LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: mar. 13, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $5,003 Super High 5 — $5,066 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
The weather scuttled plans to race yesterday. We’ll see if we can get back on track today. #6 Bellswillberinging (1/1) broke her maiden impressively in gate-to-wire style last out, and now gets a soft spot in her first start against winners. She’s run a brisnet figure of at least 69 in her last three races, giving her a giant edge over her rivals. #4 Totally Perfect (7/2) consistently runs figures just a cut below those of Bellswillberinging, usually earning marks in the mid-60s. She’s started to round into form since missing most of 2021. #1 Areemaa (7/2) was a game second in her last start at this level despite a wide trip and should close well.
RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
#4 Tate (1/1) just missed against better in his last two and has standout figures. He hasn’t run worse than an 83 in his last three starts, a figure no one has matched in any of their last three. #1 Lomaki Force (9/2) made good ground to get third in his local debut and should improve second off the layoff. #2 Trustyourinstinct (5/2) stretches out from six furlongs and has run on well in two starts at this condition.
- Jonathan Thomas hoping for Delight-ful SelimaTrainer Jonathan Thomas is scheduled to send out a pair in Saturday’s Selima Stakes at Laurel Park, including morning line favorite Delight.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#7 Pay the Kid (5/2) ran a career-best mark of 85 last out when he closed for second in his first start at this level. Looks to be rounding into career-best form. #6 Ghost Stalker (7/2) ships up from Tampa Bay Downs. While he’s run good late pace figures, he hasn’t made much headway against the winners of his recent starts. Looks like a good exotics candidate. #4 Whirlin Curlin (4/1) goes third off the layoff and drops in class. He rated off the pace last out and looked promising before flattening out; we’ll see if he can take a step forward here.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $8,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#8 Pascal Chant (9/2) wired a similar field two races back and once again looks like a major pace presence. Carlos Lopez, who rode him in that winning effort, gets back aboard. #6 Commanding General (3/1) made a strong move to get second behind the speedy Fix Me a Sandwich last out, and had a rough trip last out. Faces an easier field here and will be a threat with clear sailing. #3 To the Front (2/1) ships from Charles Town, where he’s been a speed demon in 4 1/2-furlong races. He has a good post position for his style but will likely get pressed on the lead.
RACE 5: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#5 Senson (2/1) showed speed and faded several times as a 2-year-old. She ran a game race in her first start of the season, stalking the pace and running on well to secure second. This’ll be her second start since September 30. #6 If Then (7/2) had some traffic trouble on debut but still closed well for second. Should improve second time out. #3 All Worked Up (4/1) got caught for second late by Senson in her last start, and will once again almost certainly set the early pace.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
#1 Going to the Lead (7/2) has run huge races in his last two races, including a victory over #9 Hunter Joe (5/1) two races ago. Going to the Lead fended them all off in his last start on the front end, and should prove tough on the front end once again. Hunter Joe was more forwardly placed in his most recent race than he had been in other starts, and ran a lifetime-top figure of 96. Could be on the verge of a breakthrough. #3 Swing West (8/1) has good tactical speed and won three in a row earlier in the season, albeit against softer. Should sit the trip and get an exotics spot at a decent price.
- BackTracks: The kingly Henry of NavarreIn today’s BackTracks, New Jersey-bred Henry of Navarre found Hall of Fame success on the racetrack and later played a more martial role.
RACE 7: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#4 Aint Da Beer Cold (3/1) was impressive in victory last out, wiring a Maryland-bred allowance field with a career-best mark of 94. He has a high cruising speed and loads of upside. His main competition for the early lead will come from one spot to his inside, in #3 Boss Logic (7/2). He fought hard on the lead and won against a first-level field two starts back, but folded after facing pressure last out. We’ll see which version of him shows up here. #2 Money Ride (2/1) handled the stretchout around two turns without any problem last out, going gate-to-wire against weaker. He’s not a need-the-lead type, and in fact might be better off rating off the pace.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (OPEN), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
This race is like a mini-Barbara Fritchie of sorts, featuring many top local female sprinters. #5 Princess Kokachin (1/1) bypassed the Fritchie in favor of an allowance spot the next day, where she cruised to a 6 1/2-length win. She’s drawn to the outside, but has a boatload of early speed and should be able to make the front without much trouble. She’s looking to avenge #2 Kaylasaurus (7/5), who has outfinished her in each of their two starts. She had some traffic trouble in the Fritchie and closed for fourth. With a smaller field, she shouldn’t get into as much trouble and will be rolling late. #3 Bunting (15/1) has good tactical speed and a very sharp recent workout under her belt. Should rate off Princess Kokachin and try to make a middle move.
RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/8 MILES
#5 Night Boss (2/1) has been knocking on the door in his last few against similar and is the only one in the field to have run in the 70s in each of his last two starts. It might be a now-or-never moment for him. #1 Baltimore Bulleit (5/2) ran a big race last out, holding on for third despite a wide trip. Gets post relief here. #6 Make the Way Clear (9/5) makes his first start for the Mike Gorham barn and will likely be rolling late.
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