LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: november 12, 2022

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

Post time: 11:45 a.m.

Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $25,676 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0

Check out our other handicapping here!

RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS

2-1-5-7

There’s so many races today, they had to move up post time by thirty minutes. The card includes a trio of stakes races. After a strong-closing debut, #2 Elle Victoriana (9-5) was visibly flatter last out. However, she did improve her brisnet figure three points in that race to a 67. She adds blinkers third time out for Brittany Russell and catches a soft field on the class drop. #1 My Third Charm (8-1) has worked well in preparation for her debut for Lacey Gaudet, with a string of solid four-furlong drills in her recent lines. Gaudet has two wins with firsters from 14 tries this year. #5 Gatita Suave (8-1) has also worked well for Rudy Sanchez-Solomon and will contend if she shows anything first out.

RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $20,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS

2-1-8-7

Unsurprisingly, the three grass races scheduled for today were pulled off yesterday. #2 Askin For a Baskin (3-1) set the pace at this level two starts back and sent his dueling partner into a sound defeat. He held on for the victory after pulling clear late. He checked and showed little against better last out but should be back to his old self here. #1 Robey’s Boy (12-1) ran in the 80s consistently earlier in the year but has raced infrequently since then and not on dirt since March 5. He has good closing speed and can surprise if he shakes off the rust. #8 Savoy (8-1) won three in a row while showing early speed earlier in the year and improved when going second off the layoff last out. This might be too short for him but I’m intrigued by him with another race under his belt. If he gets the trip he could prove tough to catch.

  • 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 $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS

5-7-6-2

In contrast to his previous two starts, #5 Kozy’s Wildcat (2-1) rated off the pace in his last start, and grinded his way to the win. He’s run in the 80s or 90s five times this year and has three wins from five starts on this track. Based on his early pace figures, he could find himself on the lead early once again. #7 Backatya (9-5), overcame a wide trip to win at Delaware Park last out and will likely get a similar setup here. His best is a few points below the best of Kozy’s Wildcat, but he’ll likely take extra money due to being trained by Jamie Ness. #6 Rahmer (6-1) showed little in his second start in seven months last out, but showed promising form earlier in the year and gets some class relief second off the layoff.

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

5-2-1-6

#5 Shackleford County (5-2) drew off to win impressively at Monmouth Park after a speed duel. However, that win must’ve come at a cost, considering she had a voided claim on her after that race. She’s been working steadily since early October for her return effort and now makes her first start for Claudio Gonzalez. Interested to see how she does first off the layoff. Take out a bad start two races back, and #2 Ms. Malevolence (10-1) has been running in the 70s consistently with great late pace figures. With some speed on here, she would take advantage if the leaders falter. #1 Lightfoot Miss (10-1) tried better last out, and it didn’t quite work out. Prior to that, she ran three figures in a row no worse than 74 against these types, and would be a threat at a price if she ran back to those numbers. However, six furlongs might be a bit too short for her.

RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS

8-2-7-14

#8 Dunder Boss (3-1) is one of the few in here who has shown any ability in her career. She moved up wide after a bad break last out and hung in gamely in the stretch before fading to third. This daughter of Holy Boss stays at this level second time out for Brittany Russell and should improve as long as she breaks cleanly. #2 Waverley (12-1) closed decently in her last start at this level to finish 2 1/4 lengths behind the runner-up. She raced poorly on grass last out but now gets into a spot more to her liking and could surprise for a piece. #7 Midnight Revenge (5-1) goes second off the layoff for Rudy Sanchez-Solomon and will try to go as fast as she can, as far as she can.

RACE 6: CLAIMING $40,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS

6-7-5-12

#6 Sponsored (8-1) has dominated his last two starts on this track, winning them by a combined ten lengths. He’s getting a class test after beating softer in those races, but if he runs his race he’s going to be tough. #7 Holy Synchronicity (6-1) has run in the 80s in four of his last five starts and should sit a good stalking trip. #5 Gerrys Gem (8-1) has won his last three starts on this track and will be fleet of foot in the early stages. He held off Heads of Tails late in each of his last two starts; that rival is also back in here today.

