LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: October 29, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:15 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $14,165 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $6,127
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
More gorgeous weather awaits us on this 10-race card. #2 Bode Lynx (3-1) woke up a bit in his first start for the Milan Milosevic barn last out. He came from well off the pace and finished a solid-closing third, with a brisnet figure of 76. That’s far and away a career-best number. He’s going two turns for the first time but shouldn’t have trouble with the distance if that last race is any indication. #6 Secret Sanctuary (5-2) showed little in his dirt debut at Aqueduct last out, but ran a relatively respectable 65 and not takes a drop in class for Bob Klesaris. He’s lightly-raced with room to improve. #4 Lightning Lad (4-1) was no match behind Bode Lynx last out, but he raced extremely wide most of the way. He should do better with a ground-saving trip, which he should be able to work out.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
Betting a stalker in a race with a lot of speed doesn’t always work out, but in a case like this, where a stalker is going to be a good price, it’s worth a bet. #4 Aesthetically (12-1) made his first start in more than a year last out, and won a head-bob photo to break his maiden with a career-top 72. The horse he beat in the photo, Crimson Rocket, came back to win on dirt next out on October 15. This one should keep moving forward second off the layoff and will get a trip. #1 Mosler Safe (6-1) is making his grass debut for Mike Trombetta and his first start since mid-June. Although he has not raced on this surface before, he’s shown a good kick in his dirt starts, he’ll get a good trip off the pace on the rail, and gets Jeiron Barbosa aboard for the first time. #3 Great Idea (9-5) was a hard-charging second in his first race off the claim for Dale Capuano last out and will also be heard from late. He’s dropping from the $25,000 starter optional claiming level into this race.
- Winning Time scores in PA NurseryDebut 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 $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#1 Extra Crunchy (5-2) has had her chances against these types, but she’s run two of her best figures in her last two races and ran on gamely to just miss against these types two races ago. The winner of that race, Senson, came back to win her next two starts. #4 Redwhitentacos (3-1) ran a big race on the lead last out, leading most of the way before getting caught late in her first dirt race since April. With a lot of speed signed on in here, we’ll see if Barbosa decides to send her again or rate her right off the leaders. #5 Kobe’s Girl (6-1) has run in the 70s in three of her last five starts and makes her second start against winners here. She didn’t do much last out but gets a jockey upgrade back to regular rider Grant Whitacre.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/8 MILES (GRASS)
#5 Bunker Hill (8-5) closed into a slow pace last out and lost in a blanket finish. He’s pace-dependent, and there isn’t a lot of speed in this race, but it’s such a soft field that it shouldn’t matter too much. The biggest speed threat in the race may be #2 Dominguez (5-1), making his first start on the lawn for Mark Shuman. He’s been forwardly-placed in all his recent races, including a runner-up finish at Delaware Park last out where he chased a loose leader. Here, he could prove to be the loose leader everyone else is chasing. #4 Dial Him Up (10-1) closed frantically for second in his last grass race at Delaware and should make an impact on this one even if the pace is slow.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $40,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
Rudy Sanchez-Solomon trains both of my top two picks in this one. #2 Glowsity (5-2) dueled all the way around last out with Tweet Away Robin and Sofia’s Secret. The former gave way and lost by eleven lengths, while the latter battled with Glowsity all the way down the lane and lost by a length. She ran a career-best 87 that day, and has run no worse than an 85 in her last three races. #5 Click to Confirm (3-1) drops in class from the n/w2x level and was a solid-closing third in that spot. She’s only won once this year from 14 starts, but this Maryland-bred daughter of Tonalist has faced better all year long and should thrive in this type of race. #6 Peachy Weachy (9-2) turned in one bad performance at Gulfstream Park in June, but otherwise has run between a 77 and an 83 for months now. Her best might not be good enough to win this one but she should at least rate in mid-pack and grind for a slice.
