LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: JULY 15, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $1,607 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 FURLONGS
There’s ten races to kick off the racing week at Laurel Park. More than half the horses in this seven-horse field have experience. #1 Gormley’s Gabriela (3-1) chased the pace while racing wide throughout in her debut, but still rallied and got up for a clear-cut third. Even though on paper, it’s a class drop, this is a not dissimilar field to what she saw in her first race. She’ll be able to save a lot more ground here. #2 Genieinabridle (5-2) goes first out for Jerry Robb and Xavier Perez. This Pennsylvania-bred has had some good five-furlong works and is likely to take money on debut. #4 Creative Cadence (9-2) faced a very tough maiden field at Delaware Park on debut and just missed third after showing brief speed. This will be Jeremy Rose’s first mount at Laurel since November 2019.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#8 Password Protected (7-2) has finished second in both of his grass starts. Last out, he rallied wide and just missed at this level. #1 That’s My Dude (5-2) makes his grass debut in this race. He showed some promise on the synthetic at Turfway Park over the winter, including a gate-to-wire maiden-breaking win in February. He’s likely to be one of the early pace factors. Note that he’s breaking from post position nine here. #2 Brother Conway (9-2) has made just three career starts, and has lost only once against winners. That came last out, when he chased the pace on dirt and held on for third with a brisnet figure of 77, just missing his maiden-breaking figure of 78. If he has the same aptitude on grass that he does on dirt, he’ll be very tough.
- 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: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
#9 Grand Manner (5-1) ran a big race on the lead last out, setting the pace while freewheeling on the lead and holding on for a clear-cut second. The draw isn’t ideal but he should be able to get to the front. My next two selections are both Churchill Downs shippers. #5 Smarty John (5-2) was claimed out of his last start at Churchill Downs by Claudio Gonzalez. He got caught wide on a very fast pace last out and faded. Most of his recent starts have been against better horses than the ones he’ll face here. In his best race so far, he almost wired a maiden claiming group three starts back with a figure of 80. #2 Per Diem (7-2) also ships in here, for Norman Cash, and adds blinkers. He’s had wide trips in his last two starts, which were his first two races off a long break. It looks like it’s all coming together for him here: he’s drawn well and he’s going third off the layoff. Plus, he should be able to once again show his speed, which was his biggest asset last year.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#8 Dolce Vita (8-5) coasted to a gate-to-wire win last out. He’s the only one in the race who has never lost against winners; in fact, everyone else in the field last lost against winners at least three times. He’ll be very tough to beat if he runs back to his prior race. #3 Aftermath (9-2) tends to fall far behind early and make a big late rally. He came from the clouds to break his maiden a few starts back, but he might find that a bit tougher to pull off if Dolce Vita sneaks away on the lead. #1A Uncommon Valor (5-2) looks like the better half of the Jose Corrales entry. He’s taking a drop in class and has a figure ceiling in the low-80s. He should get a good trip just off the pace.
RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
A very competitive race begins the rainbow pick 6. #7 Lunar Dash (3-1) ran very similar races in his last two starts. In each of those races, he rated mid-pack and lost by a neck with a figure of 77. He’s run well enough to wins both times and is on the verge of a breakthrough performance. #5 Pickin Sea Glass (3-1) finally got to race on grass last out after being denied the opportunity a few times due to weather. He finished more than six lengths clear of his dueling partner but was unable to hold off the rallies of Claudee Boy and Lunar Dash. He’s shown he can withstand pace pressure and should at least hold on for an exotics slice. Although him and Lunar Dash are the same price on the morning line, he’s likely to go off at a higher price. #9 Second Term (5-1) made a bit of a premature move last out and got caught late. He still ran a lifetime-best figure of 76. He’ll be tough if he can manage his moves a bit better.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
#4 Bliss This (8-5) steadily ran in the mid-70s earlier in the year before a very dull try at Pimlico last out. He gets to drop in class for his first start since May 19 and has had two decent workouts since then. I’m looking for a return to his best effort. #1 Ben Rumson (7-2) is also going second time out. He got involved in a speed duel in his debut and faded to sixth. He finished the worst of the three horses in the duel but should find things a big easier on the lead here. The winner of that race and one of his dueling rivals, Inside Stunt, won a starter optional claiming contest next out. #10 Mr. Mosley (9-2) matched his dirt lifetime best last out with a 71. His 0-for-10 record is not inspiring, but he has decent tactical speed and is likely to hang around for a piece.
- 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, FILLIES AND MARES, MD-BRED, 1 MILE (GRASS)
#3 Pounding Music (8-1) broke her maiden in her first start of the year a few races back. Last out, she made the lead after racing wide and drew clear in the stretch, but was caught late and managed only to hold on for third. She consistently runs in the 70s on grass and is likely to get a great trip on or near the rail. #2 Lisheen (4-1) races for the ever-dangerous Graham Motion barn but hasn’t raced since September. She ran well against better last year but looks better suited for longer distances. Motion might have this race in mind as a prep for another, longer spot in a few weeks. Still, she’s the classiest horse in the field, so the layoff and the short distance might not matter. #1 My Thoughts (9-2) made her first two-turn start on grass last out at Penn National, and drew off to win with a much-improved figure after stalking the pace. She should get a great setup here.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#1 Royal Thunder (5-2) hasn’t missed the board in his seven starts this year, and will show early speed from the inside. He drew off tow in impressively against open claimers in his most recent try, and was claimed out of that race by Carlos Mancilla. He was defeated in his two starts at this level earlier in the season, but did run a solid figure of 90 against these types two starts back. #2 The Wolfman (3-1) showed a lot of heart to win a starter allowance race last out. He’s likely to rate just off Royal Thunder on his outside. #6 Goldenize (6-1) couldn’t catch Super Love on the lead last out, but showed some fight and held on for second. He showed promise earlier in the year and looks to recover that form. You can toss that disappointing line two starts back in the Sir Barton Stakes; 1 1/16 miles is too far for him.
RACE 9: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#8 Sue Loves Barbados (3-1) has run career-top figures in his last two starts. Last out, against open n/w1x company, he flew from behind and lost by just a length. This’ll be his third start off a long layoff. #10 Prince Pere (6-1) got checked out of contention last out, but still ran a solid figure of 85, the second straight race where he improved his figure. He has good middle pace figures and will try to sustain a bid here. #7 By the Sey Shore (5-1) improved sharply to a 91 in his last start, the same race as Sue Loves Barbados. He also made good ground in the lane and got up for third. He’s never won on this grass track but has hit the board four times from six starts.
RACE 10: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
Only two of these have experience, and I’ll lean on them in the finale. #2 Tall Order (2-1) went off as the favorite on debut but had an awkward break. He’ll be a contender if he matches or improves on his debut mark of 62. #4 Maryland Moon (5-2) raced wide in his first start and showed little. He’s had some good workouts since his last race. #8 Expect Lucky (7-2) goes first out for Claudio Gonzalez and has steadily improving workouts. Watch the board with him.