LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: NOVEMBER 11, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:15 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $23,677 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
Nine is fine for this Friday of action. #2 Vasy Says Nyet (2-1) was caught wide throughout in his debut at Churchill Downs and faded late. Kieron Magee took him out of that spot for $30,000, and although it’s a drop in claiming price, it’s also a pretty soft field. He should be tough if he improves at all. #3 Buck Wild (9-2) opened up a loose early lead and faded late last out, but it was easily a career-best performance nonetheless. He put in a sharp bullet workout last Saturday at Pimlico, going four furlongs in 48 seconds and outworking numerous older horses in the process. #1 Great Days Ahead (6-1) catches an easy field for his first start and has worked well at Delaware Park getting ready for this spot.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#5 Notion to Tapit (7-2) has improved drastically in his last two starts, including a career-best race of 81 last out in the Maryland Million Starter Handicap. Coming off a bottom-level maiden claiming win, he was clearly overmatched in that spot, but nonetheless outran his odds and clunked up for sixth. He’s making his first start at this level and faces a field that doesn’t like to win. #8 Saint Marco (5-2) switched back to dirt last out and ran a big race. He raced wide on the pace and held on for second, while everyone else who was near the front early was well-beaten. He doesn’t have a great draw but he’s shown resilience and will be tough if he can work out a decent trip. #6 Give it a Go (6-1) has slowly rounded back into semi-decent form, with figures in the low-70s in his last two starts. He’s shown a good closing punch in some of his recent starts and will likely rally for at least a share.
- 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: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
1-2-4-6 (DIRT: 7-8-14-15)
One of only two grass races scheduled for today, which is good, as the forecast as of writing time is calling for the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole to come through. #1 Stella’s Tour (15-1) has raced on grass just once, but it was a promising effort. He dueled throughout on the outside with T Rex, who drew off to win and came back to win at Presque Isle Downs on Oct. 25. Stella’s Tour held on for a clear second with a solid 76. Here, he’ll be able to save ground while racing near the pace. #2 Dyna Mast (6-1) ran a career-best 69 last out when he closed for third in his first start at this level. His best races have come when there’s at least some kind of pace on. #4 Maybe It’s Time (15-1) got nailed on the wire in his most recent grass start and looks like the main speed threat in this one.
RACE 4: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
#3 Sicilia Mike (5-2) made his first start for Jose Corrales last out, his third trainer in three starts. After finishing a mild second as the odds-on choice in his local debut, he crushed the field in a starter allowance race last time, running a 98. That’s an improvement on the mid-90s figures he was running in New York earlier this year. He’s facing a bit better field here but that last race would smoke these. #4 Ekati’s Verve (7-2) won at this level last out at Delaware with a career-best figure of 89. He has great late pace figures and runs his best races when he stays at least somewhat close to the early leaders. #1A Boss Logic (2-1) has run back-to-back 88s, including a gate-to-wire win two races ago. With his late pace numbers, if he’s allowed to set the pace he’s going to be very tough to reel in.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
After running in the 70s most of the year, #2 Camp Pendleton (4-1) has stepped up his game in his last two starts, with figures of 86 and 84. He flattened out and finished second going a mile last out, but now cuts back by a furlong and will show good tactical speed. #7 No More Talk (7-2) occasionally pops up and runs a big race, but comes in here off a flat performance in the Maryland Million Starter Handicap. He’s run an 85 and an 86 within his last five starts. Both of those figures are good enough to win this, but no guarantee he shows up. #8 Tommy Shelby (9-2) also exits the Starter Handicap, where he was a solid-closing fourth. He didn’t do much against better for most of the year, but he should be at home against these third off the bench.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, MD-BRED/SIRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
4-2-1-12 (DIRT: 2-7-1-8)
#4 Island Philo (5-2) was in a bit too tough last out in the Maryland Million Turf Sprint, and was also closer to the pace than she likes to be. Take out that race, and she has promising form. She’s won twice on this course this year and was a hard-charging third in the Jameela Stakes earlier this year. If she can sit off the pace and make her usual closing move she’s going to be hard to hold off. #2 Quiet Imagination (6-1) hasn’t raced in a grass sprint in a while but her recent form going short on dirt makes her well-suited for this spot. She overcame a bad start to lose by three-quarters of a length last out at Delaware. #1 Hitch a Ride (3-1) has closed strongly and just missed in her last two starts, including a half-length defeat behind Island Philo two races ago.
- 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 $20,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#7 Unrequited Love (5-1) has gone gate-to-wire in two of her last five starts and looks fast enough to set an uncontested pace once again. From there, it’s a matter of how much she has left to give. Based on her recent form, if she can avoid going faster than about 46 2/5 seconds or so for the first half, she’s got a shot. #4 Proper Attire (7-2) won at this level two races ago and will get as close to Unrequited Love as she can early on. If Unrequited Love fades, Proper Attire will be there to pick up the pieces. #8 Bahama Pearl (8-1) was dull in her last start at Charles Town but consistently ran in the mid-70s on the big tracks over the summer.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
A nice field of ten will line up for today’s feature race. #1 Moody Woman (7-2) was no match for the impressive Smash Ticket in the Weather Vane Stakes last out, but nonetheless closed well and finished third. She’s run between an 85 and an 88 in her last three starts on big tracks and has hit the board eight times from nine races on the Laurel oval. #2 Bandit’s Warrior (4-1) turned in a huge performance to win a Maryland-bred first-level allowance race last out, running a career-best figure for the second race in a row. However, it was over a track that, in my mind, benefited speed horses on the inside, of which she was one. The biggest bright spot is that she can work out a similar trip here. #5 Plane Drunk (6-1) won a photo for second on a wet track at this level last out at Parx. She’s another type who usually runs in the mid-80s and should work out a trip from just off the pace.
RACE 9: CLAIMING $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#1 Bernie’s on Fire (6-5) finished fourth in a tough starter allowance race after setting the pace two races back, then lasted through a duel and beat an $8,000 field going away last out. He is dropping off a win, but it’s likely Jerry Robb thinks he’s simply better suited for six furlongs rather than seven. #5 Silent Service (8-1) soundly beat a conditioned claiming field in his most recent start. He struggled in his races right before that one, but bounced back to an 82 in that performance. He has a chance to upset if the favorite doesn’t fire. #4 Jettin Out (9-2) struggled over the Timonium bullring in two starts there but outside of that has been in sharp form, including a win against conditioned rivals at Presque Isle last out.
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