RACE 6: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
This looks like a three-horse race on paper, and I will pick it accordingly. #2 Claire’s Darling (3-1) lasted through a duel to win going away on dirt last out, and she has two recent wins against similar types on this track under her belt. She’s going to be a major pace presence. I’ve chased #9 Bath and Tennis (3-1) all year long, as she always looks like she’s in a spot where she’s ready to put it all together. She runs well just about every time out there, with seven in-the-money finishes from nine starts this year, but hasn’t yet won. She’s a closer who likes to make a menacing move, but can’t quite get there. She’s worth a mention but is a tough sell as a win proposition. #7 Translate (5-2) was in very sharp form over the winter at Santa Anita Park, and while she hasn’t run in the mid-80s consistently over here like she did there, she turned in two strong performances in the summer at Colonial Downs, including a win last out where she stalked the pace and pounced.
- 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: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#8 The Haunted Room (8-1) is the hunch play of the weekend, and she has a good shot to win on straight handicapping as well. She fell far off the pace in her first start on dirt last out, but made up good ground in the stretch and finished third, matching her career-top with a 63. She can upset the apple cart with a further-improved race. #2 Tap N Glo (5-2) flattened out a bit late last out but nonetheless looked promising in her first start in nine months. She should improve for Brittany Russell with that race under her belt. #5 Scintillating Star (4-1) also made her first start off a long layoff last out, and just missed her lifetime-top figure with a 67 in a fourth-place effort. She turned in a bullet workout at Parx on October 23 and is in line for a big race.
RACE 8: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
This field is highlighted by a horse with a very interesting pedigree: #8 Mission Man (3-1), a half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner Caravel and stakes winner Witty. He didn’t get much wagering action in his debut at Pimlico, but kept on with the leaders and finished a solid fourth. He was rained off twice but will finally get a chance to return to grass. This looks like a soft field and he should shine. #4 Rock Chalk (4-1) cuts back around one turn and had traffic trouble in his first two starts sprinting at Saratoga. He faded late going two turns at the Meadowlands but this distance should suit him better. #3 Reeled In (5-1) made his debut in a washed-off race at Delaware last out and closed well for second. He looks well-meant for the lawn and I’m interested to see how he does on the surface.
RACE 9: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED/SIRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
A lot of horses in here are coming out of the race at this condition on October 8, including my top two picks. #5 Al Loves Josie (5-2) has run perhaps his best two races in his last two starts. He chased loose leader Backnthewoods, who came back to finish third in the Challedon Stakes, two races back and finished second. Next out, he led most of the way and was caught late by Elusive Agent. There’s plenty of speed in here, so he might be forced into fast fractions again, but he’s shown the ability to withstand it. #9 Berks (5-1) was sharp in victory against open company two back at Pimlico, winning with a figure of 93. However, he was flat last out when well-bet in the same race as Al Loves Josie. He’s shown enough potential in the past to merit another shot from me. #7 Katie’s Notion (12-1) showed no signs of rust last out, as he crushed the field in a sharp maiden-breaking score in his first start off a 10 1/2-month layoff. He’s going to have a hard time getting the same kind of gate-to-wire trip he did in that race but nonetheless has upside at a price. He might be able to rate off the leaders and make a decent move.
RACE 10: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#10 Seems to Whisper (5-2) ran on gamely in the stretch and just missed in her last start on this track on August 20. She didn’t do much at Aqueduct last out but still earned a 69, which is competitive at this level. Should improve on the class drop for Mike Trombetta. #5 Silver Sea (3-1) ran a career-best 81 in her last start, where she stalked the pace going two turns and faded late. The comment lines indicate that she had some traffic late, but she was already beaten by the time it occurred. This is her first start going one turn on dirt for Arnaud Delacour, who enlists Hector Diaz Jr to ride. It’s one of just two mounts for Diaz on the day. #6 Mashua (8-1) showed speed and faded second time out, first time on grass, last out. She could pop up and surprise at a bit of a price.
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