LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: JULY 4, 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 $40,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
Independence Day at Laurel starts with a claiming race that features eight runners looking for their second career win. #2 Power Back (8-1) provides good value and has run well at Laurel, finishing in the money in four of five. After a rough outing last month over the Laurel dirt course, this one switches back to grass with his eyes set on a wire to wire effort. #7 Lightning Rod (5-2) seems a bit more logical, and has been working in top form, but may be over-bet here. #3 Saint Marco (5-1) has a little more back-class than these, but might be a tough play to win. The class drop and a mid-pack to forward trip gives him the best chance to succeed.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
#2 Alittlesliceof Pie (8-5) had a tough break and finished last by almost forty last time, but that was on the turf and it appears tough to make a case for many others in here. A repeat of her effort two back should be enough, but getting out of the gate will be key and the value of the morning line odds isn’t great. #4 Colorofacloud (5-2) has finished second in eleven of thirty-three lifetime tries, still without a win, so probably a decent play to hit the board, but at this point maybe not a winning candidate. She has been respected by the betting public recently and may prefer eight furlongs as her ideal distance. Rounding out the top three is #5 She’s a Tripp (4-1) who at least has experience over the track and ran a respectable second last time. Still needs to show some improvement, but six for thirteen in the money lifetime is solid for this group.
- 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: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $30,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/8 MILES (GRASS)
#10 Prairie (6-1) won by six lengths in a strong effort last time out as favorite and has a good record on the turf with good performances this year. Seems to be in better form than most and gets the nod. #1 Samui Sunset (6-1) is a winner of back-to-back races and has hit the board on over half of his career tries. Might need the right pace set up from some of the outside runners to win with his usual style, but running well and with good value here. #4 Toe Curlin’ Kiss (10-1) will be running late.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#6 Subject to Change (4-1) has found some footing since he was pressed to the early lead and will now do so at a shorter distance. The speed figures aren’t great, but look for him to take advantage of the other’s running styles to try and steal this one. #5 Baptize the Boy (5-2) may not be the most likely winner, but his consistency and ability to hit the board make him a solid play to place or show. Finally, #1 Maythehorsebwithu (9-2) should see major improvement after clearly not adjusting well to the turf last time, going back to dirt after some failed attempts at stakes tries last year. Look for a slightly better number than this to round out exotics, as he has not run a winning effort in over a year.
RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/8 MILES (GRASS)
#1 Luminist (3-1) adds blinkers but has done her best running from the back. She still should benefit most from a return to the turf and gets extra distance to chase down the leaders in the stretch. Best combination of class and speed figures of the group. #8 Dancing Sophia (8-1) has improved her finishing position in every try, plus was bet to favorite in her last two for trainer Graham Motion. A mid-pack trip gives her the best chance to handle the distance and stay enough involved to avoid losing too much ground she can’t make up. #5 Hollywood Walk (5-2) has held a lead at the top of the stretch in back to back races, fading to third which could be an issue adding an furlong here. Still has enough consistency and could get a slower forward trip with soft fractions to hang on and hit the board.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W3L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
A winner of two straight, #7 Red Mesa (7-2) is in good form and has been bet to favorite routinely, despite the lack of class. Not a clear-cut best here, but usually consistent and should prefer shorter distance. #3 Five Star Phil (5-2) hasn’t fared well in most of his stretch runs, but tries five and a half for the first time, so should be aggressive which could lead to a better effort than last time. #6 Divine Proportion (8-1) is a good value play who has hit the board in seven straight, but will need some help from a few others to set up a faster pace to take aim at as a closer.
- 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: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING $40,000 (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
#9 Outlier (10-1) could challenge for the lead and needs to be involved to have a chance. Bet to favorite last time and winning with a good speed figure, plus ran against better in open allowances at Keeneland and Fairgrounds earlier this year. Hard-hitting #6 Dixie Drawl (3-1) arrives off a win. A zippy early pace would be good news for #5 The Poser (8-1). So would recapturing the form that saw him finish third in last fall’s Maryland Million Classic.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING $40,000 (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE (GRASS)
#1 Nathan Detroit (9-2) ran in the Grade II Dinner Party on Preakness Day, and despite losing that by nine lengths, still wasn’t able to drop into optional company and finish better than third in two tries. For him to win, reverting to his form that saw him reach the winner’s circle here in April could be enough to best these others. #3 Sigiloso (4-1) is another with some back-class, having run in a multitude of stakes efforts including the Grade III Canadian Turf Stakes two back. He was majorly outclassed there, and like Nathan Detroit, didn’t run great on the class drop, so would need to find old form to win this. Trainer Mike Trombetta keeps #6 Broker’s Reward (6-1) at this allowance level despite the seven-year-old having had two straight off-color performances versus similar.
RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#7 Twelveo’clockrock (8-5) has run well in all her tries at this distance but seems to come up short in stretch runs. Against a weaker field such as this, her speed figures and form puts her a slight edge above the others, and is a must play even at this price. #3 Ashara (2-1) will be involved with the pace early, and has been the closest to wins here, finishing within two lengths of the victor in six of ten tries. Depending on how Twelveo’clockrock breaks, this could be a player to steal the race gate to wire. Of the longshot plays, #9 Made My Wish (6-1) showed a glimpse of upside on the turf by having her clear best effort in her only try on the surface two back. Perhaps a second chance on the grass for this four year old filly by First Samurai will lead to another step up in improvement.