LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: NOVEMBER 14, 2022

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

Post time: 12:15 p.m.

Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $32,386 Super High 5 — $958 Late Pick 5 — $13,261

Check out our other handicapping here!

RACE 1: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)

16-1-5-15

We’ll wrap up the racing week with an eight-race card. #16 Rally Squirrel (9-5) ships down from New York to join Mike Maker’s Maryland squad. He held his own against solid New York-bred allowance horses earlier this year, then struggled a bit in his first start off the layoff last out. If he takes to this track for the first time, he should be able to work out a trip on the outside. #1 Maryland Pride (4-1) dealt with some traffic in his last start, but rallied on late when clear to finish fourth with a brisnet figure of 78, his second straight much-improved figure. The rail draw leaves him susceptible to traffic once again, so Will Humphrey, riding him for the first time, will try to work out the best trip he can. #5 Sidd Finch (5-2) also ships down from New York, in this case for Bruce Levine. He’s also racing second off the layoff. He has consistent mid/upper-70s figures and should close well late.

RACE 2: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS

2-6-7-9

Bryson Butterfly has started the meet on an 0-for-27 skid, but has a great chance to finally break out of it with #2 Panna Mine (7-2). Two dirt starts back, in his first start off a three-month break, he chased a loose leader but outkicked the others and got second, with a sharp 76. He duplicated that figure next out when he rerallied after losing his action on the turn. A repeat of either of those efforts likely wins this. #6 Valiant Gabe (8-1) makes his first start against winners following a determined maiden win at Delaware Park. He’s consistently run in the low 70s since making his seasonal bow in August and will be forwardly placed. #7 Superstitieux (5-2) was an impressive maiden winner at Delaware two races ago but was flat against better n/w2L horses last out. He should enjoy the class drop.

  • 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: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS

7-1-3-8

#7 No Foolin Dude (2-1) dueled gamely and held second at a big price in the Maryland MIlion Starter Handicap last out. He’s been on or near the pace in all of his recent races and this should be no different. #1 Instigated (6-1) has run in the 80s in his last three races and comes in here off a sharp stalking win at Delaware. Bryson Butterfly also has the mount on this one, so if he doesn’t get on the board in the prior event, he has a good chance again here. #3 Pepe and Heywood (7-2) gets some class relief and lasted through a duel to win at Delaware two back. He’ll likely pressure No Foolin Dude from the inside.

RACE 4: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $20,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)

4-14-15-12

The late pick 5 starts here, and there’s a nice carryover to boot. #4 Unconquered Spirit (9-2) returns to the races after a bit of a respite following a dull race at Delaware in mid-September. He ran in the low 90s earlier this year and will be forwardly placed. #14 Battalion (7-2) has won two in a row at this level at the meet, including a win against some of these last out. He overcame an overland trip to win last out, so the outside draw here shouldn’t be a problem. #15 One Two Kid (10-1) hasn’t run a bad race on grass this year, most recently closing for fourth after falling well behind last Monday. He might run out of time with his closing style but he’s worth a look for underneath spots.

RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS

4-3-6-9

Two horses are likely to take all the money in this one. #4 Thunder Boss (9-5) made her first start in more than a year last out, and held on for second after setting the early pace. She ran a career-best 73 that day, and will be tough if she improves off that race at all. #3 Ladro di Fichi (2-1) finished third behind Thunder Boss last out, rallying from behind after getting bumped out of the start. She was out of her element that day, as usually she sits near the leaders. She’s hit the board in all eight of her starts but of course has yet to find the winner’s circle. #6 Alliallioxenfree (5-1) makes her long-awaited debut after getting back to the worktab in September. Her recent drills have been sharp and she should make noise in her first career outing for Damon Dilodovico.

RACE 6: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS

10-8-5-2

The top three finishers in the Maryland Million Lassie are in action here. They’re led by #8 Chickieness (3-1), who grinded away from just off the pace to win in an impressive effort. However, if #10 Tappin Josie (7-2) runs back to her last race, she’s going to be tough to beat. She won at this level by almost five lengths in late September, but was disqualified for drifting in. The Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Anchor Down ran a 91 that day, far and away a career-best figure. She should work out a good trip rating on the outside near the leaders. #5 Mo Co Gold (8-1) has won two in a row for Anthony Farrior against softer and is rapidly improving form.

RACE 7: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED/SIRED, 1 MILE

5-4-6-9

#5 Rustys Gfivefifty (9-2) has been extremely consistent as of late, with figures between 84 and 86 in each of his last five starts. He made decent ground late at Delaware last out despite a wide trip and being a bit further off the pace than he’d usually like to be. #4 Dream Big Dreams (7-2) outfinished Rustys Gfivefifty last out in his third start off the layoff, a race where he overcame slow fractions to come from off the pace and get second. He ran in the high 80s towards the end of last year before going on the sidelines and has worked well since his last race. #6 Crabs N Beer (3-1) ran an impressive 93 in his last dirt start, an impressive good-trip win at Delaware in early October. He’s raced mostly on grass as of late but has plenty of dirt aptitude in his lines.

RACE 8: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS

8-2-7-3

#8 Illusion of Hope (12-1) is a great example of the lightbulb angle. After an 0-for-10 start, she’s won two of her last three races, including a n/w2L win at Delaware last out where she narrowly missed her lifetime best with a 73. #2 Sommer Velvet (7-5) handily won two in a row at Timonium and Charles Town, but was in a bit over her head in the Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap last out and was well-beaten. Her figures are a bit depressed since much of her recent form has been on bullrings, but she ran in the 80s on the big tracks earlier this year and would be tough if she ran back to those races. #7 Shiny Penny (7-2) opened a clear lead late last out and held on for second after a string of middling third-place performance. She’ll rate near the pace and try to manage her move a bit better.

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