LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: feb. 18, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $2,701 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
8 races on the program on this General George/Barbara Fritchie eve. All three first-time starters in this field look dangerous. I’ll take a shot with #2 Fuhgeddaboutit (5/2), who debuts for the Jerry Robb/Xavier Perez duo. She’s been working steadily over the past three weeks, including a bullet five-furlong drill on February 6. She looks ready for a big race first time out. #3 Senson (9/2) looks like the most promising of the three horses in the race with experience. She’s shown speed and faded in each of her five starts. Adds lasix for her 3-year-old debut, and her first start since late September. If none of the debuters fire at first asking, she could wire them. #6 Miss Corey (2/1)‘s dam, Irish Connection, has dropped six winners from seven starts. Brittany Russell is always tough with first-timers. Watch the board.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W3L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 1/2 FURLONGS
#4 Al Brown (5/2) dropped to this level for the first time last out, and closed strongly to get second, beaten less than a length. He’s run a brisnet figure of at least 75 in each of his last six races. He cuts back to 6 1/2 furlongs after races at seven furlongs or longer for a while. #3 Run Fast (4/1) improved sharply last out when he hung on for second at Penn National despite a wide trip. Dexter Haddock, who rode him at Parx but usually doesn’t come down this way, is in for the mount. #1 Zorb (9/5) just missed at this level with two big figures last fall, but stopped badly in each of his last two starts. He made his first start off the layoff at Charles Town and was well-beaten. If he recovers his old form, he’ll run this field off their feet, but I’m a bit wary after his last two starts.
- Delaware Park set for 2022 openingDelaware Park will kick off its 2022 meet May 25, and hopes are high for a strong season in Stanton.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
Reminder that, with the shortened card, the rainbow pick 6 begins here. #3 Market of Stocks (5/2) closed stoutly in her debut in November, then returned to the races last month against slightly better. She showed some speed and faded. Drops back to the $25,000 level and should improve with a race under her belt. #5 Sister Supream (3/1) ran a strong figure of 74 on debut, recovering for fourth after dealing with traffic on the turn. I would’ve liked to have seen a workout since her last start, but there’s still a good chance she still improves second out. #6 Boss Angel (4/1) made a mild move to the front in her first race and raced evenly in the stretch, missing second by less than three lengths.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $40,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
The late pick 5 starts in this race. #3 Miss Casey (5/2) ran them off their feet in her debut, winning by 4 3/4 lengths with a figure of 88 while never breaking a sweat. She races for Mike Trombetta for the first time and will try to keep up the momentum. #1 Music Mandate (9/2) is the biggest threat to Miss Casey’s early speed. She went gate-to-wire against winners at Charles Town last out. Her pace figures aren’t as good as Miss Casey’s, but she’ll at least make her work for it. #7 Mama G’s Wish (2/1) is a prime example of the “lightbulb” angle, having won three in a row after starting her career with a bevy of second and third-place finishes. She’s going to press the pace on the outside and hope for a meltdown.
RACE 5: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#7 Military Hop (7/5) has won four of his last five, including an impressive win at this level last out. He got away with easy fractions in that race, but he’s capable of big early pace figures and should be able to clear to the front. #5 Bahama Channel (8/1) has started to round into career-best form and closed well to get second against similar last out. Even if Military Hop runs them off their feet, he should at least rally for a piece of the exotics. #3 Hayne’s Fever (10/1) closed off slow fractions and blew the doors off a conditioned claiming field last out. This is a big class test, but he can at least shake up the exotics at a price.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
#9 Magic in Me (5/1) has matched or surpassed her career-best figure in her last two starts. She made a bold move to the lead three races back and was clear late, but got caught by Shemademelucky, who came back to dominate in a $10,000 claiming race next out. #8 California Belle (7/5) raced against some strong maiden fields last summer, but hasn’t raced since August 13. Catches a pretty easy field for her return but will get overbet for the Robb/Perez duo. #1 Dats a Superstar (8/1) hasn’t been visually impressive in either of two dirt start, but she improved to a 63 last out and races with lasix for the first time.
- The (almost) fabulous fillies of the PreaknessBefore Rachel Alexandra and Swiss Skydiver won the Preakness, these four fillies made a major impact on the Middle Jewel without winning it.
RACE 7: CLAIMING $12,500, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 1/2 FURLONGS
#4 No More Talk (9/2) ran in the 80s consistently going seven furlongs last fall, but raced disastrously when stretched out to a mile last out. Cutting back in distance should hep the cause. #2 Unequivocal (5/2) also cuts back after racing in routes. Unlike No More Talk, however, he’s been racing well at longer distances, including a win against starter allowance types goin 1 1/8 miles three races back. He doesn’t have much early speed, but has a decent enough late pick that he should get a piece of the exotics. #5 Nashvegas (3/1) was the big favorite against slightly better last out, but faded badly without much of a visible excuse. He has a good workout on his lines since then, going four furlongs in 47 1/5 seconds, so he should be able to bounce back. If you still believe, you’ll get a great price.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W3L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
This is the first leg of the Stronach 5. #2 Jack Gave Back (9/5) took advantage of a race that melted down to clear his n/w2L condition last out easily. He’s the only one in the field who hasn’t lost against n/w3L types. Should roll from behind once again. #4 Rippolino (9/2) ran in the 80s four straight times, but raced wide throughout and stopped badly last out. Stays around two turns and should rebound assuming he can save some more ground. #5 Souper Emperor (2/1) goes second off the claim for Mike Trombetta and is a serious front-end threat.