Laurel Park picks and ponderings November 14 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: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $4,443 Super High 5 — $776 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
Laurel had a big day yesterday, with three great stakes races and handle of just under $4 million. The beat goes on today. Jamie Ness and Jaime Rodriguez have proven to be not as potent here as they were at Delaware Park, but their horses still get plenty of play. They’ll team up on one with a legitimate chance here, in #5 Artistic Reason (3/1). The last time he ran two turns here, he ran a career-best figure of 89 while losing a Maryland-bred allowance by just a length. Although he’s been racing at one turn lately, I think he’s better off at two turns. He made a solid bid to get second in his last two-turn race, at Delaware in late September. Jerry Robb and Xavier Perez teamed up to win three times yesterday, and they’re back here with #6 Jack Gave Back (8/1). He’s been rounding back into form since returning from a long layoff in late August, including a sharp-closing fifth seven days ago. His total lack of early speed will put him at a disadvantage, but he should rally for an exotics spot. #8 Jack of Hearts (5/1) broke his maiden in gate-to-wire fashion last out. The post doesn’t do him any favors, but he’s still the fastest one in the field early and will be tough if he can clear. That’s a big if, of course
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/8 MILES
Handicapping the two grass races scheduled for today, including this one, assuming they’ll be moved to the dirt. After some flat efforts, #1 Bellswillberinging (3/1) woke up in her last start with a strong-closing second going seven furlongs. She’s an unknown going two turns on dirt, but so is just about everyone in here. I’m willing to bet she’ll enjoy the longer distance. #13 Rhythm and Power (7/2) showed speed and faded in her last dirt race, but still earned a much-improved figure of 64. Couldn’t get to the front and showed little in three grass races since then, but shouldn’t have too much competition for the lead here. #14 First Lady Di Da (8/5) adds lasix for Arnaud Delacour off a fast-closing second-place effort second time out. Will be tough if her form translates to dirt.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #2 My Good Man (2/1) has run in the 80s in five consecutive races and drops from the starter optional claiming level. He’s made only mild ground in his last few, but maybe the drop in class will inspire him a bit more. #6 My Friends Beer (3/1) was favored at this level last out, and led briefly in the stretch before getting caught and holding on for second. He was claimed by Hugh McMahon for $16,000 two races back, but looks to have some aptitude at the $12,500 level. #1 Solomonic (5/1) almost caught My Friends Beer for second last out after drafting far behind early. He tends to sit the trip but has trouble converting it into a victory.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 1/2 FURLONGS
- #6 San Antone (5/2) won at this level last out with a bold, wide sweep, earning a career-top figure of 90. That’s his best career mark by five points. He showed promise over the winter and took some time to get going this year, but he now looks like he’s at the top of his game. #2 Where U B (3/1) has tied or surpassed his lifetime-top figure in his last five races. He tried to get to the front last out, but couldn’t get there and was outkicked by San Antone late. This one goes first off the claim for Anthony Farrior, and has a good post coupled with the best early pace figures. #3 So Dialed In (4/1) was much further off the pace than usual last out, but still closed strongly and lost by only 2 1/4 lengths. He’s been getting better with every dirt start and should be more forwardly placed here.
- RACE 5- MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
- Most of these have been competing primarily on grass, making it a bit tricky to assess their dirt form. One of the few in here with positive dirt experience is #4 Isabella’s Glory (9/2), who closed for third last out, improving to a 72, when dropped to a maiden claiming race last out. Faces a field with otherwise sketchy dirt form and stretches out from 6 1/2 furlongs. Should contend as long as she can maintain her form. #5 Cecilita (6/1) made a premature move from far behind last out on grass and flattened out in the last eighth. As long as her form can transfer, that closing punch will be strong down the stretch of the one-turn mile. #1 Sofia’s Secret (6/1) got action on debut on grass, but showed little after a wide, pace-compromised trip. Brittany Russell switches this filly to dirt for her second start, and she should get a better trip.
RACE 6- ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- #10 Dr B (6/5) was one of the favorites in a tougher n/w2x field at Parx last out, but she stumbled at the start and couldn’t get to the lead. She still ran a lifetime-top mark of 92. She has blazing early speed and looks well-suited for 5 1/2 furlongs. #12 Baci (10/1) ran with Shesalittle Edgy almost the whole way last out before tiring in the last eighth. That one defeated Dr B in the start prior. #8 Gifted Heart (4/1) won at this level twice earlier in the year and makes her first start since July 2. She might need a race first off the bench but still looms as an early pace factor.
RACE 7– ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, MD-BRED, 1 1/16 MILES
- #2 Misty’s Banshee (3/1) broke her maiden very impressively in her last dirt race, running away from the field to win by 5 1/4 lengths. Gets back to dirt after a dull grass try for Brittany Russell. #3 Award Wanted (7/2) looms a threat for the Robb/Perez duo. She runs in the upper 70s/80s pretty consistently and has raced well at this level. She wasn’t much of a factor the last time she was seen at this condition, but she was facing a much better field than the one she’ll get today. Should get the trip rating off the leaders. #5 Mit Mazel (3/1) has won two of her last three in gate-to-wire style and looks like the main speed here.
- RACE 8 — ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- A fun field of sprinters will line up for today’s feature. #5 Mojovation (5/2) recovered from a slow start to get up and win last out at this level at Delaware. Jamie Ness claimed him out of that race, and he’s always dangerous first off the claim. #1 Threes Over Deuces (7/2) always comes close, but doesn’t like to pass horses in the stretch and rarely crosses the wire first. He lost in a blanket finish in the New Castle Stakes, where he fought on after setting the pace but could not kick away from his rivals. If you bet him to win, you’re likely in for heartbreak. He’s a better horse to use in exactas or trifectas. #2 Battle Station (4/1) is stakes-placed on grass twice this year, including a heartbreaking photo finish defeat in the Parx Dash Stakes, won by The Critical Way. His top figure on dirt is a 96, which is actually better than anything he’s run on grass. Looms as an interesting contender.
- RACE 9 — MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 1/2 FURLONGS
- #6 Mailman’s Money (8/5) recovered from a bad start to get second, beaten a length, in his debut against straight maidens. Drops for a tag for the first time and shouldn’t have much trouble with this group. #5 Pederson’s Courage (5/2) has burned up a lot of money at this level. He’s gone off as the favorite three times in a row and has lost each time. He’ll likely sit just off the pace and just miss again. At least, if you still believe, he probably won’t be the favorite. #3 Pickin Sea Glass (6/1) also made good ground on debut to get third, albeit on grass. Workouts since then have been sharp.
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