LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: AUGUST 13, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $2,721 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
Ten races on the docket for a picture-perfect Saturday. #4 Bigmancan (9-2) has won two of his last three dirt starts at Penn National, consistently running brisnet figures in the upper-70s. He likes to stalk the pace and pounce and should work out a great trip here. Tyler Conner, who rode him last time, is named on just him. #2 Royal Thunder (9-5) takes a drop in class after a disappointing start against Maryland-bred allowance types last out. His trip was not as troubled as his running line would indicate; he simply didn’t show any of his customary early speed and was well-beaten. He handily beat $12,500 horses two starts back, but now drops even further down the class ladder. His form from earlier this summer would win this going away, but I’m a bit suspicious at low odds based on that last race. The chances of #1 Subject to Change (5-2) depend on what happens with Royal Thunder. Subject to Change was a handy winner three starts back when he went uncontested on the lead, but faded late after getting pressure in his most recent two outings. Royal Thunder is the most likely one to apply pace pressure. If he forces Subject to Change to run early, that one is likely to be in trouble. If Royal Thunder shows little again, however, Subject to Change will have things his own way on the lead.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
#10 Block Party (5-1) makes her first start since her debut in May at Tampa Bay Downs. She rallied well from last and got up for fifth, with a figure of 66. She returned to the worktab in mid-July for new trainer Justin Nixon and should improve second time out. #12 Jackie B Good (6-1) closed well for second in her last grass start, finishing behind only Eight Danzas, who won a Pennsylvania-bred allowance race on dirt by open lengths next out. This filly should be at home at this class level. #3 Please Marry Me (4-1) was originally entered in a $30,000 race last Friday, but it was wiped out due to thunderstorms. She has lots of early speed and should encounter minimal pressure on the front end.
- Trainer Michael Pino reaches 2,000 winsTrainer Michael Pino went 2-for-2 today at Parx Racing to reach 2,000 wins in a career which has seen his runners earn over $43 million.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#5 Drive by Layover (6-5) has run at least a 79 in four of his last five starts, and closed well to get second at this condition last out. Will be tough if he runs his race. #6 Remembering Wilbur (7-2) has not missed the board in five starts on this track and drew off to win going away after setting the pace in his last start here in April. He had a brutally wide trip on grass last out but should work out a better trip here. #4 Dolce Vita (5-2) is in improving form and did win a n/w2L race last out, but he was racing on a rail-favoring track. It’s possible he gets another biased strip here, of course, but I wouldn’t count on it.
RACE 4: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#9 Boat’s a Rockin (7-5) has been unstoppable this year. Not only has he won two races in a row in gate-to-wire style, he’s won them by a combined 7 1/2 lengths and never looked like he was in danger of losing at any point. He should run away and hide from this field once again. #8 One Two Kid (6-1) overcame a slow pace to get up and win against similar at 18-1 last out. Usually, he’s more forwardly-placed than he was last time, which will work to his advantage in this spot. Jamie Ness has a coupled entry in here; #1 Pretty Good Year (4-1) looks like the better half. He has no early speed, which doesn’t make him a serious threat to Boat’s a Rockin, in my opinion. However, he has great closing speed and has rallied well in his last two races despite getting caught very wide both times. If he can manage to save ground here, he can rally from the rail or close to it and round out the exotics.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
This race pits the top three finishers at this condition on July 17, #5 Dat Deres Gold (8-5), #1 Sick Pack Sara (9-5), and #7 Stay Out (5-1) against each other. Dat Deres Gold sat the trip just off the lead and kicked clear to win by two lengths for her second straight win. Sick Pack Sara, who held on for second after setting the pace, is a committed front-runner who will encounter plenty of pace pressure from her outside. It’s possible she sneaks away on the lead, but it’s more likely she’ll get softened up on the lead and Dat Deres Gold will once again be able to get away. Stay Out made mild ground to get third in her third start off the break and looks for further improvement here.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
A competitive field of six, including three Maryland Million eligibles, will line up in today’s co-feature. #5 Nick Papagiorgio (4-1) got up to win the Find Stakes two races back with an 86, in his second start off a long layoff. Last out in the Prince George’s County Stakes, he proved no match for classier rivals but managed to hold fourth. He should be more at home against these. #7 Summer to Remember (7-2) went gate-to-wire at Delaware Park last out and is a serious threat to wire these. That was just a n/w1x race last time, however, and while he faced some tough fields in New York earlier this year, this will be a class test nonetheless. The trip might have to carry him to victory. #1 Scarlett Sky (5-2) won the Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland last spring, but has missed the board in his four starts since. He hasn’t been seen since the Appleton Stakes this spring, when he bolted to the outside. He has back-class and should be ready to fire a big one for Shug McGaughey.
- BackTracks: Star de Naskra “really something”In a new BackTracks: Maryland-bred Star de Naskra gave owner-breeder Jiggs Lancaster his first stakes winner in a long career — and then a whole lot more.
RACE 7: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $20,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#1 He Hate Me (9-5) never got a breather in his last start at Parx, but nonetheless held off all challenges and won by a neck with a season’s-best figure of 91. He’s been improving with every start this year. #7 Meru (3-1) is also coming off his best race of the year, having earned an 84 after getting a great trip in victory at Monmouth Park last out. He has some of the best late pace figures in the race and will be primed to pack a punch. #2 Yes Sir Robert (9-2) was impressive in victory two races back at Churchill Downs, but showed little after racing wide on the pace in his local debut last out. He gets a jockey switch to Victor Carrasco and will try to work out a better trip, having moved four-wide after breaking from post position two.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#2 Helluva Lady (3-1) drops to this condition for the first time. She ran a 78 last out against Maryland-bred allowance runners, which was far and away a career-best mark, but she was outclassed and well-beaten. #5 Vodkatini (9-2) exits the same race, and flattened out after a wide trip. In her prior grass start, she was no match for loose leader Cupid’s Strike, who came back to finish second in an open n/w1x allowance. However, Vodaktini held clear of the others and secured a comfortable second. #3 Evangeline Allions (5-2) made a strong move and struck the front in the stretch last out, but flattened out late and got third. Nonetheless, she’s been solid against these types all year long and should at least hang on for a share.
RACE 9: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
This race was originally scheduled for last Friday, but it was cancelled due to the aforementioned thunderstorms. Some of the entrants came back, including #4 Eastern Bay (4-1). He’s won twice at this level in his last three starts, though didn’t do quite as well as usual going 5 1/2 furlongs last out. However, stretching back out to six furlongs should help the cause. #3 Alwaysinahurry (7-2) exits the same race as Eastern Bay. He closed well from off the pace and lost by a head to Factor It In, who was making his first start of the year. Alwaysinahurry improved to a 90 in that race, and his usual low-90s figure should be good enough to contend here. #5 Yodel E.A. Who (2-1) has run back-to-back career-best figures and lost a photo finish to Fortheluvofbourbon, a multiple stakes winner and four-time winner this year.
RACE 10: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
#6 Pensively (3-1) got first jump on a loose leader in her last start at Colonial Downs, and she managed to outkick everyone except favored Golden Effect and held second. Looks primed to get another great stalking trip. #7 Missawlet (4-1) led almost the whole way around last out but got caught late at 33-1. She had showed speed in the past, but that was the first time she held on that long. It was a promising performance. #10 First Lady Di Da (4-1) is coming off a lifetime-best figure of 69, earned when finishing fourth behind Missawlet last out. She struggled in her first two starts off the layoff but is rounding back into form.