LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: AUGUST 20, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $1,403 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
Ten races on tap for today. #3 Assembly Point (5-2) has been entered as a main-track-only a few times, but finally gets in the main body of a race first off the claim by Kieron Magee. He won three in a row on this track earlier in the year, but was no match when chasing Caribbean in his last dirt start and stopped badly. He now faces an easier field and has brisnet figures that are much better than those of the others. #7 Baptize the Boy (4-1) has been consistently sharp in sprints and stretches out around two turns after an unusually poor effort following a wide trip last out. He gets a new rider in Kevin Gomez and will try to work out a trip rating off the pace while hopefully not too far away from the rail. #2 Camp Pendleton (9-2) beat softer easily three starts back and consistently runs figures in the 70s. He should rally for a piece.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
I’m forecasting a Kieron Magee sweep of the early double with #5 Wicked Mad (5-2). He got up to win his grass debut here two races back, then closed well for third at Colonial Downs against similar last out. He should be running on late. #10 Billingsgate (7-2) has improved drastically in his last four starts and will work out a great trip rating off the pace on the outside. #4 Password Protected (3-1) finally broke through for a n/w2L win last out after a pair of near-misses earlier in the season. Usually, he doesn’t really kick it in until the last eighth of a mile.
- Congruent in shape for Laurel Futurity scoreThe seemingly ageless Cordmaker earned the first graded stake win of his career when he surged to victory in Saturday’s G3 General George at Laurel park.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
#6 Brown Delivers (8-5) makes his second local start since getting claimed at Churchill Downs by Emanuel Geralis in early June. He showed little on dirt earlier in the year, but ran on well to get third on grass in his first Maryland appearance, and now faces possible the softest field he’s ever seen. #7 Mr. Fibonacci (6-1) handled the stretch-out to a mile just fine last out. He battled on the lead over a wet track and held on to finish third. The horse he dueled with in the first quarter finished twelve lengths behind. #2 Mr. Mosley (4-1) likes to rate off the leaders and scrounge up for a piece, and will likely do the same thing here. He peaked at a solid 71 two races back.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#2 Ribaldry (5-2) improved to a career-high figure of 76 in her last start, getting up for second over the quickly fading early leader, Better Call Mama. She looks to keep moving forward third off the layoff for Arnaud Delacour. #11 Foul Balls (7-2) stays at this level for Graham Motion, who, to no one’s surprise, has a very high strike rate with his Laurel starters. She set an aggressive early pace in her last grass start and flattened out late, but managed to hang in there until the last sixteenth. When not pressed for speed on dirt last time, she held on for second behind Polish Cookie. We’ll see what strategy Victor Carrasco employs here. #3 Seems to Whisper (5-1) was no factor against better on debut at Saratoga for Mike Trombetta, but adds blinkers and should improve off her 63 debut figure.
RACE 5: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 FURLONGS
This is the first of two dashes for 2-year-old fillies on the card. Most of the firsters who were entered for this condition have found themselves in this division; seven of the eight runners lack any racing experience. #7 Arrogates Dream (7-2) goes first out for Jerry Robb, who has enjoyed plenty of success all year including some with 2-year-olds. This daughter of hot sire Arrogate has been working well at Delaware Park and comes here for her debut. Should attract plenty of play. #8 Miss Georgie (9-2) was purchased for a cool $110,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Select Sale and now debuts for Lacey Gaudet. She had one workout in May, was stopped on, and has worked consistently well since late July. #1 Silent Swinger (5-1) is the only one in the field with experience. She was well-backed in her debut on grass at Colonial Downs, going off at 5-1, but chased the pace and ended up fourth. She switches to dirt here and, as noted, faces a field comprised entirely of first-timers. That gives her an edge in my eyes. Her dam, Jungle Lady, is a half-sister to 26-time winner and fan favorite Dr. Blarney.
