LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: mar. 11, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $2,699 Super High 5 — $673 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
9 races on tap today. Every race that’s run is one race closer to spring. #5 Joyful Noise (5/2) has competed against open claimers for a while, and while she’s run consistently good brisnet figures, she hasn’t been able to break through. She was a marginal contender in most of those spots, now she has a big figure edge over her rivals. Today’s the day. #3 Danny Deep Cuts (5/1) got hung wide on the pace last out and stopped badly, but generally she has more heart on the lead. If she can outrun R True Sensation, drawn a few spots to the outside, and set a comfortable early pace, she could prove tough to catch. #4 Make it a Double (7/2) ships from Charles Town for the dangerous Anthony Farrior/Arnaldo Bocachica combo, and has decent closing speed that can shine brighter here.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 1/16 MILES
Two of the likely favorites in here, #4 Imagine the Mojo (9/2) and #5 Heliacal Rising (6/5), are both coming off maiden claiming wins. While Heliacal Rising has the figure edge, having earned a mark ten points higher than Imagine the Mojo did last out, I’ll still give Imagine the Mojo the nod. She already has a win around two turns, is more lightly-raced, and will almost certainly be the better value of the two. #3 Chica Rabiosa (2/1) goes third off the layoff and is the primary speed threat, but is an unknown in a two-turn route. She did race well going a mile two races back after setting the early pace, which is encouraging.
- Several local runners among Barbara Fritchie nomsThe nominations for the Barbara Fritchie Stakes upcoming at Laurel Park include several local runners, among them last year’s show horse Fille d’Esprit.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
Some poor two-turn tries disguise the fact that #3 Amen Corner (7/2) is in very sharp form right now. He’s run in the 80s in six straight one-turn starts. Most of his rival struggle to run in the 80s even once. He’s also taking a class drop from starter allowance company. #4 Extra Medium (6/1) races first off the claim for Ferris Allen. He had a tough trip in his last start but still made decent ground in the last eighth. He’s had a bit of time off since then and will be rolling with a clean trip. In contrast, #5 Jungle Warrior (5/1) will likely set the early pace. He gets Horacio Karamanos back in the saddle, who won twice with him last year.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
There’s lots of horses in here who don’t like winning. #4 Divine Proportion (5/2) finally broke through to break his maiden last out at Charles Town, battling in the stretch to win as the odds-on choice. He’s run back-to-back lifetime-top dirt figures, running a 68 in each of his last two starts. He’s also never lost against winners, while everyone else in the field has done that at least three times. #1 Triple Americano (10/1) cuts back from a mile and has shown decent late speed in some recent races. Could shake up the exotics at a price. #3 Dejohn (7/5) has shown speed and faded in his last two starts going longer, and should enjoy the cutback in distance.
RACE 5: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#5 Bear Force Won (2/1) ran a huge figure of 104 two back, then made a big move and flattened out last out, with a figure of 90. He has good cruising speed and should pack a punch on the turn. #3 Nashvegas (4/1) stalked the pace and drew off to win impressively in his last start, rebounding nicely from a bad effort two back. Outside of that race, he’s run an 86 in each of his last six races. Should get a similar trip as Bear Force Won. #6 Abuelo Paps (6/1) has improved in his last three starts and races second off the layoff. He’s raced wide in his last two starts and will try to save more ground here.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $40,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
#5 Sea Pines (3/1) bounced back nicely with a stalking win last out, earning a figure of 78. The only horse she’s lost to in a recent one-turn race is stakes-placed Mama G’s Wish, who is currently riding a four-race win streak. #2 I’m Gittin There (4/1) closed for second in a similar spot last out, outfinishing several of her rivals here in the process. She’s sown the ability to show speed or some from behind. #6 Miss Casey (7/2) ran a huge figure of 88 to break her maiden two races back, then made her debut for Mike Trombetta next out. She broke awkwardly but still closed well for fourth. Should improve with a better start.
- Which horses had the best post-CT Classic careers?Art Collector’s win in Saturday’s Grade 1 Pegasus got us wondering: which winners of the Charles Town Classic had the best careers after their Classic win?
RACE 7: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
#1 Stacks of Silver (9/5) made his first start since August last out, and ran a big race. He set the pace going 1 1/16 miles and battled on in the stretch, ultimately finishing second by a neck. Should keep moving forward here. #2 Brindisi (7/2) has chased the pace in his last two starts at Parx with lifetime-top figures in both of those races. I’m not sure if he has the punch to take down Stacks of Silver if that one runs his race, but he should at least hang around for an exotics spot. #4 Codigo (7/2) closed well at Parx last out to get second behind Scaramouche, who won the Rittenhouse Square Stakes on Tuesday. He should enjoy the extra distance.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#3 Outkissed (7/2) won his 3-year-old debut after a great stalking trip. There’s lots of speed in here, so he’ll be in prime position to work out another good setup. #2 Al Loves Josie (7/5) set the pace last out and got caught by multiple stakes-placed Coastal Mission. Here, he’ll likely get a pace challenge from the outside, but if he can outrun everyone early, he’s in good shape. #4 Mr Sandman (5/1)‘s only bad recent race came two starts back when he got caught up in a speed duel. Usually he rates off the pace and pounces. He’s run in the mid-80s in two of his last three starts, and will get another good setup assuming he doesn’t try to run with the early leaders.
RACE 9: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/8 MILES
Today’s finale begins the Stronach 5. #9 Union Leader (4/1) ships in from Golden Gate Fields, where he’s been holding his own against similar types. He overcame a very slow pace to win three races back, and ran a sharp figure of 86 when finishing third after getting honest fractions last out. #3 Ludicrous Mode (6/1) also has no early speed at all. He came from double-digits out of it to hit the exacta two and three starts back, Last out, he was compromised by a bad start and fell too far out of it to seriously contend, but don’t be discouraged by his poor figure: he still made up a ton of ground. #8 Titan’s Will (7/2) went gate-to-wire to win at this level last out, beating three horses he’ll see here. The post isn’t ideal, but without a lot of other controlling speed in here, he should be able to cross and clear.