LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: feb. 25, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $14,326 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 4 AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
#7 Ripken (7/2) made his first start in fourteen months at Turfway Park last out against maiden special weight rivals. He had trouble loading, then showed speed and faded late. He ran a respectable brisnet figure of 72 in that spot. With that race under his belt, he should improve here. #6 Image Maker (7/2) has improved sharply in every start, peaking at a 76 last out when he set the pace and held on for second. He has by far the best early pace figures in the race and should be able to control the tempo. #5 Ninetynine Excuses (15/1) is the main pace-setting threat to Image Maker. He set the pace and held on for second last out, now goes third off the layoff and is interesting at a price.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
#1 Golden Grant (8/5) returns to the Anthony Farrior barn, for which she won twice in three starts last fall. Look for her to try to take them gate-to-wire. #3 Miss Moreno (9/2) grinded on in the stretch and got up to win against slightly weaker field last out. Ferris Allen claimed her out of that race, he’s 13% first off the claim. #4 Fudge Cake (7/2) showed speed and dropped back in each of her last two starts at Charles Town, but improved her figure a bit to a 69 in her most recent race. This’ll be her first start beyond seven furlongs.
- Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: May 16Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $40,000, 4 AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
The rainbow pick 6 begins here, with the ever-building jackpot. #5 McQueen’s Bullitt (4/1) shipped up to New York last out for Mike Trombetta, and although he ran a competitive-for-the-level figure of 67, he was visually unimpressive. The 0-for-11 mark is not inspiring but most of those defeats were against fields better than this one. Still, his recent workouts have been good and he has the backclass. His stablemate, #6 What Does It Take (9/2) races for the first time since mid-September. In his lone dirt start last year, he battled gamely in the stretch at Colonial Downs and ran a career-best mark of 74. We’ll see if he needs race first off the layoff. #4 Mailman’s a Flyer (7/5) has burned up a lot of money in his last three starts, but hasn’t run a bad race and drops back in for a tag. Would tread lightly.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
The late pick 5 starts in this race. #1 Pepe and Heywood (4/1) steps back up from the $5,000 n/w2L level, but has speed from the inside and will try to take them as far as he can, as fast as he can. #7 Trigz Too (3/1) double-jumped for his first start against winners, and made a decent move to get fourth. Gets to drop to a more comfortable level as easily the most lightly-raced horse in the field. This is just his fifth career start, and has run at least a 66 in three of his prior four races. #6 Deshackled (9/5) gets some class relief and has been holding on well lately for minor shares, but a 1-for-29 mark makes him hard to endorse at low odds.
RACE 5: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
#1 Owen’s Pleasure (7/5) won here two races back, but went to Parx last out and crushed a similar field with a figure of 92. That’s not the best last-out mark in the race, but she’s shown good tactical speed and an affinity for these kind of distances. #3 Hashtag Lucky (10/1) has the best last-out figure in the race, having earned a 92 in an impressive win against n/w3L types last out. She’s getting a class test here, but is also the fastest one early and will be try to get an easy lead. #6 Awfully Foxy (9/2) won at this level going six furlongs last out and her late pace figures suggest she’ll be able to handle longer distances.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE
#1 Blueberry Indygo (2/1) has run in the mid/upper 70s in each of her last two starts here. Stretches out to a mile but has shown enough late pace that she should be able to hang on. #5 Daily Planet (5/2) drops back to this level from a try against $40,000 foes and looks to rebound to her debut form, which saw her run an 80 against a similar field in mid-December. She finished a clear-cut second in that race; third-place finisher Middle Island came back to win a $10,000 race next out. #7 Fashionista (7/2) has been second twice in a row at this level while getting good setups both times. Should at least hang around for a piece of the exotics.
- 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: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, MD-BRED, 1 1/16 MILES
#5 Acadian Girl (5/1) has won four of her last six in gate-to-wire style, and while she doesn’t have a great post, she has the best early pace figures and should be used aggressively to get to the lead and the rail. If she can’t there, it’ll be because #4 Mit Mazel (8/5), who also has lots of early speed but has run poor figures in her last two starts. If she doesn’t get a clear lead, she doesn’t run her best race, and she’ll have to run her best race to win this one. As long as Angel Cruz knows what’s up, he can try to outrun Acadian Girl and give his filly a maximum chance. #3 Good Measure (2/1) got stuck behind a very slow pace last out but still closed very well, finishing just 1 1/4 lengths behind Mit Mazel. She’ll hope for a more honest pace here.
RACE 8: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS FILLIES, 7 FURLONGS
This is the first leg of the Stronach 5. #4 Kobe’s Girl (5/2) has run a lifetime-top figure in back-to-back starts and recovered from a wide trip to get second last out. The winner of that race, Rubi de Leon, was fourth against winners yesterday. #7 Heliacal Rising (7/5) drops back tot his level after two tries against $25,000 types. She ran a big figure two starts but hasn’t looked like a serious win threat in her last several races. We’ll see if the drop in class helps. #3 Mo Fire (9/2) was second on debut with a good closing bid and looks for improvement after a dull performance last out.