Laurel Park picks and ponderings October 17, 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 — $13,770 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- 11-3-10-6 (DIRT: 6-7-10-1)
Should the race stay on grass, the complexion will be very different depending on if #11 Prudent Song (4/5) draws in or not. If she does, she’s going to be very tough, off two near-misses at this level at Monmouth Park. She stalked the pace and pounced both times. That’ll be an ideal strategy for a race like this. I’m always a bit wary of horses who have disappointed at low odds twice in a row, but she has a brisnet figure edge over these that’s too big to ignore. If she doesn’t get in, #3 Away to Return (3/1) would loom as the one to beat. She ran a game race in her first local start, battling on the pace and holding to get second. She goes first off the claim for Damon Dilodovico. #10 One for Sure (7/2) cuts back around one turn and makes her first start since May 21 for Jorge Duarte, who is 21% coming off a 90+ day layoff. Recent works have been sharp.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
#1 Miss Moreno (1/2) crushed the field in her return to dirt last out, winning a n/w2L race by fifteen lengths. She was very visually impressive, and any horse trained by Claudio Gonzalez is of course worthy of respect. That said, her figure of 71, while the best last-out mark in the race, is not that much better than those of her rivals. I’ll take a shot against with #3 Walk It Out Nanny (6/1), who also enters off a front-running n/w2L win, where she earned a 69. She has abundant early speed and will try to take them gate-to-wire. If nothing else, she’ll be a much better value than Miss Moreno. #4 Imagine Victory (9/2) hasn’t quite been in the same form lately, but has still run figures in the mid-60s pretty consistently lately, which should be enough for an exotics spot.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
- #1 My Dream Girl (5/2) switches back to the dirt after a few near-misses against similar on grass. Trainer Richard Sillaman has been having a good meet so far, with a 3-for-11 record, and he’s 34% going grass-to-dirt. #3 How Lucky (2/1) faced better maidens in the winter and spring in Kentucky; now drops for a career-low tag and adds blinkers. #4 Pearlyville (5/2) made a good move to get second in her first start off the layoff, with a decent figure of 65. Interested to see how she stretches out from a mile.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- 11-4-13-7 (DIRT: 13-2-4-7)
- #11 Mizbo (9/2) made a solid move to get fifth after a rough start last out. He now drops in class and races second off the layoff. #4 Justwaveandsmile (3/1) was wide throughout in his last start, but rallied and won going away. He consistently runs in the mid-70s, which should at least be good enough for an exotics spot. Tries this level for the first time. #13 Fort Fortitude (9/5) hasn’t run worse than an 82 in his last three grass races. Last out at Delaware Park, he timed his move perfectly and got up to win for the Jamie Ness/Jaime Rodriguez trainer/jockey combo.
RACE 5- CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- The last time #9 Inspector Frost (9/5) ran in a n/w2L claiming race, he led almost the whole way and earned a gigantic figure of 94. He didn’t run that well last out, but he had a bad break and wasn’t able to get to the front. He’s stretching out around two turns here as well. As long as he breaks cleanly, he should be able to work out his trip. #8 Speightster Red (5/1) also declined sharply last out, but he also had an excuse. He was hung wide on both turns at Timonium, which is usually a recipe for disaster. Ran in the 70s pretty consistently in his prior races. #7 Our Lucky Man (10/1) was claimed out of a maiden-breaking effort at Monmouth by Claudio Gonzalez. He’s one of three in here who has never lost against winners. Would be appealing if he stays near morning line.
RACE 6- MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
- #5 Mercury Ten (4/1) has competed in nothing but stakes races so far, now finally drops in against maidens after three starts. He’s run in the 70s twice, and would be competitive here if he stays there. #6 Vance Scholars (5/2) improved five points to a 79 last out despite a wide trip, now stretches out beyond six furlongs for the first time. He showed speed on debut but couldn’t get to the front last time; we’ll see what Jorge Ruiz tries to do here. #1 Money Room (9/2) drops back in for a tag; he was second at this condition behind a next-out winner on debut. Has decent late pace figures and ran well going a mile last out.
RACE 7– ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
- 1-9-7-4 (DIRT: 8-12-5-3)
- #1 Deciding Vote (7/2) closed into a slow pace and had a clear lead last out, but got caught late by the classy veteran War Canoe. She ran a great figure of 89, narrowly missing her lifetime-top mark. Due to the slow pace, she was a bit more forwardly placed than usual last out; that might be a winning strategy again here. #9 Bramble Bay (3/1) almost went gate-to-wire at Saratoga two starts back but was no match for Pocket Square, who blew them away and went to win the Athenia Stakes next out. Last out, this was second against fellow Jersey-breds, but that was in a grass sprint. The longer distance should help. #7 Kiss the Girl (7/2) out-nodded Deciding Vote last out after coming from even further off that slow pace. She’s improved her figure in each of her last two starts.
- RACE 8 — ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
- A fun field of sprinters lines up for today’s feature. #2 Always Sunshine (2/1) had some trouble and flattened out at Belmont Park last out, but ran in the 90s pretty consistently in his prior races. Will be on the pace from the inside. #6 Youngest of Five (4/1) ran a gutsy race last out, albeit against a small field, to win a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race at a mile. He has solid late pace figures, and seven furlongs should be right in his wheelhouse. #9 Arthur’s Hope (6/1) doesn’t win very often, but always makes good middle moves and hangs around for a piece of the exotics. He hasn’t shown as much early speed as of late, and will likely rate off the leaders on the outside.
- RACE 9 — MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
- 12-9-4-2 (DIRT: 3-9-12-11)
- #12 Bramble Bush (5/2) ran a career-best race under similar circumstances last out at the Meadowlands. She closed strongly while wide and earned a 73, the best last-out mark by three points. Her best races by far have come in sprints, and this is a sprint. #9 Miss Bosconovitch (5/1) has been competitive in her last few against better, losing by less than five lengths both times. She’ll drop for a career-low tag here. #4 Toss a Coin (6/1) gets a much-needed cutback around one turn and gets a jockey switch to Carol Cedeno. She’s also getting career-low class relief and will likely do her best running late.
LATEST IN HANDICAPPING
In Spa Selections, our correspondent provides his Saratoga picks for key races on today’s Saratoga card!
We’ve got Delaware Park picks and horses to watch for this afternoon’s racing program.
The original and best Colonial Downs tip sheet returns: Nick’s Picks is back and hoping to build on a 2021 season where his top-pick horses showed a profit.