LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: JULY 22, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $7,007 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $10,185
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR_OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
Eight races comprise the Friday card. Looks like it’s gonna be a scorcher. My top three picks are all coming off debuts where they outran their odds big-time. #13 Emerald Lace (6-1) sat just off the pace, led briefly in the stretch, and held on for second at this level last out at 44-1, with a sharp brisnet figure of 74. An outside draw didn’t bother her in that race, and shouldn’t be a problem here, either. #6 Queen Sheba (7-2) went off at 40-1 in her first start, but nonetheless ran a similar race as Emerald Lace did, losing in a three-horse photo after a stretch duel. Her figure is several points lower than Emerald Lace, so compared to Queen Sheba, I’m not sure she’ll be as good a value play. Nonetheless, she’s a threat to step up big-time. #2 Gals Gal (15-1) closed solidly last out to lose by less than three lengths. She ran a 70 in that race, and will be at least an exotics threat here if she repeats that race.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
#5 Startwithabang (1-1) consistently runs the best figures in the field, with her only bad recent race coming on a wet track two starts back. She’ll get a fast track today and is in prime position to put the swoop to the group. #3 Lightfoot Miss (7-2) has hit the board in her last eight starts and also has decent closing speed, although not to the level of Startwithabang. #2 Targe (3-1) goes second off a brief layoff for Anthony Farrior and has dangerous early speed. She could find herself very loose on the lead and leave the closers reeling.
- 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 $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE (GRASS)
#4 On the Engine (5-2) is improving with every grass race, having most recently lost at this level by a neck. He adds blinkers for the tough Dilodovico/Karamanos trainer/jockey combo. #6 Goldie’s Boy (3-1) made good late ground in his last three starts and consistently runs in the 70s. In his last start on this track, which came 5 1/2 weeks ago, he had to close off ridiculously slow fraction but still got up for third. #8 Ocean Deep (6-1) ships down from Belmont Park, where he was overmatched in three grass ststarts this year. He finds some class relief here should at least grind on for a piece.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
The late pick 5, with a carryover of just over $10,000, starts here. #7 Brother Conway (7-2) has improved sharply in his last two starts, with figures of 77 and 78 in those two races. He has good tactical speed and should sit the trip. #6 Howard’s Rock (8-1) struggled badly last out, but has two respectable workouts since then and races first off the claim for Claudio Gonzalez. He didn’t show his usual early speed in his two starts for the Ferris Allen barn, and looks for a return to his best self. #1 Holy Synchronicity (7-2) drops to this level for the first time and hasn’t run worse than a 75 in his last five dirt races. He’s likely to be on the early pace from the rail.
RACE 5: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $20,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE (GRASS)
Taking #1A Pretty Good Year (10-1) as the stronger half of the Ness entry. He continues to drop down the class ladder, having raced against n/w2x types two races back. He’s made strong rallies off slow paces in this last two starts, and has some of the best figures in the field, including a last-out mark of 84. That’s tied for the best last-out figure in the race with #13 Samui Sunset (6-1), who won his first two races of the Laurel season and just missed last out, outfinishing Pretty Good Year by a length. He should sit the trip just off the leaders and pounce. #6 Boats a Rockin (3-1) is most likely to set that pace, having gone gate-to-wire in three of his last four starts. Most recently, he coasted to victory on the lead over this track in his first start of the year.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#5 Magic Mule (7-2) has begun to acclimate to his new barn, running at least an 85 in his last three starts after struggling immediately after joining the Kerry Hohlbein stable. He got caught behind a slow pace last out but still rallied and lost by 1 1/4 lengths. #2 Big Tall Dawg (3-1) is also rounding into career-best form, having run figures of 87, 86, and 84 in his last three dirt starts. He just missed at this level in his most recently try on the surface, losing to Seven On the Rocks, who got a one-length jump on him early. #8 Raise a Speight (5-1) cuts back around one turn for Brittany Russell. He broke his maiden going 5 1/2 furlongs at Delaware Park two races back, and will be a serious factor on the early pace.
- 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 OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#10 Epic Idea (2-1) ran a huge race last out, earning a 95 against better allowance optional claiming foes. She’s finished in the exacta in six of twelve starts on this grass track, including a win in the Maryland Million Ladies last fall. Will be very tough if she runs back to her last race. #7 World Gone Wild (5-1) gets back on the grass for Jamie Ness, in her first start on this surface since December. She’s going to set the early pace, and went gate-to-wire on the lawn in that December race. #2 Puppymonkeybaby (3-1) made her first start off a long layoff last out at Delaware, and rallied from off the pace to get second behind next-out winner Klayton’s Kandy. She should improve off that race.
RACE 8: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
#6 Rock and Fellers (1-1) has been very sharp at this level as of late, He’s hit the board in his last five starts, including a sharp gate-to-wire win three races back with a figure of 92. This is a softer field than he’s accustomed to and he should handle them easily. #4 The Great Dansky (7-2) rebounded nicely with a game, winning four-wide rally last out. He had a voided claim in that race, but has since recovered with two workouts, the most recent one much sharper than the first. #2 Albertano (4-1) sat a great trip and won going away last out. He’s cutting back around one turn off that win.