LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: May 6, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $2,592 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
This race, along with three others, was originally scheduled for the grass. However, a very wet forecast leaves me handicapping it for dirt. #2 Balistico (4/1) showed good speed in two Tapeta starts over the winter at Gulfstream Park, including a gutsy effort last out where he kicked away from his dueling partner only to get caught by the closers in the last few strides. He’ll have prime position with speed on the rail. #9 Big Tall Dawg (7/2) closed well when clear in his last start at the level, and consistently runs brisnet figures in the 80s and upper 70s. Jaime Rodriguez gets the mount for the first time. #4 Extra Medium (5/1) struggled in his first two starts of the year, but flew from way out of it to get second in his last start. Should be a threat if he isn’t so lethargic this time.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $10,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/8 MILES
#4 Brettmeister (5/2) was beaten double-digit lengths in his first two starts, but stepped up to an 81 last out in a second-place effort. He’ll try to keep it going in his first start around two turns. #1 Aftermath (9/2) has plenty of two-turn experience both here and at Turfway Park. He pretty consistently runs in the mid-60s. That’ll be good enough to win this if Brettmeister doesn’t fire. #5 Roll Me Over (9/2) showed little in his first two-turn outing, but was in good form in sprints earlier in his career. We’ll see if that performance was just a fluke or if he genuinely can’t handle two turns. Adds blinkers here.
- Howgreatisnate cruises in Future StarsHowgreatisnate took his show on the road for the first time to win the Future Stars at Parx Racing and run his record to 4-for-4.
RACE 3: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#12 Rahmer (3/1) got a great trip and drew off to win at this level last out. He’s improved in his last three starts and has a good recent workout for his first start since March 19. #10 He’s Orientate (9/2) has pretty up-and-down form but is very tough when he’s on. He ran a 91 at this level back in November, then was a flat fifth in his most recent dirt start. Should rate just off the pace and try to pounce. #7 Heartness (3/1) has faced some decent 3-year-olds in his last few starts and now takes a big cutback in distance for the Ness/Rodriguez combo. He’s been flat going longer so the shorter distance can’t hurt, at least.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#1 Divine Proportion (2/1) has run his two best dirt figures in his last two starts, both of which came at this condition. He made a premature move two back and got caught late, then was spun wide last out. Hopes to work out a better journey from the rail. #2 Red Mesa (5/2) has lots of early speed but has stopped late in his last few starts. He looks to get back to his debut form, when he battled on the lead throughout and held on for a half-length win. #5 Dontforgettoblink (3/1) makes his first start for a tag this low. He closed for fifth after dropping way out of it, and should get up for a piece here.
RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $16,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#6 Vanhoofer (8/5) has hit the board in three starts in a row at the $25,000 level but was flat last out when racing in the mud. He’s almost certainly gonna get a wet track again, but this field is soft enough that he can still win even if he duplicates that 66, which is a few points below his par. #2 Howard’s Rock (9/5) won the battle but lost the war last out. He got caught up in a speed duel, finished more than five lengths clear of his rival, and ended up second behind a closer. Looks ready to run another big race. #5 Glastonbury (10/1) got bet against better on debut and made up some mild ground in the stretch. Should improve second-time out.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
As if Jerry Robb couldn’t be any more loaded with top female sprinters, he claimed #12 Proper Attire (8/5) out of her last start, a dominant 6 1/4-length win. She hasn’t trailed at any point in her last three races at six furlongs or shorter. Should have no trouble with these despite the tough draw. #5 Olive Kat (6/1) has good tactical speed and while she’s raced well on dirt, she hasn’t been able to break through for a win recently. She sat the trip in her last dirt start, which also came over a very wet surface on January 2, and got up for second. I don’t think she can outkick Proper Attire but she could get clear of the rest. #11 Jades Gelly (12/1) makes her first start for Jamie Ness after spending the winter in Texas. She handily won a first-level race last out with a stalking trip and will be in a prime spot here as well. She’ll likely duel with Olive Kat for second.
- For Jessica Paquette, “fun… and a huge learning curve”In the face of criticism, new Parx Racing announcer Jessica Paquette is working to improve her call – and tune out negative social media chatter.
RACE 7: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#2 Looking for Water (9/2) closed well in her last start, rallying for third with a career-best figure of 70. However, you have to wonder if six furlongs is too short for her. Still worth a look in here. #4 Silver’s Girl (7/2) recovered nicely from a bad start to just miss in her last start. She’s usually on the lead in the early stages, and will need to break cleanly to run her best race. #7 Spunky Zoey (3/1) has never been worse than third in four career starts at Penn National, and goes first off a three-month break here. She’ll show speed and likely press Silver’s Girl from the outside.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#2 Halo City (10/1) finished a sharp third in her first start off a four-month break last out at Aqueduct. This’ll be her local debut. Look for her to fly late at a good number. #6 Fraudulent Charge (3/1) has been a non-factor in two starts this year, but showed plenty of promise last year. She finished second in stakes company three times last year, including a dominant 5 1/2-length victory against first-level types to conclude her season. She’ll try to put it all together here. #4 Juror Number Four (3/1) overcame trouble to lead in the stretch of her last start but was caught late. She has plenty of upside.
RACE 9: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#2 Patria (9/2) took a big step forward second time out, when she set the pace and got caught late. She ran a 75 in that race, up more than thirty points from her debut. #4 Aioli (9/2) goes first out for Godolphin and MIke Stidham, and is a half-sister to grade 1 winner Secret Spice. Her most recent workout at Fair Hill was impressive. #1 M’Lady Thatcher (5/1) was entered as a main-track only for her debut by Lacey Gaudet, a sign she thinks this filly is better suited for dirt. Has been working consistently since early March for this spot.