LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: October 8, 2022

In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…

Post time: 12:40 p.m.

Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $3,219 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0

Check out our other handicapping here!

RACE 1: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS

6-4-3-1

When people think about an archetypical fall day, today’s weather is it. We’ll start things off with a short, but wide-open, field. #6 Lady Whistledown (3-1) broke her maiden two starts back, in her third career start. She did it the hard way, battling on the lead throughout and inching clear late. She raced wide at Pimlico last out, which is rarely a winning trip, and should work out a better setup here even from the outside post. #4 Redwhitentacos (5-2) returns to dirt for her third start off the layoff. She was flat on grass in her last two races, but ran brisnet figures in the 70s on dirt earlier in the year. #3 If Then (5-1) has never crossed the wire first, having been but up via disqualification in her debut. She’s slowly improved in her recent recent.

RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS

9-13-2-3

Both grass races are off today. Considering they only carded two, you had to figure there was a good chance they’d come off. #9 Born for Victory (2-1) showed speed and faded on debut at Monmouth Park, holding on for third with a respectable figure of 67. This Maryland-bred son of Divining Rod will try to make his speed last second time out. #13 Buddy Buddy (3-1) got caught wide at Charles Town last out but closed for third with a decent figure of 65. He’s racing on dirt on the big track for the first time and should sit the trip. #2 Syncopated (3-1) drops after two tries against straight maidens and adds blinkers for Edwin Merryman.

  • Winning Time scores in PA Nursery
    Debut winner Winning Time handled the step up to stakes company with aplomb, winning Tuesday’s $200,000 Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes at Parx.

RACE 3: CLAIMING $25,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS

6-5-2-4

#6 Eleazar (5-1) was pressed on the pace in his last dirt start and backed up. He’s run in the 70s in each of his last two dirt starts and and won’t have to deal with as much pace pressure here. #5 It’s Over (5-2) also runs in the 70s consistently but has struggled to break through against winners. Goes first off the claim by Claudio Gonzalez. #2 Flaming East (7-2) broke his maiden going away in June with a solid figure of 72, but hasn’t raced since then. We’ll see how he does first off the bench.

RACE 4: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 7 FURLONGS

3-5-2-4

#3 Pep Rally (2-1) is a daughter of Mor Spirit making her career debut for Kelly Breen. She’s been working very well at Monmouth Park, and with their meet over, Breen’s sending her down here to make her first start. None of the horses with experience here have shown that much, so she should handle this field without much trouble if she’s anything. #5 Grace and Charm (5-2) looks the best of anyone in the field who have raced, having missed second by a half-length in her first start at Pimlico. She ran a 71 that day and will contend here if she moves forward. #2 Hamo (3-1) is a granddaughter of Eclipse champion Sweet Catomine making her debut for Graham Motion. This one has looked promising in the morning, but Motion’s horses usually does better with experience.

RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS

2-3-8-9

After finishing well behind in her first three starts, #2 Tilted Tiara (3-1) has shown a lot of heart on the lead in her last two races. She battled on the pace and held on to finish third in both of those races. She’ll set the pace on the rail once again and should at least hold on for a slice of the exotics. #3 The Haunted Room (5-1) was well-bet in her first two starts on grass, but didn’t show much in either races. She’s continuing to drop down the class ladder and hopes to improve with the surface change and the addition of blinkers. #8 I Have Courage (10-1) closed for fourth in his second start after a rough break and adds lasix for the first time.

RACE 6: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE

1-2-11-10

#1 Sicilia Mike (7-2) makes his first start after being claimed by Claudio Gonzalez. He’s spent almost his entire career in New York, and has not raced in Maryland since January 2017. That day, he finished fourth in a maiden special weight before future Maryland Million Starter Handicap winner No More Talk. In the here and now, this one ran in the 90s consistently earlier in the year but has fallen off a bit in his last few starts. He chased the leaders and was a solid second against similar at Monmouth last out, suggesting he can still be competitive at this level. #2 Camp Pendleton (5-1) finished well in his last start at Pimlico, losing a three-horse photo for second. He should rate near the pace and will battle for an exotics spot. #11 Dashing Lou (6-1) outfinished Camp Pendleton last out setting the early pace. He’s the only one in the field to have run at least a 76 in each of his last three starts, and should be able to get a good spot near the lead if used aggressively from the outside post.

RACE 7: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED/SIRED, 6 FURLONGS

6-10-9-5

A few Maryland Million eligibles will line up here. #6 The Wolfman (7-2), a son of the late Bandbox, picked up his fifth win of the year with an impressive gate-to-wire score against starter allowance foes last out. There’s lots of speed in here, but he may not have to outrun them all. Rather, based on his recent form, he can sit just off the pace and strike when the leaders tire. If he wins this race, it would establish him as one of the favorites in the Maryland Million Starter Handicap in two weeks should he choose to go there. #10 Rad Paisley (9-2) does not have a great draw but has the most early speed of anyone in the field. He ran a career-best 99 last out at Delaware Park when he set the pace and was caught by Powerfully Built, who won his second consecutive race that day. Daniel Centeno will have to send him hard but if he does he could prove tough to catch. #9 Elusive Agent (10-1) has improved dramatically with every dirt start, including an 88 last out when fourth against open n/w1x foes. He’ll take advantage of a fast early pace.

RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS

1-4-6-7

All eyes will be on the inside post in this one, as Gotham Stakes winner #1 Morello (7-5) makes his first start since June. He looked brilliant around one turn earlier in his career, winning his first three starts, including the Gotham, by a combined 13 3/4 lengths. He didn’t do much around two turns in the Wood Memorial, then was outclassed in the Woody Stephens Stakes, after which he went to the sidelines. He adds lasix here and has a big chance if he runs his race. His most serious opposition will come from #4 Greeley and Ben (2-1), going first off the claim for Jeffrey Englehart. He’s won 16 times from 23 starts between this year and last, including a hard-fought win at Saratoga last out with a figure of 90. He’s declined a bit since arriving on the east coast in early June, but he still has plenty left in the tank and will take advantage if Morello doesn’t fire. #6 Mojovation (5-1) fell too far behind to seriously contend at Pimlico last out, but he made good ground in the stretch and got third.. His only bad recent race came around two turns, something he obviously won’t have to worry about here. Goes first off the claim by Ferris Allen.

RACE 9: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE

11-16-10-14

#11 Burgee (7-2) has run in the 80s in each of his last two starts. He sat the trip and grinded to win at Monmouth two starts back and was game at Delaware last out. #16 Heartness (7-2) has runs consistently in the upper-70s and low-80s on dirt all year. He tracked the pace in his last two starts and flattened out, but could find himself on the lead in a race without a ton of speed. #10 Dolice Vita (6-1) has won two of his last three starts on this track and is also likely to show some speed.

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