Laurel Park picks and ponderings November 12, 2021

by | Nov 12, 2021 | Breaking, Handicapping

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 — $1,541 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0

ANALYSIS

RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)

  • 13-5-3-14 (DIRT: 16-14-7-3)
  • #13 Flingueur (6/1) broke slowly on debut but closed strongly and got third. She had some gate workouts prior to that race, but hasn’t had a drill since that October 15 outing. I would have liked to see a recent gate workout, just so I know she’s better prepared for the start. However, her debut was such a big race, I have to consider her a contender anyway. #5 Watch Me Disappear (2/1) has also closed strongly in her first two races, improving four brisnet points to a 71 last out. She’s definitely a contender, but her and Flingueur have similar form, and the latter is likely to be a better price. #3 Polish Cookie (5/1) cuts back around one turn and consistently ran in the upper 60s at this level over the summer. Not sure if she has the closing punch to win this one, but is an exotics contender. 

RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS

6-1-5-4

 Two horses in here are racing first off the claim for Claudio Gonzalez. 6 Party at Page’s (7/2) was claimed out of her last start for $20,000 by Gonzalez. She was a fast-closing fourth after racing wide. Consistently runs in the 80s and should make a strong middle move. Gonzalez is 27% first off the claim. #1 Hope Has a Name (5/2) lasted through a speed duel and drew off to win at this level impressively, with a figure of 85. She’s got a good draw and should be tough to catch on the lead. #5 Live Aid (7/2) was also claimed from her last race by Gonzalez, and is the main threat to Hope Has a Name up top. She’s improved sharply in her last few starts, and returns to this level after some disappointing starts there earlier this year. Went gate-to-wire against n/w2L foes most recently. 

RACE 3: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS

  • 2-3-7-5
  • #2 Combat Queen (3/1) ran a solid race first off a long layoff, earning a 76 while finishing fifth behind Princess Kokachin, who will likely be the favorite against tougher tomorrow. This filly has hit the board in eleven of fourteen with only one win, but the drop from the Maryland-bred allowance level should do the trick. #3 Memphis Mafia (8/5) goes from Brittany Russell to Jamie Ness, and also races second off the break. She had a good trip against similar last out but couldn’t cash in. She’s shown glimmers of promise, including an impressive maiden win here in April, and will try to run a career-best race here. #7 Mending (5/2) battled on the pace with Hope Has a Name, who is competing in race 2, last out, and gave way grudgingly late while getting nailed by Memphis Mafia late. She might get a tough trip on the lead again, but at least she’s shown enough fight to hold on in the exotics. 

ANALYSIS

RACE 4: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS 9GRASS)

  • 4-8-7-1A (DIRT: 4-1-2-13)
  • #4 Ziggy Mon (9/2) set blazing fractions in his most recent grass start and stopped in the last eighth. He held on for third behind Matta, who came back to finish fourth in the Laurel Dash, and Noble Commander, third and fifth in his next two starts. This one has a chance to wire them if he can temper the pace a little bit. #8 Sky’s Not Falling (3/1) was a fast-closing second in the Maryland Million Turf Sprint, and might have won if he didn’t have traffic on the far turn. This isn’t much of a class drop, but he shouldn’t have trouble with these and will take advantage if Ziggy Mon burns himself up on the lead again. Sky’s Not Falling’s stablemate, #7 Oldies But Goodies (8/1), consistently runs in the mid-80s and has good tactical speed. Could shake up the exotics at a price. 

RACE 5 – CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 1/2 FURLONGD

  • 1-8-2-4
  • #1 Hot to Party (4/1) broke her maiden at seventh asking last out as the 1/10 favorite. She’s run in the 60s all but once in her dirt races. She’s never lost against winners; everyone else here has done so at least three times. #8 Suzette Star (6/1) was a hard-fought second in her last try at this level in May. She was very flat in her last start, in mid-July, and hasn’t been seen since. Looks for a bounceback first off the bench. #2 She’s All Courage (5/1) gets a cutback in distance from a mile and has consistent low 60s/upper 50s figures in recent n/w2L tries. This’ll be her first try for this low a tag against winners. 
  • RACE 6: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
  • 4-2-8-6 (DIRT: 11-10-5-3)
  • #4 Gunnison (9/2) won at this level at Pimlico in July, and was a strong-closing third in the Japan Turf Cup here last out. He struggled against better allowance company in New York recently, and should find this group more to his likely. #2 Street Copper (7/2) just missed in a three-horse photo in the Maryland Million Turf. He’s lost a few close finishes lately against these types. Goes second off a two-month break and will try to improve off his last race. #8 Hawkish (9/2) returns to Maryland after a non-effort last out at Belmont Park. He surged late but couldn’t quite catch Gunnison three races ago. He’s been trying to find the right race for a while, and this might be it. Will be rolling from behind after sitting well out of it early on.

ANALYSIS

RACE 7: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS

  • 14-1-6-15
  • #14 Expect the Sunrise (5/1) ran well in her first try at this level, zooming to a clear lead before fading late. If she can outrun the others, she’ll be tough to catch. #1 Moon Biz (5/2) has raced just three times, and never for a tag this low. She’s shown speed and faded in both her starts, one on dirt and one on grass. We’ll see how she handles some possible pace pressure here. #6 Time After Time (6/1) goes second out for Mike Trombetta, who is 18% with his second-time starters. She raced wide and faded on debut at grass, now tries dirt for the first time. 
  • RACE 8: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
  • 5-10-8-7
  • #5 Derwin’s Secret (8/1) raced wide throughout on debut and held on well to finish fourth. She ran a 70 in that race, which is the best last-out mark in a soft maiden field. Looks like an interesting price play here. #10 Middle Island (9/2) got bet on debut for Brittany Russell, who is 36% second-time out. She broke slowly and recovered to get fourth, finishing behind two of her rivals here, including #8 I Can Run (9/2). That rival improved sharply in that second dirt start, storming late and losing a photo. If Middle Island breaks cleanly this time, it might be a different story, but I Can Run should pack a strong closing punch again.
  • RACE 9: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE (GRASS)
  • 4-2-3-10 (DIRT: 13-10-2-5)
  • #4 Yowza Yowza Yowza (6/1) narrowly missed against similar last out, getting third after a ground-saving trip. Gets a jockey upgrade to Jevian Toledo. #2 Grecian Pharoah (5/1) has won two of his last three starts and earned lifetime-top marks in both races. He got an honest pace to run into last out, and will hope for a similar setup here. #3 Mint Game (8/1) has improved in his last few starts but might be too slow early to contend for a win. He’s more of a factor for trifectas and superfectas. 

 

 

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About The Author

John Piassek

John Piassek has written about mid-Atlantic racing for The Racing Biz, Danonymous Racing, and his current website, the Daily Gallop. He graduated from Loyola University Maryland in 2018 with a degree in marketing, and is a member of the inaugural Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program class of 2017. Find John on twitter: @theyreoff.

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