LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: JULY 1, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $15,223 Super High 5 — $0 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 1/16 MILES
Time to begin a new racing month! #4 Simmard Shenanigan (5-2) has been very consistent against similar and has run on well to get second in each of her last two starts. Jean Alvelo gets back in the saddle after a race out. #2 Hello Rosie Say (5-2) showed little in her first start off the layoff at Delaware Park last out, but was competitive against better at Tampa Bay Downs over the winter and should rebound here. #5 Ravenel (2-1) is the question mark of the field. She’s stretching out from six furlongs but had a tough trip last out and has been facing better in her recent starts. She’s competitive if she runs her race, but it’s hard to swallow a low price. Bryson Butterfly is back from a trip to Arizona Downs last weekend, and has the mount on this one. He’s named on four today, one on Saturday, and is back to Arizona on Monday.
RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $30,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#4 Polished Gal (3-1) finally made her 2022 debut last out after two attempts to get in were thwarted. She faced a n/w2x allowance field and made a mild run to get fourth, with a brisnet figure of 83. She ran in the 80s pretty consistently last year, and that performance likely wins this race. #3 Bath and Tennis (8-1) goes third off the layoff and narrowly missed against similar in her last start. She improved to a 78 last out and looks like the value play of the race. #2 I Love You (7-2) made a gigantic rally to win a n/w1x race going away last out, but hasn’t raced since last October. This might be merely a tune-up race for a longer spot down the road.
- 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: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W3L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#7 Targe (5-2) went gate-to-wire to win at Charles Town in an impressive bounce-back performance. She’s likely to set the pace here. Reshawn Latchman comes in to ride this horse for Anthony Farrior. It’s his only mount of the day. #5 Special Freedom (3-1) sat the trip and crushed a n/w2L field last out. After declining for a few races, she ran a 77 in that big win, right in line what she had been running earlier in the year. #2 Dial Emma Reilly (6-1) closed well for third last out and hopes to be closer to the pace than last time. She’s been close against similar this year.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 5 FURLONGS
#7 Country Charlie (7-2) went off as the favorite in his first start for the tag last out, and held on for second with an improved figure of 65. He’s the most experienced horse in the race and should keep moving forward. Regardless of the outcome of this race, the big story will be the return of Sheldon Russell. He’s got the mount on #2 Heldish (5-2), a $40,000 Fasig-Tipton purchase making his career debut for Brittany Russell. This colt has had some decent workouts and will likely be primed for a big effort. It’s Sheldon’s only mount of the day, and his first since September 9. #4 Box N Ben (4-1) goes first out for Cal Lynch and has shown some promise in the morning.
RACE 5: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
It looks like the late pick 5 is going to get off to a chalky start. #4 Acadian Girl (4-5) is coming off a dominant victory at this level last out, where she was never seriously challenged on the lead. Her main challenge on the front end might come from #5 Eloquent Lady (6-1), who is stretching out from six furlongs but has great early pace figures. She went gate-to-wire against softer two back and fought hard after stalking the pace last out. If #1 Mavilus (6-1) runs back to her race tow back, the rest of these are running for minor placings. She earned a 90 two starts back after rating off the pace and drawing off at this level. However, that appears to be somewhat of a fluke effort, as she hasn’t run close to that figure since. Still, she could benefit if the aforementioned two burn each other out on the lead.
RACE 6: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#2 Hard Traveler (3-1) showed no signs of rust first off the layoff last out. He closed sharply for third in a race at this condition on the Preakness undercard, with a career-best figure of 78. He should enjoy a nice trip near the leaders and kick on late. #3 Amarillo (8-1) was well-backed in that same race, but was clearly not himself that day and was eased. Whatever was ailing him appears to be fine, as he’s had some good workouts since then at Fair Hill for trainer Michael Matz. That line will spook some bettors, enabling him to go off at a great price. #1 Piqua (7-5) makes his first start since last summer at Saratoga, where he was third in a maiden race on grass. It proved not to be a particularly inspiring field, but he ran a 77 in that race and now adds lasix. You’re gonna gave to take a low price on him, as the Graham Motion connection and the classy running lines ensure a good price.
- 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.
RACE 7: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#5 Camelia Rod (6-1) has been improving with every start since returning off a brief layoff in early May. She ran a solid fifth against better last out and gets the nod in a wide-open contest. #6 Appalachianheights (3-1) goes first off the claim for Anthony Farrior, who took her out of a similar n/w2L race at Churchill Downs last out. She’s making just her fifth career start and has never run worse than a 71. Look for her to be on or near the early pace. #3 Rockinhippiechick (7-2) has been very consistent as of late, running either a 75 or a 77 in each of her last four starts. She’s exiting the same race as Camelia Rod and finished right behind that rival.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
#1 Texas Basin (4-1) had trouble staying on the track last year, but has been racing consistently since mid-February and has been getting better with every start. He came from just off a slow pace and crushed a starter optional claiming race last out, and has run some of his best figures on this track. #2 Magic Mule (4-1) has been beaten less than two lengths in each of his last four dirt starts at this level. He tends to get good trips on or near the pace but has trouble capitalizing. Should at least get into the exotics. #6 Zatip (3-1) is another Graham Motion runner coming off a long break. He broke his maiden impressively at Keeneland last year after a tough trip battling on the pace. He has lots of upside.
RACE 9: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#2 Favorite Image (5-2) led almost the whole way last out against these but got caught late. It was a promising effort second off the layoff, and he should be able to wire these without much trouble. #9 On the Engine (9-2) raced erratically in that contest, but managed to close well and get fourth. Should rally for a piece even if Favorite Image escapes on the lead. #5 Super E (3-1) drops from the open $12,500 level and will also be rolling late.