LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: JUNE 26, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $13,088 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
Top choice #1 M’Lady Thatcher (8-5) was best in her last eventful start, finishing first, but was DQed for a foul while running on the backstretch. She bested the others from that contest who are here, and it sure looks like all systems are go today. #5 Ladro Di Fichi (3-1) had a stumbling start that day, and while she was never really a threat to win, she stuck with it to the wire. #3 Texian (5-2) caught as good a group as you could in her first start. Two from that contest won stakes in their next outings, including Echo Zulu, who went on to win the juvenile filly Eclipse. But she was pulled up in her next start September 5 and has been away since. Trainer McGaughey has a fine record — 21% — off long layoffs, and the works look good, But she’ll likely be bet like a good thing, and we’re inclined towards a wait-and-see approach here.
Top choice #10 Never Satisfied (5-1) was banged into soundly twice leaving the gate in his last start at the allowance level and never really factored after that. Today he drops a step into starter company, draws outside where he might have a cleaner trip, and can move forward. #2 Violent Rock (8-1) ran big last time to graduate in his first turf sprint try. Like to see that trainer Norm Cash drops him a claiming tag level for his first try against winners — an appropriate drop that maximizes his chance to make it two straight. Nothing wrong with what #13 Fomo (6-1) did last out when second against similar, but note that pilot Karamanos leaves to ride our top choice.
- Post Time romps to Maryland Juvenile scoreTwo-year-old Post Time continued to impress with a dominant, rallying score in Saturday’s Mayrland Juvenile Championship and may be on to bigger things.
#4 Harper’s Do (5-2) crushed maidens last out to graduate, and trainer Serey is right back at you eight days later at the bottom. #7 Maliceinthepalace (8-1) certainly has some negatives, including a very poor effort last out in her first of the season. But her better efforts put her in the mix here, and at what should be a square price, we’ll give her one more shot. #2 Middle Island (2-1) returns from a four-month layoff here and tackles older runners for the first time while dropping to her lowest level. Trainer Salzman is 2-for-28 off similar layoffs.
#1 Gentleman Joe (5-2) ran a big one last out when second against similar, particularly after being hung out wide on both turns. He made a bold move to the front but couldn’t quite resist the hard-hitting Plot the Dots. He’s drawn inside today — a much better place to be at this 1 1/16-mile trip with its short run to the first turn. #2 Treasure Trove (8-5) got his head kicked in the G3 Pimlico Special last time out, but prior to that he was running good races at this level, including a victory two back. #5 Caribbean (9-2) makes his first start off the claim for trainer Claudio Gonzalez and gets bug boy Barbosa in the irons — the Gonzalez-Barbosa combo is winning at a 38% clip. This one should be in front early and trying to take ’em all the way.
#1 Royne (8-5) has been knocking on the door at this a-other-than level, and the breeding — by Ghostzapper out of a Stormy Atlantic mare — says he should be able to handle the trip. He lost to a $475,000 horse two back, and last out winner Audacious Quality didn’t miss by much in the Find Stakes in his follow-up. Now about that seconditis… #6 Who’s Counting (12-1) arrives off two good tries going 2+ miles over hurdles, so fitness will be no concern. HIs prior flat tries are just middling, but perhaps the distance will be the equalizer… #8 In Effect (5-2) hasn’t done anything wrong to date, but sire Dialed In’s offspring are 0-for-15 at 1 1/4 miles and beyond.
You won’t get 20-1 again this time, but a repeat of her last could make #5 Superiority (7-2) a winner in a group that is anything but superior. Kinda cool: trainer Ricky Sillaman sends out #1 Excusememissmargot (8-1) for her debut outing. The Baltimore Bob filly is a homebred for jockey Lauralea Glaser, who has the mount. Not sure what to expect here from a runner by Baltimore Bob, but it’s the kind of race where a firster could easily prevail. #6 Stopwatchsonny (9-5) cost her owners $110,000 as a two-year-old last year but here makes her debut at the $10,000 level. The works look OK, but that feels like a fire sale.
- High flyer: Tuskegee Airmen’s meaningful connectionWhen owner Chuck Zacney began looking for a name for his Street Sense colt, he remembered a late friend who had been one of the WWII era Tuskegee Airmen.
Sometimes, you just gotta eat the chalk, and this race feels like one of those. #5 Another Woman (7-5) thrashed first-level allowance runners last time at Pimlico in her first start in a year. Not sure that she beat much that day, but she did it like a good thing… #2 Proper Attire (6-1) figures to be pushing it up front. She’s got plenty of early zip, and she’s already won at this level twice… #7 Moody Woman (7-2) didn’t run badly last out in her first try against older runners, and trainer McMullen shifts back to rider Jorge Ruiz today.
It’ll be the first North American start for Irish-bred #5 The Grey Wizard (4-1), who won last out in a 14-horse field going 1 1/4 miles on the synthetic at Dundalk. He makes his first start in Graham Motion’s barn today and gets Lasix and blinkers both added. Motion wins at a 20% clip with horses making their first start in the barn, and you gotta love that this one’s already been tested at a marathon distance. #7 Call Me Plucky (7-2) closed well last time out to win a Maryland-bred allowance, and sire Lookin At Lucky’s offspring win at a solid 14% clip at marathon distances. #3 Consultant (5-1) is a half-brother to a horse who was a good fourth in the 10-furlong, Grade 2 Flower Bowl. He finished third, behind Audacious Quality and Royne, last out.
Trainer Linda Albert won twice on the Saturday card and will be a prohibitive favorite in this spot with #4 Solomon’s Choice (3-5), who’s taking a class drop to a spot at which he should win… Two back #6 Neverfold (15-1) ran a big one when beaten just a length at 40-1 against slightly lesser at Pimlico. A repeat of that makes him a contender here, and we’re not too worried about the poor outing at CT last time; that was his first visit there. #1 Dolice Vita (3-1) has figures that stack up with these but only once has he made much impact on the outcome of the race.