LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: JUNE 17, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $4,040 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $9,275
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
Nine races on the card as we start a new racing week. #3 Some is Nine (9/2) broke her maiden in an impressive gate-to-wire effort last out, running a career-top brisnet figure of 71. In fact, she’s run a 67 or better in each of her last three starts, which matches her lifetime top from prior to mid-April. Look for her to go unchallenged on the early lead. #5 Martharita (3/1) cuts back from a mile. She ran her two best figures while sprinting and should fit in well at this distance. She was a bit closer to the pace than usual last out and will be better off coming from the back of the pack. #6 Emma Devine (5/1) has raced just five times and drops to this level for the first time. She made mild ground for fourth last out, but showed lots of promise early in the lead.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
4-9-5-1 (DIRT: 4-3-7-8)
#4 Prairie (9/5) ran in the upper-70s and 80s consistently last year and earlier this winter. He was claimed out of a race at Fair Grounds in March by Anthony Farrior, who campaigned him at Charles Town without much success. He switches back to grass here and will handily beat these if he gets back to his midwestern form. #9 Seville Row (4/1) made a promising move but flattened to second in his first start of the year last out. He went off as the slight favorite at this level in that race; the price today will likely be better if you still believe. He consistently runs in the mid/upper-70s. #5 High Point (5/1) ran a career-best grass race last out after setting the early pace and will likely be forwardly placed again.
- 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 CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
Two of my picks in here exit the same race on May 26. #1 Lookin Spunky (7/2) improved sixteen points from her debut to get second, closing well to finish behind next-out winner Swayin To and Fro. #6 Doomscroller (5/1) was the heavy favorite in that race, but was no match and finished third. This’ll be her first start off the claim by Marilyn McMullen and her third race off the break, but I’m a bit wary. You’re likely to get a better price today, at least. #4 Automated Teller (6/1) made mild ground to get third in her 3-year-old debut at Penn National last out. She consistently ran in the mid-60s last year and will be a contender if she returns to that form.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
3-2-10-12 (DIRT: 11-9-10-12)
#3 Brevard Place (12/1) comes in here with interesting form. He hasn’t raced in a flat race since September 2019, but returned to the races with a pair of recent steeplechase efforts. He fell in his first jump try, but bounced back one week later with a sharp 4 1/4-length victory. In a race where no one has overly impressive recent form, he has to be considered. #2 Atreyu (6/1) was tailing off towards the end of the Tampa Bay Downs season, but he’s had some time off since his last race in late January. He ran a career-best figure of 88 on this track last fall and will be rolling late. #10 Captain Thunder (6/1) makes his first start for Mike Trombetta and was in improving form towards the end of the Delaware Park season last year. He didn’t quite show the same aptitude over the winter on the Gulfstream Park Tapeta, but should rebound with the surface switch.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $5,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
The late pick 5, with a nice carryover of just over $9,000, begins here. #8 Shanghai Candy (15/1) is the only one in here who has not lost against winners. He came from off the pace to win against weaker at Charles Town last out, with far and away a career-best figure of 71. He was well-beaten in his prior two starts, which is a bit concerning, but he is coming off a win and should go off at a decent price. #9 Rebel Victory (10/1) set the pace and stopped badly last out, but ran in the 70s consistently prior to that and drops to this level for the first time. He was done in by a wide trip in that race and hopes to save more ground here. #4 Aftermath (4/1) broke his maiden in his ninth try in his last dirt start, with a career-best figure of 82. He struggled on grass last out but should improve with the surface switch.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $25,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
5-4-9-13 (DIRT: 4-1-5-9)
#5 Fashionista (9/2) made her grass debut last out, and rallied well in the stretch to get third with a figure of 67. That puts her squarely in the mix with the other contenders in this race. She also has great late pace figures. #4 Winked (3/1) exits the same race. She set the pace and held on for second, just holding off the late rally of Fashionista. She’ll likely show speed again second off the bench. #9 Walks Like a Lady (7/2) takes a drop in class for her first outing since last September at Gulfstream Park. She’ll also be near the pace and gets Jevian Toledo aboard.
- 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: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
#7 Frightland (6/5) looked like much the best on paper in his last start, but had a tough trip and crossed the wire third at 1/5. Usually, the $40,000 maiden claimers are similar in quality to maiden special weights, but that was an exceptionally light group he faced. Still, his figures in this field are competitive and it’s hard to imagine he’ll get into as much trouble as last time. #1 Grand Manner (6/1) ran an impressive figure of 75 in his debut, but declined when he switched to a grass route last out. He’s shown speed and come from behind so far in his career. #6 Covert Kat (5/2) was a solid-closing second on debut at Monmouth Park for Mike Trombetta, who does much better with second-time starters.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
3-5-7-9 (DIRT: 15-2-3-10)
#3 Whenigetoheaven (6/1) was scratched out of an open n/w1x race last week, and now finds a softer field this week. He broke his maiden in his grass debut last out with an impressive figure of 85, and is a serious threat to take them gate-to-wire. #5 Prince Pere (6/1) ran a 79 in his last two races, and it looks like he’s rounding back into peak form. He’ll take advantage if Whenigetoheaven falters on the lead. #7 Grand Skylark (10/1) tries the boys in here after a fourth-place finish in her first start off the layoff last out. She’s run in the 80s in the past, including last out, and could surprise at a decent number.
RACE 9: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#6 The Cairo Kid (8/5) has set the pace and gotten caught four times in a row. He consistently runs the fastest figures in the field and should be able to clear to the lead. #5 Silent Service (5/2) gets class relief after two dull tries in a row and impressively won at the n/w2L level three races ago. #1 Divine Proportion (10/1) has finished first or second in his last five starts and came form well out of it to win a n/w2L race last out. He’s run in the 70s three of his last four races.