Laurel Park picks and ponderings October 14, 2021
Horses round the turn at Laurel Park. Photo: Allison Janezic.
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $8,467 Super High 5 — $1,222 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
- A field of seven claimers will kick off a new racing week at Laurel. #5 Smart Step (9/2) was disappointing at Timonium in his most recent dirt start, then tried grass last out and didn’t do much there. Earlier in the year, when consistently racing over big tracks, he ran brisnet figures in the mid-70s, which would make him a serious contender here. He’ll pack a serious closing punch. #2 Swing West (8/5) ships up from Gulfstream Park and makes his local debut. He consistently runs figures in the 80s and has dangerous early speed. He had consistently tired late when going a one-turn mile; seven furlongs should be better for him. #1 Confusion Baby Boy (7/2) has been trying to come from behind in his last two races, and it’s been a successful strategy, with two third-place finishes. He’s been nibbling around the edges at this level.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#12 Perfume River (5/2) drops to the n/w2L level for the first time, after a few tries against starter optional claiming types. She hasn’t run worse than a 72 in her last three starts, and has shown both early and late speed. It’ll be interesting to see which style she elects to use here. #5 English Charmer (7/2) has also been on a hot streak lately; she hasn’t run worse than a 76 in her last three grass starts. Broke her maiden at Monmouth Park two races back, then rallied well and got second last out at Pimlico. Will be rolling late. #4 Ms Boombastic (4/1) only ran a 64 in her last grass start, but I’m willing to forgive that effort. She got stuck behind an absolutely glacial pace, which blunted her closing rally completely. When she gets honest paces to run into, she runs big figures.
RACE 3: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- #5 Iywaan (7/5) has seen a decline in his figures in his last few races, but he’s dropping in class and cutting back around one turn. He has a potent closing kick that should play well with the long stretch run here. #1A Flatexcel (7/2) has won three in a row for Jamie Ness and Jaime Rodriguez, with two of those wins coming in gate-to-wire fashion. He might prove tough to catch on the front end. #6 Hashtag Winning (5/2) was a non-factor at Penn National last out, but recovered with a strong-closing second at Charles Town last out. He won impressively at this level at Penn National in June. Should rate right off the leaders on the outside.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 7 FURLONGS
- I’ll fade the favorite, Mama G’s Wish. Why is a horse who’s twice stakes-placed in for a $25,000 tag, when she could’ve raced against straight maidens next week? #8 Sweet Talia (9/2) improved her figure six points to a 65 last out, despite a troubled trip. Ran on well with clear sailing to get second in her career debut. The winner of that race, Six O’Clock Sarah, came back to win a claiming race at Delaware Park next out. #9 Cuenca (10/1) has been working consistently for Tim Woolley, who is a respectable 15% with horses debuting in maiden claimers. With Delaware dark for today, Carol Cedeno comes in for the mount. #1 Derby Julep (8/1) has closed good ground in each of her two starts and is a threat to hit the board at a price.
RACE 5 – CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- #10 Defy Expectations (9/5) sat the trip and grinded out a win against similar last out, with a career-top figure of 83. She’s run a lifetime-top mark in two of her last three races. #5 Millie Child (8/1) made her first grass start in a while last out, and rolled from behind to get second. She hadn’t shown that kind of kick on dirt, so perhaps staying on this surface will keep her in top form. #3 Dare to Try (5/1) has raced three times since returning from a long layoff in August, and has run between a 71 and a 76 every time out. She hasn’t lost at this level, having cleared her n/w2L condition last time out.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
- The king of Charles Town, Arnaldo Bocachica, comes in to ride a horse for Anthony Farrior, #10 Miss Casey (6/1) is Bocachica’s only mount of the day, off a solid third-place finish at this level second time out. She improved ten points in that start, to a 72. Adds blinkers here as well. #11 Isabella’s Glory (6/1) drops for a tag for the first time, after making a moderate closing rally on debut. She’ll be a contender if she can improve a few points off her debut figure of 64. #5 Misty’s Lass (7/2) edged out Miss Casey on debut last out and turned in a strong workout last Saturday getting ready for her second career start.
RACE 7: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
- Despite breaking from the inside post, #1 Guillaume (7/2) got hung very wide in his last start at Colonial Downs. He rallied well, but saw a decline from his peak mark of 88, earned two back. Should improve with a more ground-saving trip. #3 Dreaming of Gerry (6/1) also declined when trying winners for the first time last out. He was very impressive two races back when breaking his maiden at Colonial Downs, and returns to a big track after trying the Charles Town bullring last out. #7 Boss Logic (3/1) ran figures of 88 and 91 last fall and winter over this track, but hasn’t raced since January 30. Interested to see how he does first off the layoff.
- RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, MD-BRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #4 Princess Kokachin (9/5) battled briefly on the pace and drew away to an impressive victory last out. Looms as the main early speed here, as she gets her class test. #5 Unrequited Love (3/1) rattled off three consecutive dirt wins, generally running figures in the low 80s, before switching to grass for a try at this level and stopping badly. Should improve returning to her preferred surface. Although she was not a serious threat to the winner last out, #6 Award Winner (7/2) closed well to get second and earn an 85, just missing her career-top mark. Should rate off the leaders and pack some closing punch.
- RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- #6 Closertotheheart (2/1) ran the best figures of her career against better maidens in New York, but didn’t pose a serious threat in any of those races. If she can keep her figures in the low/mid-70s range, she has a big chance. #3 Rhythm and Power (4/1) drops for a tag for the first time on grass and cuts back in distance after a dull effort at 1 1/4 miles last out. She raced much better going a bit shorter. #11 Mary Jane Chrome (6/1) improved sharply second time on grass, earning a 73 while making a mild move at Delaware last out. She’s got plenty of room to improve further.
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