LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: feb. 3, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:10 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $3,863 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 4 AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
In his last start, #6 Glorious Mahomes (5/2) had little chance to catch odds-on choice Pete the Bear, who ran away from the field at Charles Town and went on to win an allowance race in his next start. However, he outran the rest of the field and finished a solid second with an improved brisnet figure. Looks for more improvement here. #7 Johnny Swish (7/2) goes third off the layoff for Jamie Ness. He just missed third last out after pulling his usual routine of showing speed and fading. He ran a career-best figure of 74 in there, however, and gets to stay at one turn while dropping in class. #2 Chauffeur (6/1) got knocked out of contention by a rough break in his last start, but generally closes well and should at least get a piece.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $12,500, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#5 Solomonic (5/2) chased a rival who sat a much better trip last out at this level, but chased well and held on for second. He’s in rapidly improving form, having improved sharply in his last two races. Should stalk and pounce. #6 Even Thunder (4/1) got caught up in a pace duel last out and stopped, but will be a threat if he’s allowed to dictate his own terms on the lead. #1 Contraflow (9/5) had a terrible trip in his last start, but now draws much better and is the biggest pace threat to Even Thunder.
- Deciding Vote is “aye” for MATCH Series titleDeciding Vote earned a narrow win in Monday’s Sal Debunda PTHA President’s Cup at Parx Racing to secure the 2022 MATCH Series title.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE
#6 Daily Planet (6/1) was impressive on debut, closing well down the stretch to get second, beaten less than a length. She finished well clear of Middle Island, who came back to beat a $10,000 field next out. #3 Queen Cadence (3/1) set very fast fractions last out at Penn National, but held on to finish second, She was well-clear of the rival closest to her on the pace, and was beaten only by a rival who sat the perfect trip near the pace. If she can slow things down a bit on the lead, she’ll be tough. #1 Justhappy (9/5) has just missed in her last three starts, and might have won last time if she wasn’t blocked in the stretch. She has a big chance but you’ll have to take low odds.
RACE 4: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
#4 Assembly Point (5/1) cruised on the lead to clear his n/w2L condition easily last out. The second and third-place finishers came back to win next out, one at the $16,000 n/w2L level, the other at the $10,000 n/w2L condition. This one should have things his own way on the lead once again. #5 Artistic Reason (9/5) ships from Parx for Jamie Ness, who has been hot lately after starting the meet on a slow note. This one’s going to prompt the pace and try to kick away late. #1 Sheriff Chip (2/1) also won a n/w2L race last out, running a figure of 89 after drawing away following a perfect trip. He might not get a duel to run into again, but if Assembly Point tires, he’ll be the first to take advantage.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W3L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
This looks like strictly a two-horse affair. #1 Fyvie (6/5) makes her first start since November 24, when she won a n/w2L race at Penn National impressively. She’s much lighter-raced than most of her rivals and has good tactical speed. #6 Fearless Lassie (8/5) has competitive figures and will likely set the early pace. She takes a slight drop from the $10,000 n/w3L level, where she battled on the lead and held on for third last out. #7 La Dame (15/1) goes second off the layoff and adds blinkers. She’s chased the pace and held on for a share of the superfecta in each of her last three; expecting a similar result here.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $5,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
#7 Championship Alley (7/2) came from just off the pace last out, in a bit of a change of pace for him, and got up to beat a conditioned field. He’s run at least a 78 in three of his last four starts. #1 My Sacred Place (3/1) overcame a tough trip to win going away last out, his third win in his last four races. He came from a bit further off the pace than usual in that race. Usually, he’s right on the pace. We’ll see what strategy is used here. He has the post position to control the pace. #5 Chrisatude (2/1) goes first off the claim for Jamie Ness, which automatically makes him dangerous. He hasn’t done much against tougher in his last few but should improve with easier waters. Look for him to come from off the pace.
- BackTracks: The kingly Henry of NavarreIn today’s BackTracks, New Jersey-bred Henry of Navarre found Hall of Fame success on the racetrack and later played a more martial role.
RACE 7: CLAIMING $12,500, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#2 Devilish Affair (5/1) has been very consistent over the last several months, having run in the 70s in her last eight starts. She drew off to beat a conditioned field two starts back, and will likely be rolling late. #5 Shackaboom (3/1) has abundant early speed and is a threat to take them gate-to-wire. She was claimed out of her most recent start…on July 16. We’ll see how she does first off the break. He recent works have been very sharp. #7 Joyful Noise (5/1) has been knocking on the door in her last few starts and will sit a great trip just off the leaders.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES 6 FURLONGS
#1 Petion Lass (7/2) has a lot of trouble breaking from the gate, but once she gets herself set, she flies. She was gobbling up ground late in her last start, her first in more than two months. #3 Family Fortune (5/1) has gotten some time off since her most recent race, after making mild ground in that spot. She ran in the 70s consistently last year and will try to recoup that form. #6 Danny Deep Cuts (6/1) won in impressive gate-to-wire fashion two starts back, but was a non-factor last out and was eased. Her recent workout wasn’t that great. Her most recent figures, except for that last start, would win this race, but I’m a bit skeptical.