LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: mar. 18, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $768 Super High 5 — $1,734 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
To partially make up for last Saturday’s cancellation, we’ve got 11 big ones on today’s card. The weather looks great, to boot. #6 Mo Fire (5/1) showed speed for the first time last out, and held on to finish a clear-cut second behind odds-on favorite Heliacal Rising. She steps back up in class here but might be able to take early control in a largely paceless contest. #3 Violet Jessop (9/5) has had some wide trips against better in her last few but consistently runs brisnet figures in the mid-60s. This will be her first race since January 21. #5 Watch Your Tone (5/1) was well-bet on debut and lasted for second after setting the pace, outlasting her dueling partner. She’ll be the biggest threat to Mo Fire on the lead.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W3L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#4 Bardolino (8/5) has improved sharply in his last two starts, narrowly missing against a tougher field than this one last out. He’s going to be an attendant on the early pace. #2 Bourbon and Ice (2/1) surged and missed by a neck versus a very tough field at this level two races back. Both the winner and the third-place finisher came back to win next out. This one stepped up to starter allowance company and showed little, although his figure of 74 earned that day is competitive with these. #5 Little Bay (8/1) has great late pace figures and should rally for a piece at a price.
- Mid-Atlantic Three Stars: October 3Your five-minute read to catch up on all the Mid-Atlantic racing action you may have missed over the weekend…
RACE 3: CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
Many horses in this six-horse field have lots of early speed. As such, it’s possible that the early pace will be very fast, which will set it up well for someone coming from off the pace. #6 World of Fools (5/1) sat the trip and drew off to win against gems of a slightly lesser water last out. With all the speed signed on here, he should get another great trip rating just off the leaders on the outside. He matched his lifetime-top brisnet figure of 78 in that race. #1 Big Boy Potts (8/5) is one of those aforementioned speed horses, but he has the best early pace figures and the inside post. If anyone in here manages to get away with a somewhat easy pace, it’s going to be him. #4 Lantau (2/1) drops from the $40,000 level and has run at least a 75 in each of his last three starts.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
#6 Classy Union (9/2) lost all chance at the break on debut, when he was bumped a few strides out of the gate and lost a lot of momentum. He recovered enough to finish fifth, with a decent figure of 65. Should improve here with a cleaner beginning. #7 Garitoff (3/1) got caught wide on the lead last out, but held to run a lifetime-top figure of 73. Staying at six furlongs should help; he struggled when going longer in his first two races. #4 Boss Man J J (7/5) showed speed for the first time last out and loomed a threat on the turn, but flattened out late. He still ran a career-best figure of 71, and he now drops in class and adds blinkers.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#5 Speightster Red (8/5) set a fast pace against better last out, and managed to hold on for second. Should fare better against softer. #2 Rockin Ron (9/2) isn’t fast enough early to be a serious win contender, but he made a decent move last out and got up for second. Hoping he closes for a piece once again. #3 Musty Red (8/1) races second off the layoff and looks for a rebound off a rough trip last out, when he broke awkwardly and couldn’t get to his customary spot near the early pace.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W3L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#8 Sunshinanrainbows (2/1) handily cleared her n/w2L condition last out, running a figure of 75 after sitting the trip. Anthony Farrior claimed her out of that race; he’s been very sharp with his recent claimants at the meet. #2 Birthday Wish (6/1) ran a determined race on the front end last out and just missed. This is just her second start against winners, and while it’s a double jump in class, her figures put her right in the mix with the contenders. #5 Rapidamente (5/2) ran a career-best figure of 78 last out while winning a n/w2L race in style. She has great late pace figures and should rate right off the leaders.
- 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: CLAIMING $8,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
#4 Parched Ghost (7/2) won against similar going a mile two races back, fighting hard on the lead with Congress Hall, who’s also in this race, and ultimately prevailing. Goes first off the claim for Kieron Magee. #3 Nana’s Shoes (3/1) has bounced around the class ladder, most recently turning in a game effort against conditioned types. She doesn’t like winning much but always gets a check. #7 Breviary (7/2) has run in the 70s in her last three starts and cuts back around one turn.
RACE 8: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#4 Summer Odds (6/1) turned in a career-best effort last out, getting up for third despite drifting last out at this level with a career-best mark of 82. She’s shown more of a closing kick in her last few starts and shouldn’t have a trouble with more distance. #3 Closertotheheart (5/1) has run int he upper 70s and low 80s in her last three starts, but has had many chances against similar types and hasn’t yet shown the kick needed to win. A good candidate for underneath spots, and could win if she times her move a bit better. #7 Special Freedom (7/2) ran on well to get second last out against weaker. She was near the pace in that race, a welcome sight after floundering off the pace in her last few before that.
RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
The Stronach 5 begins here. #6 Queen Cadence (7/5) has shown speed and faded in her last few starts, but those races were all against better competition than she’ll see here. This looks like a perfect spot for her. #2 Smart Eulee (3/1) closed well for second on debut and will be able to outkick the others if Queen Cadence runs them off their feet. #1 Cush Effect (6/1) goes first out for Tim Keefe, who is not very good with his debuters. Still, she’s been working well, Jevian Toledo picked up the mount, and it’s not like she has to be a world-beater to be competitive against these.
RACE 10: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
Encore! Encore! #7 Escape Fund (7/5) crushed the field at this level last out, after a wide trip not unlike the one she might get here. She ran a 90 two starts back in victory, which is a bit of an outlier mark from her other races, but even her usual numbers are much better than those of the others. #3 Little Ms Scarlet (6/1) has hit the exacta in her last four starts at Laurel and will likely get a great trip rating off the leaders on the inside. This will be her first start since January 29. #5 Shackaboom (7/2) races third off the layoff and will try to take them gate-to-wire, much like she did last time against arguably a tougher field.
RACE 11: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
This is the fourth leg of the Stronach 5. #6 Class Wizard (9/2) recovered from a tough break to close for fourth in his debut. Drops for the $40,000 level here. #1 Remembering Wilbur (2/1) has been second at this level in his first two starts, making mild stretch bids in each of his races. Could close again but might get overbet. #8 Winston’s Gold (8/1) adds blinkers and looks to rebound after a wide trip.