LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: OCTober 9, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $3,291 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
More beautiful weather greets us as we wrap up the racing week. #5 Assembly Point (8-5) has been on an absolute tear lately, having crossed the wire first in six of his last seven dirt races. He had to battle a bit last out, but he got the job done against slightly better at Pimlico. #1 Mucho Macho Eddie (9-5) races as a coupled entry for Jamie Ness with #1A Wentz. Both of them have very similar form. I’ll give Mucho Macho Eddie the slight edge, as he’s racing third off the layoff and should work out a trip from the rail. #3 R Tenderoni (8-1) was no match for the impressive Tiz Herself last out, but he ran on well and got second despite a wide trip. He has good closing speed and can spice up the exotics.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE (GRASS)
9-8-12-10 (DIRT: 5-3-12-9)
#9 Covert Kat (5-2) ran very similar races in each of his two starts at Colonial Downs. He rated off the pace both times and rallied to miss by less than a length while running brisnet figures in the 70s. He’s stretching out around two turns for the first time but gets to face a soft field and will be tough as long as he has any aptitude going longer. His most serious competition will come from #8 Giantsbane (9-5), who has looked like a winner in the stretch in his last two starts here but has been unable to convert. He’s getting a rider switch to Jorge Ruiz, who will hope to time the rally better after two possibly premature moves in his last two races. #12 Tepper (4-1) drops for a tag for the first time. He ran promising figures earlier in the year but has declined into the 60s in his last two starts at Delaware Park. We’ll see if he rebounds against these.
- 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: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
This race looks like a rematch of the same condition on September 23. Four of the six horses who were in that race are back here, including #2 Ghost Stalker (5-2), who won that day. He made the front while racing wide going up the backstretch and held off a host of challenges to win. His only recent figures not in the 80s were at Charles Town, and he doesn’t have to race there today. #3 Dr. Ferber (6-1) came from well out of it to win going away against softer at Pimlico last out, matching his season’s-best figure with an 84. He has a big, looping closing style that should at least earn him a top-three finish and makes him an interesting longshot choice. #4 Krachenwagen (2-1) was flat at 3-5 behind Ghost Stalker and friends last out, but went gate-to-wire to win at this level two starts back. You’ll get a much better price today if you still believe.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
With the 8-race card, the late pick 5 starts here. #5 Anniesallinclusive (8-5) showed decent late speed after falling behind early at Monmouth on debut. He’s adding blinkers here as he prepares to stretch out. The fact that he didn’t tire much late in his last is encouraging. #6 Small But Feisty (4-1) also debuted at Monmouth, and was near the pace most of the way before flattening out. He’s looking to improve second-time out for Claudio Gonzalez, who has been on the schneid so far at the Laurel fall meet but did win the Monmouth training title. #3 I Am the Mike (7-2) improved to a 53 second time out, but he’ll have to show more punch late than usual.
RACE 5: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
2-6-13-10 (DIRT: 8-5-9-2)
There’s two stakes winners in 2022 in this field, including my top choice. #2 Smithwick’s Spice (4-1) was dominant at the Monmouth meet, winning three times on the lawn. This Jersey-bred capped his season with an impressive victory in the Joey P. Handicap. He’s improved with every start and gets a largely inconsistent field. #6 Momos (6-1) led most of the way at Kentucky Downs last out but faded late. This Mike Trombetta trainee has never won on grass but has kept good company over the surface, has run figures in the 90s on the lawn, and has lots of early speed. He can’t be discounted, especially if he goes off near his morning line. #13 Boat’s a Rockin (9-2) was third in the Turf Monster Handicap at Parx last out and will also be a serious speed threat. He had been racing in routes most of the year, and had been brutally effective when demonstrating his speed, but proved last out that shorter distances aren’t a problem.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#7 Stay Out (4-1) looked like she had it won at this level last out, but flattened out and finished third. She now returns to a track she loves; she’s hit the board 13 times from 18 starts here. She won on this track at this level three back in an easy front-running score. #5 Devilish Affair (5-1) was flat in her first start off the break at Charles Town, but also has aptitude on this track and should get a good stalking trip. #3 Domineer (5-2) showed little when pressed last out, but has proven herself dangerous when allowed to set the pace by herself. She has the best early pace figures in the field and can dominate this one early.
- 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: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $25,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
2-8-4-5 (DIRT: 4-6-3-11)
#2 Prince Pere (7-2) hasn’t yet won this year but runs in the upper-70s and 80s consistently. If he runs his usual race the rest of these will be hard-pressed to beat him. #8 Uncle Roamie (9-2) has hit the board in three of his last four starts and will be forwardly placed. #4 Never Satisfied (3-1) goes first off the claim by Brian Brooks. He has great closing speed but often leaves himself with too much to do late. Could be a better exotics contender.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $25,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#4 Little Bit of That (9-5) has shown signs of brilliance in her career but struggled in the Miss Disco Stakes and was dull on grass last out. She should find these easier to deal with. #5 Combat Queen (3-1) is also dropping in class after a string of allowance tries. She’s been slowly improving since coming off a brief layoff. #1 Six o’Clock Sarah (5-2) has speed on the rail and showed a lot of heart to win at Parx last out.
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