LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: JULY 29, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $12,489 Super High 5 — $1,737 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
4-3-6-8 (DIRT: 8-4-10-6)
Nine races on the Friday slate. #4 Class Wizard (2-1) made his grass debut going a mile in his last start. He made a brief bid for the lead and flattened out, running a career-best brisnet speed figure of 76 in the process. One turn on grass should suit him well. #3 Believeinrocknroll (7-2) made his first start off a two-month layoff last out and improved sharply off his debut. He chased Gerrys Gem throughout, with those two sprinting well ahead of the others early. Although Believeinrocknroll could not get by Gerrys Gem, he managed to hold off the closers and finish second. Gerrys Gem won a n/w2L claiming race on dirt going away in his next start. Believeinrocknroll goes first off the claim for Charles Frock and should be a major pace factor once again. #6 Syncophated (15-1) led most of the way and stopped around two turns last out. In his debut, which came in a grass sprint three races back, he was pinched back and was unable to show what came to be his usual early speed. With a clean start and a reduction in distance, he could make some noise at a price.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#5 Middle Island (5-1) chased the leader and held on for second last out, in her first start in four months. She’s racing first off the claim for Ricardo d’Angelo, who is a sharp 28% in the past few years with that angle. #3 Fortes (7-5) has an unsightly 1-for-18 career mark, but hasn’t faced a field this soft in a while. Her figures are about the same as those of her rivals, so while she merits respect, she’s no slam dunk. #7 Salty Saul (15-1) is in improving form and closed well for second at Charles Town in her most recent start.
- 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 $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
6-10-11-3 (DIRT: 6-4-5-3)
#6 Callyourightback (7-2) has only one recent grass start under his belt, but it was a solid one. He came wide from well off the pace and was third, beaten just a neck. In fact, he’s exiting the same race as Believeinrocknroll, who is in the 1st race today. If that rival races well, it’ll enhance Callyourightback’s credentials. #10 Lamarkable (8-1) also has good closing speed and was sharp in his first start in ten months last out. He has room to improve at a good price. #11 Frog Prince (9-2) drops to this level for the first time and cuts back around one turn. He ran in the mid-60s in both of his grass starts so far.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
#2 Bahama Channel (8-5) has run in the 80s in each of his last three starts, including an 87 in two of those last three. He’s getting some class relief here, having competed mostly in starter allowance races prior to this. If he runs his race, the rest are up against it. #1 Seanow (2-1) is also facing an easier field than he’s seen in a while. His figures have dropped precipitously in his last few starts, but he might have enough left in him to be competitive at this level. #3 Fast Loaded (6-1), who, like Seanow, is trained by Kieron Magee, won two in a row at Charles Town in April. However, he’s struggled in his last two starts. Looks for a rebound here against a soft group.
RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#3 Lookin Spunky (6-1) has been competitive at this level but is still looking for a breakthrough performance. Her best race to date came three starts back, when she came from out of it to finish second behind the impressive winner Swayin To and Fro, who came back to win her next three races. #4 Raise Your Game (5-1) has made decent moves in first two starts, running in the mid-60s both times. She’ll contend as long as she runs her race. #6 Foul Balls (5-2) switches back to dirt for Graham Motion and is the main speed of the race. If she can outrun Silver’s Girl, drawn to her direct outside, she’ll be in good shape.
RACE 6: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS (GRASS)
6-1-5-4 (DIRT: 5-3-7-6)
#6 Polished Gal (9-2) got off to a bit of a slow start last year, but rounded into form towards the end of the season. Her three best figures, all of which were in the mid-80s, came in her final three starts. She started the year with an impressive 83 in a tough n/w2x race, but has tailed off in her last two races. She’s dropping from the $30,000 starter optional claiming level, and hopefully is on the same form cycle as last year. Both halves of the Dale Capuano entry merit serious respect. #1 Claire’s Darling (9-5) gets the nod as the better half. She won against better starter optional claiming types two races back and has lots of early speed from the rail. #5 Shackaboom (8-1) led most of the way in her last grass start and managed to hang in there until the last eighth. She gets a rider switch to Tais Lyapustina and adds blinkers for meeting-leading trainer Rodolfo Sanchez-Solomon.
- 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: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
#5 Rapid Response (3-1) has won two of his last three starts over this track in impressive fashion, including a sharp two-length score against open claiming horses last out. He’s taking a slight step up in class here, but is going first off the claim for Anthony Farrior. #2 Maythehorsebwithu (5-2) exits the same race as Rapid Response and was also claimed out of that race, in his case by Mario Serey. He had struggled mightily in his two prior races, but rebounded nicely last out with a solid second-place effort where she chased Rapid Response admirably. I figure a repeat of that exacta is likely. #6 Air On Fire (7-2) has been second or third in his last six starts. He tends to sit off the pace and flatten out, while managing to hold on for a minor placing. The same outcome is likely here.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
A fun field has lined up for today’s feature race. #4 Silent Malice (7-2) has been incredibly dominant in his last three starts, winning against starter optional claiming horses by a combined seventeen lengths. He likes to draft towards the back of the pack early and make one big, late move. He’s getting a class test here, but if he runs to his usual figures, he shouldn’t have any trouble with these. #3 Ain’t Da Beer Cold (3-1), by contrast, is likely to be on or near the pace. He raced wide near the pace throughout in his last start at this level, but held on for second. He outfinished Caribbean in that race, who came back to win a starter optional claiming race yesterday. #8 Dixie Drawl (5-1) has good late pace figures. He tends to sit towards the middle of the pack and will try to avoid getting caught wide for too long.
RACE 9: CLAIMING $40,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
6-4-1-9 (DIRT: 3-7-5-9)
#6 Loving Cup (6-1) turned in a much-improved effort second time out to break her maiden going away with a big closing sweep. She’s one of two in the main body of the race who has never lost against winners. #4 Killy Start (2-1) takes a drop in class after racing against n/w1x horses in her last two races. She made good ground after a wide trip in her most recent start. Now she adds Sheldon Russell in the saddle. #1 Morning Cocktail (7-2) ran some great races over the winter in Florida, including marks in the 80s twice, and now goes second off the layoff.