LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: feb. 24, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $12,363 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1:CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
We’ve got eight races on the final Thursday of the winter meet. The lightbulb has gone on for #5 Hit a Homer Honey (7/2) as of late; she’s won twice in her last three starts. She made a determined run to get up against similar last out. Jamie Ness has been on fire as of late. #6 Queen Cashmere (8/5), although locally based, shipped up to Aqueduct last out and faded after a wide trip. That was during a period where the rail was especially favorable at Aqueduct. Adds blinkers and gets to race on a fairer surface, as far as we know. #4 Rubi de Leon (7/2) sat the trip and drew off to break her maiden impressively last out, with a career-best brisnet figure of 72. The Jerry Robb/Xavier Perez duo was dominant last week.
RACE 2: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE
#1 Queen Cadence (9/2) almost went gate-to-wire last out, leading for a long way before getting caught by her stablemate. The third-place finisher in that race, Justhappy, came back to beat a maiden claiming field at Parx next out. This one should prove tough on the lead once again. #2 Candy Light (9/5) makes her 3-year-old debut in this spot for Graham Motion, and gets to add lasix as such. She surged and just missed against similar last out; we’ll see how she does first off the bench. #6 Doomscroller (5/1) came from way out of it to get fourth on debut. Stretches out from six furlongs and steps up from the $40,000 level into a legit maiden special weight field. We’ll see if she improves with more distance.
- Delaware Park: Stakes-quality allowance featuredDelaware Park kicks off its 2022 meet with an interesting eight-race card that features a stakes-quality allowance and maiden event on the turf.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
Reminder that, with the shortened card, the rainbow pick 6 begins here. #4 Jungle Warrior (3/1) makes his third start back off a layoff of almost a year. He got off to a rough start last out and wasn’t able to get to his usual position near the front, but still made decent ground late. He ran figures in the 80s consistently before going on the bench. If he’s ever going to recover that form, it’s probably going to happen in this race. #8 Tappin for Glory (5/1) was no match for Hayne’s Fever last out. While that rival got to sit right off a very slow pace, Tappin for Glory came from four lengths behind him, and as such was at a severe pace disadvantage. In spite of that, he outkicked the others and finished second. He’ll hope to avoid similar issues here. The drop in class paid off for #2 Pay the Kid (5/2) last out, as he came from way behind to win going away in a big bounce-back effort. He consistently runs in the 70s and should keep improving third off the claim for Rodolfo Sanchez-Solomon.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
The late pick 5 starts in this race. #2 Senator Kelly (5/2) has run in the 70s in each of his two starts. On debut, he closed well in the stretch; last out, he broke awkwardly and made only mild ground. We’ll see how he does stretching out to a mile and adding blinkers. #3 Night Boss (5/1) showed a new dimension last out, when he made an early move to the lead and opened up a big advantage before getting caught. He ran a career-top dirt figure of 70 in that race. Will be a threat if he can time his move a bit better. #8 Baltimore Bulleiit (9/2) doesn’t have much early speed and has had mixed results with his dramatic style. He’s run in the 70s in three of his last four starts and stretches back out to a mile.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
#7 Albertano (4/1) is the only one in the race who hasn’t lost multiple times against winners. He made a big move to break his maiden going away last out, with a career-best figure of 75. He’ll stay at the one-turn a mile, a distance that he should keep thriving at. #8 ice Rain (5/2) switches to the Hugh McMahon barn and continues t drop in class. He stopped badly around 1 1/16 miles last out, now gets to cut back in distance. He ran in the 70s consistently last year but his form has started to tail off a bit lately. His recent figures are still better than most of these, but would tread lightly at low odds. #3 Dejohn (7/2) set the pace and gave way last out, but held on to finish a clear-cut second. Without much speed in here, he should be able to get the trip he wants.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
Four of these are coming out of a race at this condition on January 30. The third-place finisher in that race, #3 Heidi T (6/1), showed speed in that race and ended up improving eleven points form her first start off the layoff, to a 67. Her main challenge on the lead in this race will come from her inside, in the form of #1 Illusion of Hope (8/1). She pressed Heidi T on the outside last out and held on for second. She was dismal on debut, which might spook bettors afraid that was a fluke, but she’s going to have the rial advantage this time, at least. #6 Magic in Me (7/5) has hit the board consistently against these types and has improved her figure in four straight starts, but is likely to be overbet.
- 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, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#1 R Averie Lynn (3/1) has hit the board in her last six starts and has speed from the inside. She’ll likely get some pace challenges from the outside, but she’ll at least be able to control the tempo on the rail. #3 Maureenlovesfrank (5/2) goes first off the claim for Anthony Farrior and gets Arnaldo Bocachica in the saddle. That move has been money lately. She’s had trouble finishing lately, but the drop in class and the barn change should help. #5 Joyful Noise (5/1) almost chased down front-running favorite Calypso Ghost last out, but ended up second by a nose. She’s been very competitive against these types but has struggled to break through.
RACE 8: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
This looks like a two-horse race on paper. #3 Biscotto d’Oro (6/5) has the best last-out figure in the field by almost twenty points, earned when he made a big move to the front from off the pace but could not sustain it. #4 Illustrious (9/5) has been near the pace and faded in his last few starts,, while running respectable upper 50s/low 60s numbers. Gets a barn switch to Anthony Farrior and will be the main factor on the early pace. #8 Amicalola Falls (12/1) improved dramatically second time out, recovering from a bad start to get third. He was compromised on debut by a bad break. Interested to see how he handles the distance increase.