LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: OCTober 2, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $1,209 Super High 5 — $687 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
We’ve got a very nice 9-race card today. There’s lots of speed signed on in this one, so I’m leaning towards a horse who usually comes from off the pace. That’s #1 Boondoggle (4-1), going third off the claim by Jonathan Maldonado. He was a confirmed front-runner earlier in the year, but has shown the ability to rate in his last few starts. He overcame a wide trip to win at Timonium two starts back, and improved his brisnet figure to an 81 next out although it was a visually unimpressive race. He should get a great trip and would take full advantage if the leaders stop. #4 The Wolfman (6-5) finished in a dead heat at this level last out, and also likes to rate just off the lead. He ran a 92 in that race, which is very shiny but is far and away his best mark of the season. If he repeats it he’ll be very tough to beat but that’s no guarantee. #2 Prince Jersey Town (7-2) set the pace at Delaware Park last out and battled gamely in the stretch, losing by a nose to a rival who rated just off the lead. That heart will come in handy here.
RACE 2: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/8 MILES
The racing office had some foresight, and didn’t schedule too many on today’s card for grass. The two scheduled for the lawn were pulled off last night, to no one’s surprise. #2 Easy as A.B.C. (5-1) is one of two in here for Kelly Breen. He stretched out around two turns with no trouble last out, hanging in for third after racing on the pace. Notably, Jose Ortiz, who was in town to ride the favorite in the Nownownow Stakes, thought enough of this one to pick up the mount. #10 Icy Intent (7-2), the stablemate of Easy as A.B.C, got a great trip off his stablemate and finished second, improving to a 79 second time out. He also looks like he’ll relish the extra distance. Either one of these would make a fine win bet; it really depends on their odds. #9 Harbor Moon (8-1) couldn’t chase down loose leader Otago last out, but outfinished the others and got a clear-cut second. Should improve second time out; hopefully he breaks cleanly this time.
- Armando R over the top to win Small StakesOnetime claimer Armando R rallied outside to prevail in Saturday’s Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Park for his second straight stakes win.
RACE 3: CLAIMING $40,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#6 Jet Speed (4-1) was in great form at Monmouth earlier in the year. He ran back-to-back figures of 85 and 87 in his first two starts of the season. He was pressed on the pace and faded when shipped up to Saratoga earlier in the year, but he’s dropping to more reasonable waters for Michelle Hemingway and could prove tough to catch on the lead. #9 Mad Genius (6-1) ran two figures in the 80s to start his career last winter, then disappeared for a little while. He dueled on the pace and hung in gamely in his first start off the break at Pimlico, and he was claimed out of that race by Anthony Farrior. He should be in prime form here. #7 His Royal G (8-1) has never lost against winners on dirt. He blew the turn on grass last out at Delaware in his first start after his maiden win, but has worked well since then and should rebound here.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#7 Sakari (9-2) crossed the wire first in impressive fashion at Penn National in late June, but she was disqualified after the fact. She adds lasix for the first time, drops in class, and switches back to dirt after two flat tries on grass. If she goes off near her morning line, that would be a great value. #6 Mi Yayis (5-1) has run either a 67 or a 68 in each of her four dirt starts, and also returns to this surface after some starts on grass. She crossed the wire first two back in a gate-to-wire effort but was disqualified for causing interference at the start. #2 Hov Lane (8-1) closed well in the last eighth for third last out and has improved since switching to dirt. Looms as an interesting longshot possibility.
RACE 5: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 2-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
There’s no doubt that #8 Recruiter (4-5) has a lot of natural early speed. In his debut at Monmouth, he zoomed to the early lead and opened up five lengths at the top of the stretch, but tired a bit late. That was going five furlongs, and it’s generally not encouraging when a horse tires going that short a distance. He’s worked well since then for Cal Lynch, and stretches out a little bit for this race. If he wins this one impressively, he’ll likely be the favorite for the James F. Lewis III Stakes on November 12. #4 Johnyz From Albany (3-1) broke his maiden sharply on this track, then dueled last out while racing in the two-path at Pimlico and tired to a rail-skimming rival. He has room to bounce back here, and will be considered a top contender for the Maryland Million Nursery if he wins this race. #1 Rol Again Dancer (6-1) dueled for the lead three-wide in his first start against winners last out and just missed. He’s going first off the claim by Kelly Breen.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
In a race where both of the morning line favorites look very vulnerable, I’ll look elsewhere. #4 Front Dancer (12-1) improved dramatically to a 76 last out at Delaware, and led briefly. He got second in the end. He earned that big figure on a wet track, and he’ll get to race on another one of those here. #3 El Balidor (10-1) ran a solid 74 in his lone start on conventional dirt, at Tampa Bay Downs last winter, and has run an 80 and a 79 in two synthetic races. He’s racing for the third time this year after making his season debut in June and will be near the pace. #6 Take Charge Too (7-2) led almost the whole way around on an off track at Pimlico last out before getting caught in the last few yards. He’s run lifetime tops in his last two races.
- Nick Sanna’s long journey to the winner’s circleLong before he owned horses, Nick Sanna had a job sweeping up after the races at Delaware Park. It’s been quite a journey.
RACE 7: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
This race was originally scheduled for grass, but was moved to dirt last night. #9 Paisley Singing (15-1) ran a game race on the lead last out. She dueled with Swayin To and Fro, who came back to win the Shine Again Stakes, and held on to finish second. Her figure of 86 from that day is her best figure in months. #8 Spicy Margarita (5-2) has run no worse than an 85 in her last three races, She handily beat a n/w1x field going gate-to-wire last out. However, she is a bit of a question mark over a wet track. Her best races have all come on fast surfaces. #11 Whiteknuckleflyer (6-1) won two in a row on this track earlier in the year then had a bad trip in the Shine Again. She had a bullet four-furlong drill last Sunday.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#4 I Can Run (7-2) broke her maiden on an off track at Laurel over the winter, and went on to win twice at the Monmouth meet. Most recently, she won the Eleven North Handicap over fellow Jersey-breds with a career-best figure of 87. #2 Noble Bid (3-1) crushed a first-level field in her last start on this track, then lost a three-horse photo after racing wide throughout at Delaware. She should set the pace on the rail. #7 Canoodle (9-2) closed for third while racing wide on an inside-biased track in the Shine Again last out. She has great late pace figures and will be rolling wide late.
RACE 9: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#2 Heads or Tails (3-1) made his Maryland dirt debut and handily won after stalking the pace against n/w2L foes last out. He has the best last-out figure in the field by four points. #3 Gerrys Gem (2-1) ate up the slop two back when he won here gate-to-wire, then was compromised by a bad break at Timonium last out. A cleaner start here and he could prove very tough to catch. #5 Appraisal (5-2) runs in the mid/upper-70s consistently for Kelly Breen and has closed well in his last two starts.
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