LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: JUNE 4, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $1,103.31 Super High 5 — $1,743.29 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
#6 Simmardshenanigan (9/5) is a familiar face at this level, having competed at it or similar in her last several races. She ran on well and held second going 1 1/8 miles last out, but looks better suited for a one-turn mile. She’s hit the board in eleven of 20 races at this distance. #2 Got a Good Reason (5/2) raced wide throughout after a poor start in her most recent try and never stood a serious chance. She overcame tough trips to win her prior two against weaker. #3 Miss Moreno (5/2) flattened out after setting the pace around two turns last out, but it looks like she can hold her speed better around one turn.
RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
9-2-1-7 (DIRT: 8-9-10-6)
All three of my top picks exit the same race at this level on May 13. #9 Law of the Land (7/2) is one of several in here with a strong closing kick. He made up tons of ground in the stretch last out to get second, beaten just a length. He adds blinkers and gets a rider switch to Feargal Lynch. In contrast, #2 Patriarch Artie (5/1) is the main speed threat in a field largely devoid of pace-setters. He set the pace and tired to finish third last out, but going second off the layoff should help the cause. #1 H R H Jellybean (5/1) was beaten just two lengths in his last start despite some trouble in the stretch and will also make his second start of the year.
- Jockey Sheldon Russell “really close” to return to racesJockey Sheldon Russell, out with injuries for the last nine months, is “really close” to returning to the races, his agent said.
RACE 3: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 7 FURLONGS
#1 California Belle (9/5) was bet off the board in her last start, going off as the 2/5 favorite. She led most of the way in the 1 1/16-mile contest, but got caught late as Wet My Beak pulled the upset. Now, California Belle drops into a similar field and cuts back around one turn again, where she may be better-suited. #2 Gustav’s Girl (2/1) ran a brisnet figure of 75 in her first two starts and drops out of a try against winners last out where she had some traffic. She’ll rate off the pace and try to make a big late rally. #3 M’Lady Thatcher (3/1) recovered from a poor start to get second over a very wet track last out, and has worked well since then for Lacey Gaudet.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
8-5-4-1 (DIRT: 8-9-4-1)
#8 Rad Paisley (5/2) competed against starter optional claiming types in his first grass race of the year, and fought on well after setting the early pace to lose by only two lengths. He was outclassed in the King Leatherbury Stakes next out, and had his next two starts washed off the lawn. He’s taking a drop in class here and will be tough if he finds his form from that mid-April contest. #5 Bloodprof (5/1) exits that same race, and made a promising wide move before flattening out. Should improve in his second grass race of the year. #4 Bourbon and Ice (6/1) has run solid upper-70s figures in his recent grass tries and should sit a good mid-pack trip.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
Lots of horses in here have an excessive amount of experience. #2 Amicalola Falls (6/1) has raced just six times, giving him an edge over his rivals in my book. He broke his maiden with an impressive figure of 76 three starts back, and chased the pace to get second in his first start at this level. He’s dropping back to this level after a dull try against better. #7 Yo Nessroundonkern (2/1) ran in the 80s consistently earlier in the year, but has declined suddenly in his last few races. He’s taking a big drop from the n/w1x allowance level against 3-year-olds. He might still have enough left in the tank to beat these, but he’s likely to be overbet. #8 Dejohn (7/2) steadily runs in the 70s and will try to clear tot eh lead from the outside post.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE (GRASS)
7-8-10-9 (DIRT: 4-5-12-8)
#7 Royne (2/1) improved dramatically to an 89 in his second start off the layoff last out against better n/w1x horses, just missing with a rail rally. He’ll get a great trip rating just off the leaders and should be poised to pounce. #8 Cosmicality (5/1) almost wired the field in his last start and should be able to get things his own way in a race without much early speed. #10 Consultant (4/1) crushed the field to break his maiden last out and should improve first time against winners for Mike Trombetta and Victor Carrasco.
- BackTracks: Challedon, dominant in Maryland & beyondIn today’s BackTracks, Maryland-bred Challedon became the first two-time horse of the year after dominating 1939 and 1940.
RACE 7: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
A great field has been assembled for today’s feature. For a second at the top of the stretch of the Pimlico Special, it looked like #4 Workin a Dream (3/1) might pull the upset. He rated just off the pace and made a move after the leaders, but flattened out late and got fourth. Prior to that, he had run in the 90s, including one triple-digit figure, consistently over the last several months. He’ll sit near the pace and should be able to kick away from these. #7 Olliemyboy (5/2) couldn’t catch up to graded stakes winner Caddo River last out, in his first start off the layoff, but still ran a promising figure of 94. This’ll be his first start for the Brittany Russell barn. #5 Gentleman Joe (5/1) races first off the claim for Norman Cash. He chased front-running Benandjoe last out over a speed-favoring Preakness day track, but had no shot to catch him the way the track was playing. Over a more fair surface, he’ll have a better chance.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
8-4-1-9 (GRASS: 7-3-2-5)
#8 Polished Gal (5/1) has been ready to race for a few weeks now, but circumstances have prevented her from racing. She capped her grass season with two wins in a row on the grass, and will make her first start since mid-December. She’s proven over this track and will make up a lot of ground in the stretch. #4 Ellanation (5/1) has also been ready to run but hasn’t raced since mid-October. She closed well in her last few starts against these types last year. #1 Epic Idea (6/1) returned off the bench in The Very One Stakes last out and closed well in the last eighth. She has the potential to rally for a piece at a decent price.
RACE 9: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
#2 What Does It Take (9/5) has improved dramatically in his last three starts, winning three in a row while never running worse than an 84. He likes to sit just off the pace and draw off in the stretch. He’s getting a class test here, as is #7 Krachenwagen (2/1) who ran in the 90s in his last two starts. He crushed a soft field two starts back, then fought gamely on the lead last out and lost to It’s Game Time and Titan’s Will. He’ll be tough if he can clear to the lead. #3 Buff Hello (6/1), last year’s Maryland Million Nursery champion, jumped into tough waters first off the layoff in the Long Branch Stakes. He showed speed and flattened out on the final turn. This is still a tough task but he should improve second off the layoff.
RACE 10: MIADEN CLAIMING $40,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
6-7-8-4 (DIRT: 4-9-3-8)
#6 A Lot Like Xmas (8/1) ran a respectable 63 in a third-place finish at this level last out, his first race since last year’s Colonial Downs meet. He made a lot of ground in the last sixteenth despite getting blocked. #7 Father Red (7/2) showed speed going a mile on debut at Aqueduct and faded. A drop in class and a cutback in distance should help. #8 The Last Scip (6/1) just missed at this level in his lone grass start after sitting just off the pace. He was on the lead last out in a dirt race and backed up badly. He’ll try to get to the front unchallenged here.