LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: NOVEMBER 18, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:15 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $36,421 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
We’ll kick off this 9-race card with a group of 2-year-old maidens. #1 River Full (9-5) is the clear early speed threat of the race and led most of the way at Delaware Park last out before getting caught. It’s a long stretch run in these races and there’s nowhere to hide, but he shouldn’t get much pressure up front. #4 World Factor (4-1) got caught wide on the turn second time out and ended up falling behind a very slow pace. In spite of all the circumstances, he ended up improving his brisnet figure slightly from his debut to a 57. You have to figure he’ll save more ground here. #2 Bullout (10-1) lost his first two starts by a combined 69 lengths but finally showed some life third time out, rallying for fourth with a wide move and finishing just four lengths behind the runner-up. He’ll try to keep the forward momentum going here.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#6 Tiz Susan Ann (2-1) closed solidly for second in her last dirt start, losing only to a rival who sat near the pace while Tiz Susan Ann rated in mid-pack early on. She ran a 77 that day, her best main-track mark in a while. #2 Ravenel (9-2) stopped on the lead in her last two starts, but now cuts back from a mile and should be on or near the pace. The main threat on the lead will come from #5 Sick Pack Sara (9-5), who has blazing early speed but stopped badly in her last two starts. She couldn’t make the lead in the Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap and showed little. She’ll look for a bounceback performance on the class drop.
- 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 $20,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#8 Arrogates Dream (2-1) put in perhaps her best rally yet last out at Delaware, making up ground in the last eighth to finish two lengths beaten. She’s run in the 60s in each of her four starts; a similar performance likely wins this race. #3 Ice Cube Baby (3-1) comes back in off a seven-day layoff. Last out, against the boys but probably a slower field than this one, she rated near the pace and held third for her second straight in-the-money finish. Without much other established speed in here, she could find herself in an advantageous pace scenario. #4 Love the Hustle (9-2) is one of two interesting first-time starters in here for Jamie Ness. I’ll give this one the edge, as she turned in some solid recent workouts both here and at Delaware, plus Jaime Rodriguez was named on this one as opposed to her stablemate.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
The rainbow pick 6, whose jackpot continues to build, begins here. #1 Royal Crusader (4-1) was disastrous last out, but he’s going first off the claim for Anthony Farrior and ran some promising figures earlier in the year, including running at least a 77 in three of his prior four dirt starts this year. #6 Muchacho Macho (5-2) was in the hunt late against similar last out at Delaware despite a wide trip, and managed to hold on for third. He should sit another trip off the pace for the Rodriguez/Ness combination but hopefully will not be caught as wide. #5 Mamaigotthis (9-2) has the best late pace figures in the field and closed for fourth at big odds in his last two starts. He can’t be discounted for the underneath spots.
RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
#5 Your Analysis (5-1) went off as the favorite last out, in a race where he was just one of two first-time starters. He proved no match for front-running winner Katie’s Notion, who open up a loose lead and splashed away, but he still closed well and got up to finish third. He’ll hope to improve second time out for Brittany Russell. #1 Notimelikepresent (4-1) chased the pace and held third last out in a much-improved race from his debut. He’s going first off the claim by Kieron Magee. #4 Willow Wood (9-2) was also well-bet on debut, also in a race featuring a lot of experienced runners. He tracked the pace and closed well on the rail, running a strong figure of 79.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES
#3 Lucky Lorraine (5-1) had no hope of catching Esperanna last out, who made a middle move and snuck away to a long lead by the time they hit the top of the stretch. However, she showed some late punch and got up for a clear second. She’s the only one in the field who has run in the 70s in each of their last two races. #4 Semiramis (4-1) ships up here from Claudio Gonzalez’s Florida string into his Maryland stable, and switches from Tapeta. She ran big figures earlier in the year but declined in her last two starts after dealing with trouble early on. Even though it’s technically a raise in claiming price, the n/w2L claimers at Gulfstream Park are probably somewhat better than these. #10 Salagadoola (6-1) has improved her figure in each of her last three dirt races, peaking at a 68 last out. The draw is not easy, but she’s in with a shot if she can work out a trip.
- 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 SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
#5 Rapper Zapper (3-1) hit the board at this level going two turns in his last two starts at Delaware. Those were his first two races since returning from a nine-month layoff, and he could be ready to fire a big race third off the bench. #6 Afjan (7-5) has an unsightly 0-for-10 career mark but has been facing better maidens for most of his career. He ran an 86 in back-to-back starts earlier this year; a repeat of those races likely wins this one handily. He’ll try to draft in mid-pack and make his move on the far turn. #4 Dominguez (4-1) has slowly improved in his last few starts and might find himself on the lead in a race without much speed.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#2 R B’s Star (2-1) got up to defeat a Maryland-bred allowance field in her last dirt start, running a career-best figure of 90. The runner-up in that race, Bandits Warrior, came back to smoke a similar field next out. This one returns to dirt after a dull try on the lawn and will likely set the pace from the rail. #7 Hop Picker (6-1) broke her maiden impressively on this track in August, in a race where she looked like much the best on paper and ran like it. However, she showed little next out at Aqueduct after racing wide. Shug McGaughey and Forest Boyce are often a live trainer/jockey combination in Maryland, and they’re teaming up on this one. #5 Skipper Sue (9-2) took advantage of an off-the-grass race and a scratched-down field of three to break her maiden impressively on debut. Although she didn’t have much competition, she still ran a 78, and can contend if she improves a bit off that race.
RACE 9: CLAIMING $12,500, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
#5 Hope He’s Fast (9-2) lasted through pace pressure and held on to break his maiden at third asking last out. There’s plenty of speed in here but he has good early pace figures and has shown he can withstand some heat. #7 Read the Spec (5-1) sat off the pace and won going away last out and would take advantage of a potential pace duel. #3 Blame the Bourbon (4-1) makes his first start since a gate-to-wire maiden win at TImonium. He’ll try to lead the way from the rail once again.
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