Laurel Park picks and ponderings October 2, 2021
Horses race down the stretch at Laurel Park. Photo: The Racing Biz.
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $0 Super High 5 — $1,641 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
#6 Fore on Seven (7/2) ran far and away a career-best race last out, stalking the pace and just missing at this level to earn a career-best brisnet figure of 75. It was a dramatic improvement from his first three dirt starts, where he was a total non-factor, so I’m not sure if he can keep the momentum going. Still, it might be worth a bet that he can. #2 One Most Wanted (4/1) takes a career-low drop in class and gets a seven-pound weight break, as a result of being in for a lower tag. In his lone dirt start so far, he showed speed and faded going longer. This shorter distance should help. #4 Barrister (4/1) ran figures in the 70s consistently earlier in his career, but hasn’t raced since November. Even a slight regression in his first start off a long break should be good enough in this field.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
#2 Chambo (3/1) has been very sharp in his two starts for Damon Dilodovico, including a come-from-behind win two back at Colonial Downs with a six-wide rally. He ran a career-top of 77 last out in his first start at the level. #1 American Piper (5/2) goes first off the claim for Kieron Magee and has the most early speed in the race. He almost wired the field at Timonium in his first start at this condition but faded late. #3 James’s Moonshine (3/1) was claimed out of his last start at Ellis Park by Irving Velez and now makes his local debut. He broke his maiden at Oaklawn Park in March after pressing the pace, and should apply some heat to American Piper here.
RACE 3: LAUREL FUTURITY, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- The first stakes race of the day is the historic Laurel Futurity, which attracted a solid field of nine this year. #3 Epic Luck (6/1) went gate-to-wire to break his maiden at Colonial last out, with a strong figure of 79. He set a slow early pace, but was explosive late, with a big late pace figure. If he’s allowed to set a slow pace again, he could prove difficult to catch. #4 City At Night (9/2) ships down here for Mike Maker off a runner-up performance at Kentucky Downs. He made a big middle move to the lead to draw into contention, but flattened out late. Mychel Sanchez picks up the mount and will have to time the move a bit better. However, he looks like has plenty of upside and should improve the second time out. #7 Determined Kingdom (5/1) improved thirty points from his debut when he won the Jamestown Stakes alst out. Stretches out around two turns for the first time, which makes him a bit of a question mark in a race where many of them have route experience. However, he has the best last-out figure by a good margin and good tactical speed.
RACE 4: ALL ALONG STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/8 MILES (GRASS)
- The Graham Motion pair of #2 Oyster Box (8/5) and #5 Tuned (6/5) figure to take all the play in this one. I’ll give the edge to Tuned, as she’s coming off a giant performance at Colonial Downs. She closed off a slow pace and got up to win the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Old Nelon Stakes at Colonial Downs in the last few jumps, just missing her career-best mark with a 92. She’s improved in each of her last few starts and looks like she’s rounding back into peak form after taking a brief layoff in early spring. Oyster Box was second behind Shantisara in the Pucker Up Stakes last out; that rival went on to win the Jockey Club Oaks Invitational at Belmont Park. This one ran lifetime-top figures in back-to-back starts and showed more early speed than usual last out, which is a good sign. #4 Niceno (6/1) also has good closing speed and will get her class test here in her stakes debut.
RACE 5 -CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
- #6 Natty Beau (4/1) ran a huge race at this level last out, setting the tempo and digging in to hold on with a career-best figure of 85. He might regress off such a big performance, but in this field, he can afford to give up a few points and still win. Gets a rider switch to Jevian Toledo, who’s one of the leading jockeys so far at the meet. #8 Ingredio (10/1) cuts back around one turn. He’s run figures in the 70s pretty consistently lately, but he’s still an unknown going short. It’s possible that he won’t be well suited for this distance, but he’s been fast enough lately that he’s worth a shot at a good price. #1 More Twirl (8/1) goes second off the layoff and closed strongly for fourth in his first race off the break. He’ll likely rate off the pace on the inside and make his move on the turn.
RACE 6- SELIMA STAKES, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
- This year’s Selima Stakes also features a field of nine, including a pair for Chad Brown. One of those, #5 Consumer Spending (1/1), looms large in this field. She ran huge to get second in her debut at Saratoga, and even though her figure regressed last out, it was enough for an impressive 4 ½-length win. It’s interesting that Chad decided to ship her down here, but I wouldn’t read that as not having faith in her. She doesn’t have to be a budding superstar to win this race. #8 Petition Prayer (6/1) stretches out around two turns for the first time after an impressive maiden-breaking score in her grass debut at Colonial. Hamilton Smith has been working her ong rass in preparation for this race. Will likely be heard from late. #7 Determined Charm (12/1) shipped up to Saratoga for her debut, and although it was visually unimpressive, she earned a very respectable figure of 77. Victor Carrasco also went up for that ride, and although he defects for Consumer Spending, this filly gets a more than capable replacement in Jevian Toledo.
RACE 7– LAUREL DASH STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- A very competitive field of twelve has signed on for this year’s Laurel Dash. #3 Matta (6/1) had a great Saratoga meet, winning two races there against allowance types with rapidly improving figures. He missed the first half of his season, got a tune-up race at Pimlico, and now looks ready to turn in a big performance. #7 Grateful Bred (5/1) defeated Matta earlier in the year, in his first race of the year, and won the Meadow Stable Stakes at Colonial impressively after hanging around on a fast pace. He figures to be a tough customer on the lead once again. #12 Boldor (4/1) enters off a win in the Punch Line Stakes where he sat the trip and drew away. Outside of a dull effort three back at Monmouth Park where he was bumped at the break and showed little, he’s steadily run figures in the 90s all year and will rate off the leaders on the outside.
- RACE 8 — MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
- #2 Roulette (9/2) got bet down to 3/1 in his debut at Monmouth, and rallied for third. Stretches out from six furlongs here and has been working well for Kelly Breen. Looks well-bred for longer distances. #7 Call it Love (2/1) almost wired them second time out on this track, but tired late. It was a dramatic change from his first start, at Keeneland in April, when he showed nothing the whole time. Looks to build on that performance. #6 Lidstrom (5/2), the $2.5 million man, has gotten lots of action in each of his two starts, but he’s raced evenly in those starts while getting only minor placings. If you still believe, the price will be a lot better this time.
- RACE 9 — JAPAN TURF CUP, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/2 MILES (GRASS)
- #2 Hierarchy (3/1) made up mild ground in each of his last two starts against better for Joe Sharp. He now ships here and aces an easier field than he’s seen since his last win, which came going a mile at Churchill Downs in early June. Shouldn’t have much of a problem with the marathon distance. #1 Tide of the Sea (6/5) has the most early speed in the field, and has come close to wiring better fields several times over the past twelve months. The most recent time he tried this distance was the Grand Courtier Stakes at Belmont Park in early June; he led most of the way and lost by a length. #3 Gunnison (10/1) has a decent closing speed and can upset the exotics at a price.
RACE 10: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $32,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #3 Castilleja (9/2) got back to the grass last time, and ran a big race after a slow break. She rushed up to the lead and just missed by a neck, with a career-best mark of 83. Her next-to-last grass start as sharp as well, as she made a big, wide rally to get second. #1 Awesome Jazz (3/1) has been racing at this level at longer distances, most recently fading in the last eighth around two turns. She hasn’t been worse than fourth in her last six grass races, and has a closing kick that should play well down this long stretch. #5 Crystaology (6/1) improved her figure six points second time on grass last out, but didn’t have much punch down the stretch. May need to take another leap forward to win this one.
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