LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: OCTOBER 27, 2022

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

Post time: 12:15 p.m.

Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $11,854 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0

Check out our other handicapping here!

RACE 1: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)

12-6-10-2

Today’s the first day with the new early post time, and the last day of Thursday racing at the meet. We’ll shift to a Friday-Monday schedule next week. #12 Bali Baby (7-2) made her first start for the Claudio Gonzalez barn last out at Monmouth Park and ran a game race on the front end. She got involved in a hard-fought pace duel and left her dueling partner seven lengths behind at the wire. She lost by a nose to a rival who sat the trip just off the hot pace. The draw’s not ideal, but she’s shown she can withstand the heat up front. My next two picks are taking drops in class. #6 Renaissance (8-5) has run brisnet figures no worse than 76 in three stateside starts since arriving to this country from England earlier this year. She finished second against much better at Colonial Downs two races ago but was fourth after a wide trip last out. She’s definitely a contender, but her figures are not that much better than those of the others to merit taking a low win price. #10 Cerulean (5-1) ran a career-best 75 last out against n/w1x horses, although it was not a visually impressive race. She showed speed and faded going long at Delaware Park, but had shown promise over the summer when sprinting at Canterbury Park. One turn against these types should fit her better.

RACE 2: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE

8-7-4-2

#8 Scintillo (5-1) ran in the 70s in back-to-back starts recently when rounding into form after returning from a brief break. He was forced to check out of contention in his most recent start, which obscures his form somewhat. His best figures have come at a one-turn mile and will be tough if he can avoid getting caught in too fast a pace. #7 Bet on Blitz (4-1) exits the same October 6 race as Scintillo and tired after a wide trip. His form going this long remains to be seen, but he’s relatively lightly-raced and was a sharp second two back fourth off the bench. #4 I’m Not Slow (5-1) doesn’t have much speed to contend with in here with the exception of Scintillo and could find himself loose on the lead. He flattened out going a bit longer over the summer; we’ll see how he handles the one-turn mile.

  • 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: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)

2-10-4-5

Generally, I would say that a horse like #2 Safeen (1-1) is going to be overbet based on her class lines, and that you should look elsewhere for value. However, this Eddie Kenneally-trained filly has caught a soft field for her local bow, and did run big at Kentucky Downs in her first career outing. She recovered from a bad break to rate near the pace, then dueled in the lane and lost by a nose to Sabalenka, who finished fourth in the Jessamine Stakes on opening day at Keeneland. She ran an 82 that day, which is better than anyone else in here has run by 14 points, and will be exceptionally tough if she shows up at all. #10 Inscrutable (6-1) improved to a 68 second-time out at Delaware last out, rallying to win a photo for show. Her dam, Golden Gem, has produced two other foals so far, both of them are winners. #4 Silent Story (5-1) lost that photo to Inscrutable and should keep improving third time out for Brittany Russell.

RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS

5-4-3-7

#5 Devilish Affair (7-2) closed strongly and finished second, beaten less than a length, last out with a career-best figure of 85. She’s going third off the layoff and will be heard from late. #4 Fortes (7-2) showed little after a wide trip against better last out, but ran figures of 80 and 78 in her two prior races. Dropping back in class from the n/w1x allowance levels should help the cause. She’ll be forwardly placed. #3 Shiny Penny (7-2)‘s form is obscured by two Timonium starts, where figures tend to be lower than they are on the big tracks. Take out those races, and she’s been running in the upper-60s and low-70s steadily as of late. She won twice in a row on this track earlier in the year.

RACE 5: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)

15-1-4-6

#15 Amazon Queen (6-1) will need some help drawing in, but if she does she’ll be tough. She’s dropping to this level for the first time after a pair of n/w1x races at Colonial and Delaware. Those summer starts were her first races since last December at Tampa Bay Downs, but she ran back-to-back figures of 75, which are competitive with these. Taking a drop in class and going third off the layoff should help. Fellow Arnaud Delacour trainee #1 Center Stage (5-2) is in the main body of the field and is also dropping in class. She’s had some traffic trouble in recent races but has closed well when clear, including a game effort going five furlongs at Pimlico last out. Her best races have come around two turns. #4 Murph (2-1) was stakes-placed in her last start and now drops in class for Brittany Russell. She could’ve been in the n/w1x race last week, but perhaps she was not yet ready, or Russell did not want to run her against My Candy Girl, who won that race. On the other hand, there is a n/w1x race in the book for Sunday that she could’ve been in, so does Russell just want an easy win at the expense of potentially losing her? Long story short: she has early speed and back-class but beware the class drop.

RACE 6: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS

5-4-3-6

#5 Senson (2-1) has won two in row, sitting on or near the pace both times. She rated off the lead and won an exciting stretch battle with a career-best figure of 83. She’ll hope to get another idyllic setup here. #4 Salamina (5-1) was fourth that day after a wide trip but does have consistent figures in the 70s and will contend if she runs her race. She’s a good type to key underneath in the exotics. #3 Joe Mike Jim (3-1) was dull after a bad start at Delaware last out, but usually has early speed and has run figures competitive with these all year long.

RACE 7: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)

8-5-6-4

#8 Partyline (6-1) closed stoutly for third at Kentucky Downs last out, her best performance yet after getting stuck behind two slow paces at Colonial earlier in her career. She’ll need a pace to run into but will be tough if she gets it. #5 Culdee (5-2) has finished second in a row three straight times at this level at Delaware. She’s made premature moves in some recent starts and will hope for a well-timed ride from Hector Diaz Jr. #6 Byrdie Howe (7-2) is lightly-raced and races for the first time since May 27 for Shug McGaughey. She has early speed and will try to set a sleepy early tempo.

RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 2-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS

6-7-1-3

A very interesting field of 2-year-olds will meet up for today’s feature, perhaps none more so than #6 Post Time (5-2), a gray/roan Maryland-bred son of Frosted who broke his maiden impressively at Laurel on October 7. He closed strongly while wide in the stretch and cruised to a two-length win, with a figure of 83. He’s had a good workout since then, getting four furlongs in 48 4/5 seconds on October 21. This will be his first major class test, but if he passes it, bigger and better things await. His toughest opponent is drawn to his direct outside, in #7 Valenzan Day (6-5) for Rudy Rodriguez. He’s been unimpressive in three stakes tries this year, but those races are sandwiched between a sharp maiden score at Belmont Park in May and a dominant 5 3/4-length win at Delaware on September 22. Rather than try stakes company, Rodriguez has dropped him in for the $62,500 tag. He ran an 89 last time out and has run at least an 87 three times. He’s going to be tough and also looks promising. #1 Noah Chance (8-1) broke his maiden on the lead last out at Pimlico, improving dramatically off his first two starts to run an 82. As a son of Great Notion, he was eligible for last week’s Maryland Million Nursery, but Jerry Robb elected to wait for this spot. He might have his hands full with Post Time and Valenzan Day but at least he’ll be able to get the front-running trip he wants.

RACE 9: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)

13-12-5-15

#13 Moon of Love (4-1) makes her first start for the Mike Stidham barn. She closed well for third in her last start against similar and gets Jevian Toledo aboard for the first time. #12 Tak E Lady (9-2) has been in improving form this year for Lynn Ashby and should rate near the leaders. #5 Likely Choice (5-2) has consistently run in the 70s this year and ran on to finish a sharp third against similar at Delaware last out, in a race where she got stuck behind a dominant loose leader.

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