. He’s racing for the first time since July 16, when he got caught up in a duel on grass and backed up. It’s a bit of a suspicious drop, but he has tons of early speed and just looks more naturally talented than these. #3 Amen Corner (3/1) has been very sharp against conditioned claimers, with victories in two of his last four races. He’s got the best late pace figures in the field, and likely has the best shot at chasing down Jack Bo. #6 Mystic Times (6/1) steadily improved throughout the Timonium meet, peaking with a win in early August. He had a bad trip on the Timonium bullring last out, but should enjoy the surroundings here.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE (GRASS)
- #6 Torres del Paine (2/1) went gate-to-wire at Penn National two back, then ran a big race to just miss last out at Colonial Downs. The winner, Markitoff, faced much better at Arlington Park next out, and lost by a nose. This one is a serious threat to take them gate-to-wire. #4 Daddy’s Cozy (6/1) races for just the second time this year, but faces a softer field than he’s seen on grass in a while. Way back when, he ran figures in the upper 80s, and even the low 80s he’s been running in his last few make him a contender. #14 Tankerville (7/2) won two in a row at Mountaineer and Delaware Park earlier this year, and should enjoy a good trip while getting class relief.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #6 Hot to Party (2/1) ran some figures in the 60s earlier in her career, now goes second off the long layoff and gets back to dirt. She’s lightly-raced, making just her fifth career start here. #1 Sara Plain N Tall (8/1) drops to a career-low tag in just her fourth start. She had routed on grass in her last two; interested to see how she does cutting back and going back to dirt. #7 Arbela (8/1) showed speed on debut at Timonium but raced wide and backed up. At least she showed some signs of life on debut; could move forward here.
RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE (GRASS)
- #10 Gandolfo (7/2) surged and just missed last out at Delaware. He’s been very consistent, with figures between 65 and 67 in each of his four grass starts. #2 One Most Wanted (3/1) took a big step forward with a second-place finish last out and a career-top figure of 77. Races third off the brief layoff and adds Marquez. #4 Storm Tower (6/1) fell way too far behind to seriously contend last out, but has shown good closing speed in the past and has a big chance to round out the exotics here.
RACE 6: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- #6 Kartano (9/5) sat the trip and crushed a similar field at Colonial last out, and is a neck away from being a winner of two races in a row. A repeat of either of his last two wins this one. #5 Takafumi (7/2) battled on the lead throughout at Monmouth Park last out, and sent his dueling partner into distant defeat. On the other hand, this one finished second, beaten just a neck. Will be a tough customer on the lead once again. Note that Sheldon Russell is named, but he will not ride. Keep your eyes peeled for a substitute. #2 Chao (9/2) was working at Saratoga for Saffie Joseph, but rather than wait for Belmont Park to open, he’s decided to ship this one down here. That’s an encouraging sign. He’s got great late pace figures but hasn’t raced since a May 31 win at Gulfstream.
RACE 7: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #7 My My Girl (8/5) broke a step slow in the Miss Disco Stakes, which may have cost her. However, she closed strongly late and lost a photo for second. With a clean start, she’s going to be very tough. #6 Buckey’s Charm (3/1) goes third off the layoff and races for the first time on dirt since March 13. She didn’t show much on grass in her last two, but was stakes-placed last winter and ran in the 80s pretty consistently. #3 Ms Headley (6/1) goes first off the claim for Crystal Pickett and has blazing early speed.
RACE 8: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #10 Miranda’s Diamond (5/2) has lost her two starts by less than a length each, encountering tons of traffic on debut in particular. Makes her first start since June 20 for Ben Perkins. There will be a jockey change on this one as well, as Russell is named to ride. #2 Away to Return (3/1) ships from Arlington for Mike Stidham and has some bullet works under her belt in preparation for this race. She ran a very solid 68 on debut in a grass sprint, closing well for second despite drifting. #5 Broadway Melody (8/1) has run in the 70s pretty steadily this season and gets a needed cutback in distance.
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