LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: JULY 3, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $19,435 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W3L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES
The day kicks off with a field of six in a claiming route, as #5 Jerusalema (5-2) comes off a layoff and drops into claiming company after back to back winning efforts. She has run her best at this distance and well at Laurel with some strong closing efforts but will need to be more forward here. #1 Jackie the Joker (2-1) comes out of the same race as Jerusalema, finishing last in that try, but with better back class than these although she may prefer to go shorter. Maybe the most upside of this field is #3 How Lucky (3-1), who has run her best this year and should be in the right position sitting off the likely leader to her outside. Her recent speed figures match up well with this group, and a strong effort here could put her in the winner’s circle.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
A tough group to differentiate, #5 Lady Mosler (5-1) has shown huge improvement since switching to turf, with a strong second place finish last time out that could be good enough to beat these. A good price with a jockey-trainer combo that has been strong together recently. To her outside is likely favorite #6 Flimsy (5-2), saddled by the always dangerous Graham Motion who runs this second time starter after a good place finish in her debut that gives her a leg up on the others here. #8 Fashionista (10-1) has put forth two straight solid efforts after her switch to turf and offers good value with a mid-pack trip from Karamanos who rides her for the ninth straight time.
- From the Spa: August 14 Midlantic-breds in Saratoga stakes‘From the Spa’ keeps you up to speed with all the Midlantic-breds running in Saratoga stakes this summer.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
#4 Camp Pendleton (2-1) won by six lengths three weeks ago at this distance over this track, and has shown the most consistency since April of this field. Jockey Charlie Marquez has gotten the most out of this four year old gelding, and can avoid a return to last year’s struggles by getting him out of the gate early. #6 Mamaigotthis (5-1) adds blinkers trying to prevent a slower start, but seems to run his best coming from well back, showing a strong closing kick in back-to-back wins at Parx earlier this year. He may need a bit more distance to close into, leaving him as a decent play to come charging into the money. #1 Al Brown (9-5) showed the ability to go gate to wire last time, likely looking to do the same here. Settling in early and avoiding pressure from his outside should allow for slower fractions and winning chances.
RACE 4: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING $55,000 (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS (GRASS)
Although she has run poorly in her stakes tries, #1 Dontletsweetfoolya (3-1) still has the most class here and showed something in her second turf race last time out. She finished with one of the better speed figures of this group in that try, although fading in the stretch might be an issue here for this mare that looks to have early pace. #4 Can’t Buy Love (2-1) is more familiar with the turf and slightly more consistent, and seems to be the most likely of the bunch but at a shorter price. #3 Whispurring Kitten (9-2) has the most turf wins of this field and a strong 7-3-1-1 record over the Laurel turf track, so is another logical player here with a jockey-trainer combo that has been strong together. These top three appear to be a tad better than the rest, with Whispurring Kitten as the most consistent if the turf course stays dry.
RACE 5: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
A recent bullet work for #1 Superstitieux (5-2) could signal a breakthrough effort here after failing in seven straight maidens, and it appears that six furlongs on the dirt is his best race. He once had high hopes after running as the favorite against White Abarrio in September at Gulfstream but will need improvement to win here. Another that needs to improve coming up from maiden claimers is #7 Bridge to Success (9-2), running off the claim for trainer Mike Geralis who has had a strong meet thus far. Breaking better and not dropping as far back early will be key for this gelding. #5 No Angel (2-1) hasn’t run in over a year but would still be a contender purely based on his past speed figures and running style. Seems like a tough ask to win after a long layoff, but hitting the board is possible given the past form and questions surrounding others here.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING $40,000 (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#4 Justwaveandsmile (2-1) is tough to overlook as the morning line favorite, winning four in five tries at Laurel and never finishing out of the money at this distance and surface. The step up in class might be a deterrent to some playing this gelding in an even field, but other options haven’t been as steady recently, with none having a win this year. #5 Nuclear Option (4-1) may provide value underneath as this appears to be a good spot for improvement but winning seems to be a stretch based on the last two years of efforts. Similarly, the heavily raced eight-year-old #2 Love You Much (5-1) hasn’t won in the last two years, but shows a solid closing kick in the stretch runs among this class and better and is probably a safe play to hit the board given the relief from stakes tries and experience.
- Trevor McCarthy hoping for progress at racing “Super Bowl”Trevor and Katie (Davis) McCarthy, longtime Mid-Atlantic stalwarts, are focused on growing new roots, in New York, as Trevor rides his first Saratoga meet.
RACE 7: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#2 By the Sey Shore (7-2) closed impressively in a win last time, but will need more pace than is in here to get a similar trip and win. It is difficult to discern a standout here, so this race should be covered well if used in multi-race tickets, even with those such as #7 Sue Loves Barbados (7-2) who have struggled to cross the wire in first. This gelding by Barbados hasn’t finished further than four lengths behind the winner since last July, so there remains a chance for a breakthrough victory after never reaching the winner’s circle on the turf. #1 Kobe Tough (8-1) has run evenly in his last two and makes his third start off the bench.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $40,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#4 Lantau (9-2) has been bet to favorite in three of his last four and might have the early speed to take them gate to wire here at this distance. Also doesn’t hurt having a jockey-trainer combo that has won five of ten together this past year. #5 Kozy’s Wildcat (2-1) has a similar running style and strong record at Laurel, with the form last time out that appears to be better than most here with a sharp speed figure. May be dependent on whether or not he beats Lantau to the turn. Morning line favorite #3 Concrete Glory (5-2) may add to this speed duel but hasn’t shown the ability to hang on to leads even at shorter races recently, although dropping out of stakes company is a plus that others don’t have in this field.
RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#8 Amaretto Sour (9-2) was in the money in her first two tries on the turf, so continued improvement in this underwhelming field might be enough to get a winning effort at decent value. Still would need to step up and doesn’t have great form or respect from betting public in her past performances. #3 Please Marry Me (7-2) sat near slower fractions last time but still only managed to finish fourth, although an improvement in finishing position every race might signal that this is the most likely winner of the bunch. Coming out of the same race as the two aforementioned is #7 Like n’ Eagle (3-1), who ran the best of any in that try, yielding to the winner after entering the stretch with the lead. Maybe a slight cutback in distance and hopefully a bit more pace to aim at gives this five-year-old mare a better chance than any to pick up their first career win.