Laurel Park picks and ponderings November 6, 2021
Horses round the turn at Laurel Park. Photo: Allison Janezic.
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $5,251 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- 9-10-2-4 (GRASS: 3-6-5-11)
- Laurel’s been off the grass the last two days due to morning frost. More frost is a possibility this morning, so I’ll write up the two scheduled grass races on the assumption they’ll be moved to dirt. #9 Artistic Reason (8/5) cuts back around one turn after a series of two-turn tries for Jamie Ness and Jaime Rodriguez. The combination has not been as sharp as usual this meet, but this is not the greatest field in the world. If this one keeps up his mid-80s figures, he’ll be very tough to beat. #10 Woodchuck (10/1) has been competing on the synthetic at Presque Isle Downs, where he broke his maiden three starts back with an impressive gate-to-wire effort going short. His four best figures have come within his last four starts. #2 Power Back (8/1) gets a jockey switch to Forest Boyce and drops in class after a wide trip last out.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES
#4 Congress Hall (8/5) was a solid-closing fourth in the Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap last out, over a track that was not especially kind to closers. She’s run in the 70s seven times in her last eight races, including a career-best mark in a heroic effort in her last two-turn race. #5 Postino’s Champion (3/1) made mild ground in Jersey-bred allowances earlier in the year. She doesn’t have much early speed, but has enough of a late kick to get an exotics sport. #6 Fairy Wish (5/2) also earns marks in the 70s consistently, and just missed in a very similar field at Delaware Park two races back. She was compromised in the Maryland Million Distaff Starter when she broke awkwardly.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
- #2 Golden Grant (3/1) is a recent claim from Churchill Downs who got hung wide in her local debut and faded. Drops for a career-low tag and stretches out. Anthony Farrior is 21% second off the claim. #7 Positive Power (5/2) has had some near-misses against similar lately but the 1-for-27 record is unsightly. She might have raced better at Delaware Park last out if she didn’t get stuck behind a very slow pace. We’ll see if she gets a more advantageous setup here. #1 Notion Interruptus (4/1) has hit the board in each of her starts against n/w2L types and has great late pace figures. Shouldn’t have much of a problem stretching out.
RACE 4: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #2 Corn Off the Cob (2/1) sat a great trip last out and won at this level for Jerry Robb and Xavier Perez, who have been a great combination at the meet. Several of these competed in that same October 9 race, including #6 Calypso Ghost (5/2), who was third, and #1 Joyful Noise (5/1), who finished second. The former came back to win the Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap and profiles as the main early speed. The latter, who usually comes from behind, got caught up in the pace last out and tired. Should improve here if she can be rated off the lead.
RACE 5 – CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #4 Manicomio (7/2) went gate-to-wire against a similar field at Pimlico in July, and almost wired the field last out before tiring at a mile. Stretches out a bit here, but is still the main speed and should take them gate-to-wire. #5 Golazo (5/1) steadily runs figures in the upper-70s but has raced only evenly in his last two races. Might be able to take advantage of Manicomio can’t last on the lead. #1 Threethehardway (7/2) was wide throughout in his last dirt start but still rallied gamely and was beaten just half a length. Didn’t do much on grass last out and now returns to his preferred surface.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #4 Jasontakeslong (9/2) had no shot behind the runaway winner Turnpike Bob on debut, but he closed well and got up for second. Ships in from Parx, which is not as favorable to closers. #7 Dr Rags (6/1) got some action at the windows on debut, going off at 12/1, and made a wide move towards the pace before flattening out. It was a promising performance on debut, and should offer some good value here. #8 Mr Nineteen (5/1) improved seven points to a 69 last out, with a strong rally in the last eighth to get fifth. Recorded a bullet workout last week, going five furlongs in an impressive 59 3/5 seconds.
RACE 7: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
- 9-1-7-2 (GRASS: 10-7-6-1)
- #9 Rapid Response (4/1) returned from a four-month layoff in late May and has been in strong form ever since, running at least a 79 in each of his six recent races. He showed speed and faded last out at a mile after getting involved in a contested pace. Should find things easier here. #1 Order for Porky (3/1) had mixed form over the Laurel dirt. He won against these types in January, with a figure of 88, then stopped over a sloppy track in his next start and was well-beaten. He’ll catch a fast track here and should get a good trip just off the lead. #7 Lamplighter Jack (10/1) races first of the claim for Dale Bennett and went gate-to-wire in his last dirt start, going 1 1/16 miles. Bennett is 36% with horses off a 46-90 day layoff.
- RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- A fun allowance optional claiming race serves as today’s feature race. #2 Galerio (8/5) won eight times from twelve races last year. Facing better horses this year than last, he’s only won once from eight tries, although his figures are about the same. He makes his second start for Jamie Ness here. In his debut for Ness, the M.P. Ballezzi Appreciation Mile, he chased freewheeling Rock on Luke and held on for second. He’ll have to deal with some speed here, in #1 Bustoff (3/1). That one took a starter optional claiming field gate-to-wire last out, and will almost certainly be on the lead early on. He’s not as talented as Rock on Luke, and Galerio will likely be right on his heels. Still, his speed cannot be ignored. #6 Treasure Trove (3/1) was claimed out of his last start at Keeneland by Anthony Farrior. He was the comfortable favorite last out against open claimers, and made decent ground in the last eighth to get third. He hasn’t won a race in over a year, and might not have enough early speed to contend with the top two, unless they both completely fall apart. You’re better off using him underneath than you are betting him to win.
- RACE 9: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #7 New Frontier (8/5) cruised at this level two starts back, then regressed after a wide trip at Charles Town last out. Looks like a serious gate-to-wire threat. #3 Fast Cash (8/1) has been improving since joining the Mario Serey barn, including a decent figure of 82 last out when he made a mild move against better. Could round out the exotics at a solid number. #4 Baptize the Boy (4/1) looks for a rebound off a dull performance last out, his first start in almost two months. He’s run several marks in the 80s this year and also gets some class relief.
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