Laurel Park picks and ponderings January 6, 2022
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 — $2,200 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W3L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- After a weekend off, I’m back in action for my first card of the 2022 season. Big shoutout to Frank for covering for me last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The toughest part of today’s card will be remembering to write “4-year-olds and up” on all the conditions. #6 Imtheprince (3/1) goes second off the claim for Anthony Farrior. He fell far behind a very slow pace in his local debut, and closed decent ground late. He ran brisnet figures in the mid-70s consistently earlier in the year; we’ll see if he bounces back now that he has a race over the track. #1 Straight Up Guy (9/2) takes a slight drop in class. He made a big move off a loose leader to win a n/w2L race a few starts back, with a career-best mark of 77. #3 Alpha Queue (10/1) is the primary speed threat in the field, and was terrible last out when he couldn’t get to the lead following a rough break. That might improve his price somewhat.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
A field of newly-turned 3-year-olds will do battle here. #1 Brettmeister (5/2) showed speed going a mile on debut and backed up, but still earned a very respectable figure for the level of 62. #2 Just Praise (5/1), just like Brettmeister, is dropping from the $25,000 tag for his second start. He raced wide every step last out and backed up. Should work out a better trip here. #8 Vinny (2/1) has tried five times at the $40,000 level, and while he’s run decent figures for that level, he hasn’t come that close to winning. Adds blinkers for the first time.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
- #5 Baltimore Bud (9/2) was finally able to wire the field and break his maiden in his sixteenth try two races back. He broke awkwardly and had no chance in his first start against winners, but should race better in a more honest scenario. #2 Triple Americano (6/1) has declined a bit since running some big figures at Saratoga last summer, but continues to drop down the class ladder and gets to stay around one turn. #3 Lifespan (9/5) has the best last-out mark in the race by a good margin, earned while closing for third against these. Worth a use for the underneath spots, but the 1-for-27 mark is hard to ignore.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 4 AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
- #1 Wonderville (3/1) inadvertently made his dirt debut last out when a grass race was washed off. He pressed the pace on the outside and hung in well to earn a figure of 70. Should enjoy the cutback from a mile. #7 Little Sir John (5/1) made good ground to close for third in his first start off a long layoff last out. The combination of Jerry Robb and Xavier Perez has been tough lately. #5 Callyourightback (7/2) drops in class for Mike Trombetta. He was the favorite at this level last out and showed little, but ran a respectable mark for the level of 61 despite a visually unimpressive performance.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- This race begins the late pick 5. #3 Speightster Red (9/5) drops to this level for the first time and consistently runs marks in the 70s. He’s run some of his best figures when racing around two turns. #6 Galilean Moon (6/1) goes second off the claim for Charles Frock, and outfinished most of his rivals to get third in his first try at this level. His lack of early speed is his downfall, but he should rally for an underneath spot. #9 Tradition (5/1) outfinished Galilean Moon last out and will also be rallying from behind.
- RACE 6: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
- #2 Bellarmine Hall (7/2) shipped up to Finger Lakes last out and got the win against New York-breds, for his second win in a row. He’s run his best races at Parx, but does have a win over this surface. #1 Goodluckchuck (3/1) will almost certainly set the early pace. In his last two-turn start, he set the pace and battled well in the stretch, just missing by less than a length against My Friends Beer, who has been competitive in allowance races. #4 Silent Malice (8/1) has been declining in form lately, but now gets to run two turns over this track. That’s where he tends to do his best running. Jevian Toledo, who rode him in a dull effort at Parx last out, keeps the mount.
RACE 7: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
- #2 She is Wisky (7/2) improved sixteen points to a career-best mark of 85 last out, drawing off easily to beat a maiden claiming bunch. She’ll be a serious threat if she maintains that form. #7 Money’s Worth (7/2) is also coming off a lifetime-top figure, where she earned an 86 after a stretch battle. She had a very sharp workout on December 12, but hasn’t been on the tab since. #4 Sweet Gracie (3/1) got up for third at 66/1 in the Maryland Juvenile Fillies Championship last out in a promising effort. This field is much softer.
- RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
- #4 Hope Has a Name (9/5) blew the doors off a starter optional claiming field two races back, then was well-backed at this level last out and just missed second despite a wide trip. #5 Italian Dressing (5/1) exits the same race, and rallied from last to get up for third in that multi-horse photo. She’s improved her figure in each of her last three races. #1 Mi Cleopatra and I (4/1) has won three in a row against weaker and will sit the trip off the pace on the inside.
- RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 4 AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
- #1 Rahmer (6/1) improved dramatically in his second race off the layoff last out, running a 77 and finishing fourth in a mild effort. He’ll be the value play in the field, especially with the domineering presence of #6 Treasure Tradition (2/5), who just missed against straight maidens last out, and has run in the 80s in back-to-back start. It’s hard to swallow that low of a price on a horse in a race like this, however, especially with a 4% jockey in the saddle. All it would take is a few points’ improvement by Rahmer, or a few points’ regression by Treasure Tradition, and we’ve got an upset on our hands. #2 Ninetynine Express (15/1) has worked well since his first career start, when he made mild ground in the stretch on grass after a bad break. Could make a mild impact even if the top two run their races.
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