RACE 6: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $30,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#7 Oldies But Goodies (5-2), a Larry Johnson homebred, was claimed by Jamie Ness two races back, but Johnson and Mike Trombetta quickly took him back and have dropped him in class. The last time he raced at this level, which was the race Ness claimed him out of, he stalked the pace and drew off handily in his first start of the year. Should perform even better today. #4 Putin Online (6-1) sat the trip and drew off to win against conditioned types last out. That proved to be a very productive race; the second, third, and fourth-place finishers came back to win within their next two starts, while the fifth-place finisher was second next out. #10 Silardi (3-1) was transferred to Jeff Runco in early May but has not raced in 4 1/2 months. He makes his comeback here and will try to show the same dangerous early speed he did in SoCal. He ran at least an 85 in three of his last five starts out there.
- BackTracks: The kingly Henry of NavarreIn today’s BackTracks, New Jersey-bred Henry of Navarre found Hall of Fame success on the racetrack and later played a more martial role.
RACE 7: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 FURLONGS
This 2-year-old race features five horses with experience from eight total entrants. After a promising debut down here where she finished second despite a lost whip, #5 O Shaughesey (4-1) was shipped up to Saratoga. However, she chased the pace and was well-beaten, finishing more than 22 lengths behind impressive debut winner Prank. She now comes back here and hopes to regain her promising form. #8 She’s All Money (9-2) is another Jerry Robb first-time starter. She’s been working consistently well since early June, including a recent drill at six furlongs. She’s the first foal out of Line of Best Fit, who won the 2017 Shine Again Stakes here and was third in the Delaware Handicap earlier that year. #2 Fivecommatwo (7-2) set a snappy pace second time out but faded late and was a distant second. In her debut, she came from off the pace and closed for third. Either way, she’s shown promise in her first two races.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#9 Wicked Prankster (9-2) has lots of early speed in a race that is otherwise devoid of it. He went gate-to-wire to win three starts back and held on to finish third in a pair of tough races in his last two starts. Here, he’ll be able to set as easy a pace as he wants, considering the lack of early competition. #5 Bob Marco (3-1) turned in a huge effort to finish second in the English Channel Stakes in his most recent grass start. The winner of that race, California Frolic, went on to win the Not Surprising Stakes and was second in the Bear’s Den Stakes. If anyone catches Wicked Prankster, in all likelihood it’ll be Bob Marco, who has good tactical speed. #10 Call Me Plucky (7-2) finished third in his last two starts at this level. He’ll be disadvantaged if Wicked Prankster sets the pace I expect him to, but he ha the potential to outkick the others.
RACE 9: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $30,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
#2 Thundershook (9-5) routinely runs in the upper-80s and low-90s, a space that everyone else in the field struggles to hit at all. He’s dropping from the n/w2x level at Parx, and even though Jamie Ness has not had a great meet, this one’s going to be tough if he runs his race. #4 Fortune’s Fool’s (5-2) usually runs in the mid-80s, just a tick below the marks of Thundershook. He closed well against Caribbean and got third in his most recent start. He’ll gain ground for a piece here. #5 Walk Away Joe (3-1) has very up-and-down form. He was no factor in the same race as Fortune’s Fool last out, but ran a 94 two starts back when winning at this level. Which version of him will show up today?
RACE 10: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/8 MILES (GRASS)
#6 Silver Sea (4-1) finally gets back to grass for the first time since the Tampa Bay Downs meet. She faced straight maidens down there for Christophe Clement and ran a 67 and a 71, and now races for Arnaud Delacour. #5 Bourbon Gypsy (6-1) almost pulled off a 51-1 upset last out, when she almost wired them and crossed the line second. She has a chance to wire them at a decent number. #8 Luminist (2-1) has hit the board as the favorite in her last two starts, and now drops in class for Brittany Russell. She tracked very slow paces in those two races but still made decent ground late. If the half is faster than 50 seconds, she has a prayer.