RACE 7: SMART HALO STAKES, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS

8-6-2-4

The first stakes race on the card is named for the first winner of the Maryland Million Lassie. Note the winner of this year’s Lassie, Chickieness, was scratched on Thursday. Doesn’t change my top pick, as #8 Dissolute (7-2) will be very tough to beat here. If she broke her maiden at Saratoga or Keeneland like she did at Delaware last out, she’d be one of the toasts of the racing world. She broke on top and dominated throughout, earning a 91 in the process. There’s lot of speed in here, but she looks fast enough to outrun them, and she’ll be long gone from there. #6 Diamondsifyoudo (9-2) will take money because she debuted at Keeneland, and ran a very respectable 87. However, she had all day to go by the longshot leader and could not do it, ultimately finishing second by a half-length. She can clunk up for a piece here, but unless the pace is very fast she’ll have to show a lot more of a closing punch. #2 Gormley’s Gabriela (15-1) crossed the wire second in her last start, but was put up to first after the victorious Tappin Josie was disqualified for drifting in. She ran an 82 in that career-best race and could upset the exotics if she keeps moving forward.

RACE 8: JAMES F. LEWiS STAKES, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS

6-1-5-7

This race is named after a former trainer and the first president of the Maryland Million. All eyes will be on post position six here, as #6 Recruiter (6-5) will try to make it three in a row as a likely odds-on choice. He’s won his first two races in gate-to-wire style, with figure of 87 and 92. He’s been working strongly for this race at Fair Hill for Cal Lynch, who also sends out Dissolute one race prior. #1 Heldish (5-2) was no match for the impressive Johnyz From Albany in the Maryland Million Nursery but ran on well late and got up for second. He’s still coasting a bit off his big maiden win here in July, but he’s faced tough horses in every start since and can easily outrun the rest late. #5 Riccio (7-2) has been close in his last three tries, all in stakes company, and has improved his figure with each recent race. He’s another one who can grind on for a share.

RACE 9: THIRTY EIGHT GO GO STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES

4-7-1-8

This race is named after the star Maryland-bred filly of the 1980s. Earlier this year, #4 Beguine (5-1) looked like a promising 3-year-old filly following an impressive maiden win at Oaklawn Park and a narrow defeat in the Fantasy Stakes. However, she stopped badly after setting the pace in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes and did not return for 4 1/2 months. She faded after racing near the pace at Keeneland last out, but ran an 85, not far off from what she was running earlier in the year. With a race under her belt and some good workouts since, it wouldn’t be surprising if she ran a career-best race second off the layoff. #7 Baby Man (5-1) has won her last two starts against allowance foes in gate-to-wire fashion, including a gigantic race at Aqueduct last out where she ran a 101. Beguine and #1 Malibu Beauty (5-2) are going to challenge her for the early lead, but if she can outkick them she could find herself loose on the lead. Speaking of Malibu Beauty, the Maryland-bred mare has won two stakes going two turns this year at Delaware and was second behind Fille d’Esprit going one turn in the Maryland Million Distaff. She’s run some big recent figures and will be able to protect early position on the rail.

RACE 10: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS

9-11-2-12

Even though it was originally scheduled for the lawn, there’s lots of dirt form in this race. #9 Little Bit of That (5-2) set the pace last out and tired in what proved to be a salty $25,000 race. She continues to drop down the class ladder and ran some big races earlier in the year. She had a sharp workout at Pimlico last Friday and will try to return to her best form third off the layoff. #11 Sweet Talia (5-1) outfinished Little Bit of That last out, closing for fourth after falling well behind early on. She’s run her two best races within her last four starts and will try to sit the trip near the pace. #2 Fortunata Italia (6-1) returns to this track, on which she ran a career-best figure in April, and comes off a sharp stalking win at Mountaineer.

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