Laurel Park picks and ponderings November 26, 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 — $0 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
- #1 Fairy Wish (2/1) is extremely consistent, having run a brisnet figure between 71 and 77 in all of her last ten races. She stalked a very slow pace while racing wide last out, but could not get by the early leader. The pace situation here should be more fair. #3 Mortal Storm (3/1) also got a tough deal with the post draw last out, but draws further inside here and looks like one of the major speed threats. She hasn’t won in a while, but she’s also faced a lot tougher fields recently. #2 Postino’s Champion (5/1) exits the same race as Fairy Wish, and was even further off the dawdling pace. That essentially erased her chances of winning. She cuts back around one turn and will hope for a more honest pace in front of her.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 1/16 MILES
#3 Shemademelucky (2/1) stretched out to a mile and dropped to this level for the first time last out. As the odds-on choice, she made a solid bid for the lead by flattened out and finished second. She races around two turns for the first time and will try to build off her last performance. #4 Jacrorda’s Devil (5/2) made her mid-Atlantic debut at Delaware Park, and narrowly missed with a strong bid after stalking the pace. Claudio Gonzalez hits at 21% with horses racing at a route for the first time. #1 Soleada (9/2) goes first out for Tim Ritchey, who has given her plenty of long workouts, perhaps in anticipation of a spot like this one. Interested to see what kind of action she takes. Ritchey, best known for training Afleet Alex, bred and owns this filly.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
- Grass racing is done for the year in Maryland. All grass races scheduled for today will be run on the main track. #8 Lady Magica (6/1) won against open claimers two back, rating off the pace and powering past to victory. She chased the pace and was third last out; we’ll see which version of her shows up. #5 Stay Out (3/1) hasn’t missed the board in her last six, but has yet to find the winner’s circle in that stretch. She set a long lead last out, but was collared and ended up second behind Marvella Nasty, who ran a gigantic race. She’s likely to be on the lead once again here, but she might get some pace pressure. We’ll see. #7 Thea’s Theme (7/2) drops from the starter allowance level and will likely be forwardly placed. She raced wide and flattened out last out, but should be able to save more ground here.
RACE 4: POLITELY STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, MD-BRED, 6 FURLONGS
- Three horses in here, including both of Jerry Robb’s entrants, are cross-entered in tomorrow’s Safely Kept Stakes. If all three of them race on Saturday, that would make #1 Hello Beautiful (1/2)‘s job much easier, as #3 Street Lute (5/1) and #7 Malibu Beauty (8/1) have the best chance of toppling the big filly. Hello Beautiful’s lost just once on the Laurel main track, and went gate-to-wire in the Maryland Million Distaff while never having an anxious moment. She’d be a huge favorite even without the inside post, but the draw makes her all but unbeatable. Malibu Beauty was second in the Distaff, finishing ahead of Street Lute by a nose, and hasn’t missed the exacta in her last eight races. She’ll likely rate just off Hello Beautiful and keep the rest at bay down the lane. Street Lute has won five stakes races on this track and outfinished Malibu Beauty in the Tax Free Shopping Distaff two races back.
RACE 5 – STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
- #8 Rough Sea (6/1) ran a heroic race last out. He closed off a very slow pace and just missed chasing down Hard Fought, who set an easy, uncontested pace. Rough Sea flew and lost by a neck. When he got a more honest pace to close into three races back, he won going away. Both halves of the Jamie Ness entry look tough, but I’ll give the edge to #1 Zippy (3/1), who hasn’t run worse than an 85 in his last three races and takes a slight drop in class. He tends to rate off the pace and make what looks like a promising move, only to flatten out in the end. Interestingly, his only recent win came when he was on the pace. #3 Silent Malice (4/1) closed well for fourth against a better field last out and drew off against open claimers two races back. Like Rough Sea, he’s going to be coming from well behind.
- RACE 6: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 1 MILE
- #4 Sue Loves Barbados (4/1) will race on dirt for the first time since August 15, after a string of grass performances with mixed results. In his last dirt start, he was third, with a figure of 78. The winner of that race, Everett’s Song, won the Harrods Creek Stakes at Churchill Downs, while runner-up Kenny Had a Notion recently won a n/w2x allowance optional claiming race. This is a much easier field. He ran figures in the low 80s over the winter and spring. #5 Rad Paisley (9/2) drops back to the Maryland-bred level and has run in the 80s in two of his four dirt tries. He’s had bad beginnings in his last few races, but if he breaks cleanly here, he can work out his trip and roll them down the stretch. #1 Up Against It (12/1) also drops from the open condition and has shown good closing speed. This’ll be his third dirt start off a long layoff.
RACE 7: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
- #2 One Ten (9/2) improved sharply last out, closing for second with a sharp five-wide rally. Steps back up from the $25,000 level and cuts back from a mile. Since returning from a brief layoff in September, he’s put in strong closing rallies every time. #8 Coatandtierequired (10/1) adds blinkers and looks for a rebound after a disappointing second start. In his debut, he recovered from a bad start to win a three-horse photo for second. #10 Mugsy Malone (5/1) hasn’t run worse than a 73 in three starts and has lots of early speed.
- RACE 8: HOWARD AND SONDRA BENDER MEMORIAL STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 7 FURLONGS
- An all-star fields of Maryland-bred sprinters lines up here. #7 Whereshetoldmetogo (3/1) has won three stakes races this year, including the New Castle Stakes last out in a game effort. He’s won five of seven lifetime on this track, and will rate just off the pace and get a great trip. #9 Youngest of Five (6/1) has won two in a row, both of them after having to battle for the early lead. He matched a lifetime-top mark last out with a 95 in a stakes-quality allowance optional claiming race last out. #6 Galerio (9/2) has also enjoyed great success at Laurel, finishing in the top two sixteen times from nineteen starts on this track. He finished second to Bustoff, a top allowance runner on this circuit, in his last start, and was second to Rock On Luke two starts back in the M.P. Ballezzi Appreciation Mile Stakes at Parx. Rock On Luke came back to finish a close second to Magic Michael, who won the Greenwood Cup earlier in the year.
- RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
- #3 Royal Spy (9/5) was the slight favorite on debut, and made a solid move to get second with a figure of 78. That’s the best last-out mark by ten points. #5 Free Square (5/2) cuts back from 1 1/16 miles and has shown early speed in all three of his starts. He’ll have to improve if Royal Spy runs back to his debut, but this one’s speed must be respected nonetheless. #11 Red Mesa (12/1) goes first off the claim for Hugh McMahon and made decent ground on debut.
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