LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: JULY 28, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $10,494 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
There’s eight races on today’s card, which serves as a makeup day from the cancelled Sunday program. #5 Smart and Fast (1-1) continues his descent down the class ladder, having raced for a $40,000 tag last out after a debut against straight maidens. He improved sharply in his last outing, getting his brisnet figure up to a 62. Unless one of his rivals takes a big step up in class, he should have these at his mercy. #4 Cavalry Command (7-2) has had some solid three and four-furlong drills in preparation for his debut in this spot. Look at the board with him. #6 Freddyness (3-1) showed speed and backed up on debut at Delaware Park, but was completely flat in his next start. He’s looking for a rebound here for the Jamie Ness barn. He has a shot if he improves but he’ll likely take a lot of money due to his connections.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $40,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE (GRASS)
#3 Great Idea (3-1) made his first start at this level last out. With the way he race unfolded, he had absolutely no chance. Power Back went out and set a slow, uncontested pace, and no one had any hope of catching him. As they turned for home, Power Back was five and a half lengths in front, but Great Idea closed ground from mid-pack and got up for second. Power Back vindicated his form with a next-out win. If Great Idea gets an honest pace to run into, his closing speed should be more powerful. If anyone does sneak away, it’ll likely be #7 Cosmicality (4-1), who’s taking a drop in class from the Maryland-bred allowance level. He chased a fast pace last out and was didn’t do much, but when he’s allowed to set the pace himself, he can hang in there. #2 H R H Jellybean (6-1) stretches out around two turns and has consistently solid figures. He’ll be a contender if he can handle the extra distance.
- 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 $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#6 Senson (3-1) has had her chances against winners, but her figures are consistently better than those of her rivals and she has lots of early speed. She’s drawn to the direct outside of a rival, Tizita, who is also quick out of the gate. If Senson can outrun Tizita early on, she’s going to be in good shape. #3 Camelita Rod (4-1) also consistently runs in the mid-70s, but sat the trip at this level last time and couldn’t take advantage. She’ll have to hope for an even faster pace in front of her. #4 Earley Rose (7-2) goes first off the claim for Anthony Farrior. She drew off impressively to break her maiden at Churchill Downs three starts back but has not found that form since. Looks to improve first off the claim. She’ll also sit just off the pace, likely in the catbird seat in the two-path.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#6 Pounding Music (3-1) has found her best form lately, running her two top grass figures in her last two races. Visually, she was kind of flat in her last start, but her form fits in well with these. #8 Evangeline Allons (4-1) went off as the big 11-10 favorite against weaker n/w2L types last out, and ended up third after making a stretch rally. The winner of that race, Pie Killer, won an open first-level allowance race next out, while the runner-up, Zola B, won a n/w2L race going short in her next outing. This filly consistently runs in the mid-70s and is likely to draft near the pace. #1 Met in Miami (2-1) takes a big drop in class for Graham Motion, which automatically makes her dangerous. In her last start at Belmont Park, she drafted in last place off an opening half-mile in 51 seconds and change, which meant she had no chance whatsoever to win. She’s dropping in class and is not racing on the grass in New York, so she’s almost certain to get a more favorable pace setup.
RACE 5: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE
This race also features a horse who made her last start in New York, and this one I’m taking on top. #7 Hoodooland (1-1) cost $1,400,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling sale in 2020, but didn’t debut until April of this year. She didn’t make much impact against maidens in New York, but now ships here for Shug McGaughey and has found a field she should have at her mercy. She’s had some issues at the break in her last two starts, but if she breaks cleanly here, this race is going to be more over than it already was. #6 Ladro de Fichi (3-1) has hit the board in all five of her starts, but of course has yet to win. She tends to prompt the pace and then fall back; it’s likely to be the same story here. #5 M’Lady Thatcher (7-2) has improved steadily with each start and was second in her first start at a mile last out.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
#6 Mamba Queen (5-2) makes her Maryland debut and her first start for Hugh McMahon off three consecutive dismal efforts at Charles Town. However, she’s now getting back to the grass, a surface she has (relatively speaking) excelled over. She’s run at least an 83 in three of her four starts on the lawn. Granted, all of them were around one turn, but there’s no doubt she can handle the surface. The only question is the distance. #3 Chargina (2-1) goes third off the layoff for Todd Beattie. In her last grass start, which was also her season debut, she made a move on the turn but was outkicked and got second behind Island Philo. That mare came from last to win a starter optional claiming race next out and was most recently fourth at Colonial Downs. This filly should take a step forward off that race. #8 Deemed Essential (5-1) lacked room to run in her last start but managed to run on well when clear. Looks like an interesting exotics contender in here.
- 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: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $30,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#5 Caribbean (2-1) made his second start off the claim for Claudio Gonzalez. In his first start for the barn, he didn’t show his usual early speed and was well-beaten. He’s dropping in class here and should find himself loose on the lead. #2 Walk Away Joe (7-2) was impressive in victory last out at this level, matching his career-best figure with a 94. However, he has not raced since that mid-September outing. He’s been working steadily since mid-May for his return; we’ll see how he does off the bench. #6 Closer Look (9-2) consistently runs in the mid-80s and races second off a four-month break.
RACE 8: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#1 Luminist (5-2) was severely pace-compromised in her last start, but she nonetheless rallied and missed by just a half-length. There’s some speed signed on, so the pace should be pretty honest. #3 Flimsy (2-1) has shown some signs of ability around one turn and now stretches out to a route for the first time for Graham Motion. She’s lost her two starts so far by a combined 1 3/4 lengths. #5 Bourbon Gypsy (8-1) almost wired a softer field two races back and has speed from close to the rail.