LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: APR. 24, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $8,594 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE
Eight races wrap up the racing week. #3 Surya (2/1) ran impressively on debut, coming from far out of it to duel in the stretch and lose by a head. She adds lasix for her first start since November 14, and should be primed for a big one despite the long layoff. #6 Glowsity (5/2) improved her brisnet figure eleven points, up to a 75, in her second career start last out and looks like she’ll enjoy more distance. #2 Elke Lodge (3/1) has worked well for Ben Perkins in preparation for this spot, including a one mile workout twelve days ago.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#1 Strike Magic (5/2) improved dramatically in her second start for Lacey Gaudet last out, going gate-to-wire despite not changing leads. She didn’t change leads two races back, either, so while she’s speedy, it remains to be seen how that will play against better. #5 Princess Corey (9/5) consistently ran in the upper 70s and low 80s last year but has raced just once in the past 360 days. She has great tactical speed and a lot of upside, but I’m treading a bit cautiously. #2 Likely Choice (3/1) is also coming off a layoff; she hasn’t raced since mid-November. She was a solid third against better last out and looks to have found a perfect spot for herself.
- 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: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/8 MILES (GRASS)
The rainbow pick 6 starts here. #3 Battalion (4/1) ran some big figures last winter at Gulfstream Park and showed some signs of life on dirt at Aqueduct this winter. He was claimed for $40,000 out of his last start by Bob Klesaris, given about ten weeks off, and now returns to his preferred surface against a friendly field. At the least, his recent races give him an advantage over most of these. #7 Mokheef (5/1) makes his seasonal bow in here, having not raced since last October 22. He’s proven over the track and has consistently competitive figures. Last year, he made his first start off a similar break on Preakness weekend, and won with a figure of 95. #11 Small Hope (6/1) won against similar at Tampa Bay Downs in late December and drops in class from a starter handicap. He’s the only one in the field who has raced on the lawn this year.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
This race begins the late pick 5. #5 Cabra Chica (7/2) stepped up big time last out to beat a $16,000 field gate-to-wire. Her figure of 84 is far and away a career-best mark. I don’t know if she can duplicate it, considering how much of an outlier it is, but you’re probably going to get the right price on her. #1 Sweet Talia (8/1) showed little after racing wide last out, but closed well for second in the race prior. She’s another one who looks like a good value play. #6 Joe Mike Jim (3/1) was outclassed against better in her last few, but was impressive in breaking her maiden a few starts back and might find these more to her liking.
RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
#1 Dolice Vita (7/2) ran a big race in his first start off the bench last out, recovering from a slow break to show speed and hang around late. Jaime Rodriguez gets the mount for the first time. #4 Stimulus Maker (7/2) showed speed and faded going a mile in his last two starts. His best two races have been at six furlongs. While this might still be a bit too far for him, it should be at least a little more amenable than last time. #8 Playing Gold (9/2) closed well for second in his first start at this condition last out and might be at home against these types.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#6 Kymmies Chardonnay (8/5) was flat after a wide trip at Charles Town last out, but should find these confines friendlier. She opened up long leads and tired against better in her prior Laurel races. She’ll almost certainly be able to get a clear lead here, and we’ll see how long she can last on the front end. #8 Mo Fire (3/1) drops in class and has shown a decent closing kick in some of her starts. Has some upside and might go unnoticed at the windows. #2 Shiny Penny (2/1) has been based at Charles Town and now ships here for the first time. She sat the trip and drew off there last time out, and will likely take advantage if Kymmies Charddonay stops.
- 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), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
#8 Get Serious (3/1), who shares her name with a venerable mid-Atlantic grass veteran of the late 2000s and early 2010s, made her grass debut a winning one at Tampa Bay Downs last out. She got a good trip rating off the pace and just got up, winning with a figure of 88. She’s lightly-raced and has a lot of upside. She’s also the only one in the field who has not lost against winners. #6 Belle Belisa (6/1) had a lousy winter at Turfway Park, but showed some promise last year on the grass in the mid-Atlantic, with consistent figures in the upper 70s and low 80s. Michael Dickinson should have her primed for this spot. #10 Gennie Highway (5/1) makes her first start for the Dale Capuano barn. She hit the board in all three of her starts at Tampa Bay, but didn’t show the closing kick needed to win any of them. Should close for a piece here.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
#6 Illustrious (3/1) cleared to the front from post seven last out, and while he couldn’t hold on to the lead, he sustained second. Will try to clear to the front again here. He’s shown the ability to take them all the way around before, such as two races back, when he ran an 85 in a sharp gate-to-wire score. #1 Knowhowiknow (8/5) won at this level two starts back and will get a great trip stalking the pace on the inside. The biggest threat to Illustrious’s front-running dreams will be #5 Gunhand (3/1), who runs in the 70s pretty regularly but does not fare well with pace pressure.