LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: mar. 5, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $689 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
It’s a giant day of racing at other Stronach properties, but Laurel’s got a 9-race card of their own today, and it starts with an exciting starter optional claiming affair. Brittany Russell doesn’t claim too many horses, but she took #6 Stroll Smokin (2/1) for $16,000 out of his last start, in which he set a fast pace and battled gamely in the stretch. He has tons of early speed and has demonstrated before that an outside post is not a deterrent for him. Jamie Ness has a pair in here; I’ll give the edge to #1 Seanow (9/5), who has improved dramatically with every start since returning from a layoff in early November. He ran a brisnet figure of 96 in a gate-to-wire win at this level last out. #2 John’s Promise (4/1) races second off the layoff and has good tactical speed. He raced wide throughout last out and flattened out. Should get a better trip here.
RACE 2: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
#6 Military Hop (8/5) went off as the odds-on choice at this level going two turns last out, but raced wide early on and lost all chance. He now cuts back to seven furlongs and should run a much-improved race. The last race might scare away some customers, but he’ll still go off as the favorite. #2 Revolutionary Road (4/1) ran a big race to go gate-to-wire two starts back, and faded when wide at this level last out. He might be better off rating just off the lead while trying to save as much ground as he can. #9 Cooke Brothers (12/1) is stepping up in class but has great late pace figures and will take full advantage if things get heated on the front end.
- 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: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE
#4 Party Monster (7/2) made decent ground to get second in a much-improved effort last out. Cuts back around one turn and stays at this level. #5 Dial Me Maybe (2/1) has burned a lot of money lately but has run at least a 64 in four consecutive races. This may finally be a field that she can beat. #2 Keen Machine (5/2) has no early speed whatsoever but closed from way out of it to lose a photo to second to Party Monster last out. Can be a threat if she’s in the same zip code as the early leaders.
RACE 4: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
It’s another coupled Jamie Ness entry where both halves look strong! #1A Bouncing Around (7/2) closed sharply last out to get second at Parx last out. His only bad recent race came when he broke awkwardly at Penn National and could not settle into stride. #6 Rough Sea (5/1) was the favorite at this level in his most recent start, but flattened out and ran his lowest figure in months. His other recent numbers make him a serious contender. The price is right if you still believe. #7 Ludicrous Mode (9/2) had no chance to catch gate-to-wire winner Aint Da Beer Cold in his last race but rolled by the others to finish second. He’s got a strong kick but will need an honest pace.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
It took twelve tries, but #3 Magic in Me (5/2) finally broke through for her maiden win last out, running a career-best mark for a third race in a row in a front-running performance. Should be able to stalk the pace and pounce. #6 No More Mask (5/2) won at this level last out and showed that an outside draw is no problem for her. #1 Kymmies Chardonnay (4/1) has blazing early speed from the rial and will try to go as fast as she can, as far as she can.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#1 Response Time (8/5) has won her last two starts in impressive style, with back-to-back figures of 87 and 88. Six furlongs appears to be her best distance. #2 Behind the Couch (3/1) has consistently decent figures but might need to improve a few points to compete with Response Time if that one runs to form. #5 Tritone Gal (6/1) closed well for third behind Behind the Couch in her first start off a long layoff last out. She also needs to improve a few points but the price will be right.
- 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 $16,000 (N/W2L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
The lightbulb has gone on lately for #2 Birthday Wish (7/2). She broke her maiden at seventh asking two races back, and lost a win photo after a big front-running effort last out. She jumps in class first off the claim but will be tough on the front end. #1 Special Freedom (9/2) made decent ground with an improved figure of 67 last out, and should once again close for a piece. #5 Lightfoot Miss (5/2) impressively broke her maiden at Charles Town last out, but hasn’t been seen since last April.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#1 Proper Attire (8/5) hasn’t trailed in her two starts for the Jamie Ness barn, including a victory at this level last out. Her figures aren’t super-impressive, but this is also not a tough field for the level. #2 Finding Fame (7/5) ran in the upper 80s and low 90s consistently last year, but hasn’t raced since a dull showing at Colonial Downs last August. This is also her first start for Mike Trombetta. She’s had five workouts since returning to the tab in mid-January. She has lots of potential but might need a race. #3 Juror Number Four (7/2) just missed third against a much better n/w2x field last out. The last time she faced a field of this quality, she crushed a Maryland-bred allowance field in early November.
RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
#2 Brettmeister (5/2) hung around near the pace and closed for second behind New York invader Illustrious last out. He ran far and away a career-best mark with an 81. #4 Phra Phrom (8/1) exits the same race as Brettmeister. He dueled with Illustrious and held on well for third. That was the first time he showed early speed and lasted. #5 Principality (2/1) ships down from New York for George Weaver off back-to-back lifetime tops of 62. He had no hope of catching the leaders last out but churned on well in the stretch.