Laurel Park picks and ponderings Jan. 2, 2022

by | Jan 2, 2022 | 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 — $1,170 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0


RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 N3L, 4yo and up, 6 furlongs

  • 5-4-2-3
  • Penn shipper #5 Pay the Kid (9-5) has run three decent races at a higher level on his home track, takes an appropriate drop here against a middling field… #4 Seize the Day (8-1) has the occasional competitive effort and will look to hit the ground running off a five-month vacation. Trainer Feliciano is 3-for-11 (27%) off similar layoffs… #2 Bardolino (5-2) drops off evenish efforts versus better…

RACE 2: CLAIMING $25,000, 3yo, 7 furlongs

  • 4-1-5-6
  • Top choice #4 Stevethevandriver (6-1) showed a completely new dimension last time out: after having been up close to the pace and usually fading in his first six starts, he came from well off it after stumbling at the start to get up at the wire. The added ground seems like it should be fine,  he’ll get Lasix on, and this guy has the look of a horse heading in the right direction… #1 Rustys Gfivefifty (3-1) gave a good account of himself last out versus similar… #5 Knowhowiknow (2-1) graduated easily last out at Churchill and will make his first start in the Farrior barn. Note that though Farrior has a strong record first off the claim, he is 0-for-5 in that situation with horses who broke their maidens last out…

RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3yo fillies, 7 furlongs

  • 5-1-6-7
  • Six furlongs seemed to be a touch too short for #5 Isabella’s Glory (9-2), who rallied in three tries at that trip but too late. And a mile seemed to be a touch too far; she rallied to lead leaving the furlong grounds but had to settle for a near-miss third. So perhaps seven-eighths will hit her right between the eyes… Morning line favorite #1 Justhappy (2-1) drops from the special weight ranks into claiming company after two good tries. Collin’s Grey Lady, winner of this one’s last, returned to be fourth in a Parx stake, and trainer Ness wins 25% of the time on this move… Curious to see #6 Rationalmillenial (12-1), who is a half to the multiple graded stakes-placed turf runner Nakamura…


RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000, fillies and mares 4yo and up, 1 1/8 miles

  • 3-5-1-6
  • Getting back to two turns should suit #3 Simmard Shenanigan (7-2); the six-year-old mare has run well in each of her last four two-turn tries, with recent one-turn efforts not so much… Morning line favorite #5 Sierra Leona (2-1) enters in pretty good form… #1 Postino’s Champion (4-1) has run a couple of clunkers but has some prior efforts that would contend…

RACE 5: STARTER/OPTIONAL CLAIMING, 4yo and up, 6 furlongs

  • 2-5-9-3
  • #2 Stroll Smokin (7-2) may not be the horse he once was, but he continues to churn out pretty good efforts when properly spotted, and this race fits the bill… Trainer Ferris Allen lost #5 Nashvegas (5-1) for $8,000 two back and turned around and claimed him back for $12,500 last out; today he protects him in this starter condition, and all of that constitutes a major vote of confidence in a horse… #9 Satchel de Ritches (3-1) has run a couple of competitive races versus similar…

RACE 6: STARTER/OPTIONAL CLAIMING, fillies and mares 4yo and up, 5 1/2 furlongs

  • 8-7-1-5
  • The horse we’re most excited about betting on today’s card? It’s #8 Proper Attire (6-1). If you toss the two dismal turf tries, this miss has been cranking out good races. In her last five dirt races, she’s won three and had good excuses in the other two: back in June, in the Stormy Blues, she was beaten a length by two really good fillies in Street Lute and Malibu Beauty. And last time, in her first start in four months, she got cooked in a speed duel by the ultra-fast Princess Kokachin, who turned around to win a stake. Breaking from the outside, and with that kind of early zip, she should win here… One horse who could pick up the pieces, if there are pieces to pick up, is #7 Party At Page’s (4-1)… Another speedy sort dropping from better company is #1 Gifted Heart (7-2), who’ll have to commit almost immediately when breaking from the one-hole…


RACE 7: ALLOWANCE (N1X, state-restricted), fillies and mares 4yo and up, 6 1/2 furlongs

  • 4-7-1-6
  • We’ll eat the chalk with #4 Marvella Nasty (7-5), who catches a pretty manageable group in here… The formful #7 Long Distance Love (4-1) saw her three-race win streak snapped last out but ran a good race to be second behind the promising Miss Chesapeake, who’s 2-for-3… #1 Canoodle (8-1) graduated nicely last out…

    RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N1X)/OPTIONAL CLAIMING, 3yo, 1 1/16 miles

    • 4-2-1-6
    • He hasn’t tried the dirt yet, but there’s no reason to think #4 Wish Me Home (5-1) won’t take to it; there’s plenty of dirt in his background, Midshipman’s offspring are often versatile, and this one’s only sibling won three times on the main track. If he does take to it, he’s a major player here, having acquitted himself respectably in three prior stakes tries… #2 One Ten (6-1) got the worst of the trip in the Maryland Juvenile Championship Dec. 18 but did come running late, passing several while never a threat to the top runners… #1 Conclusive (4-1) has run well enough to date and gets blinkers on…

    RACE 9: CLAIMING $16,000 (N3L), fillies and mares 4yo and up, 1 1/16 miles

    • 3-4-7-1
    • #3 Unshakable U (2-1) lands here after having been entered in an easier spot Saturday; this looks to be an appropriate spot off a nice win in a CT allowance, and while trainer Farrior will likely lose her here, he’ll probably get the big share of the purse… #4 Miss Moreno (12-1) makes her third start off a break for trainer Gonzalez, who’s showing confidence in his filly moving her up the ladder… Look for #7 Hashtag Lucky (5-2) to be one-two in the early going, and if she can do that easily enough — no guarantee — she’ll be in the mix until the end…


    About The Author

    Frank Vespe

    Frank Vespe, the founder and publisher of The Racing Biz, has owned, bought, sold, claimed, written, and talked about horses, in varying combinations, for a decade. Email him at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @TheRacingBiz.

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