LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: NOVEMBER 20, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:15 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $0 Super High 5 — $942 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
#7 Point of an Affair (12-1) went off as the fourth choice in his debut at Keeneland, despite being the only first-time starter in the field. He battled for the lead one path off the rail and faded, losing to his dueling partner by 1 3/4 lengths. Nonetheless, it was a solid effort for a first start. That dueling partner, Norgay, came back to finish second next out at Churchill Downs. #5 Crack the Code (3-1) has hit the board in five straight starts without a victory. He was well-beaten by Mauritius last out, who looked like much the best on paper and ran like it, but Crack the Code was superior to the others and finished second. If Point of an Affair doesn’t move forward off his debut this one will be tough. #6 Goldbar (5-2) was competitive in his first two starts at Presque Isle Downs and makes his first start for Brittany Russell, which ensures he’ll be well-supported.
RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#5 I Got a Rock (4-1) relished the grass at Penn National this summer, rattling off three wins in a row on that surface. Last out at the Meadowlands against similar, he rated near the pace and closed well to lose a photo for second. He should enjoy the trip and kick on late. #8 Flashinthenight (6-1) finished fourth at this level last out, losing to some of the rivals he’ll see here, but he might’ve finished much better if he didn’t get caught in traffic. He gobbled up ground to win at Penn National two starts back despite a wide trip and can win this one if he gets clear sailing. After steadily running brisnet figures in the mid-70s all year, #15 Boss is a Pal (5-1) stepped it up last out to win a conditioned claiming contest with an 81. That’s the best last-out figure in the race by six points. No guarantees he can duplicate it but his usual race puts him right there at the end.
- Armando R over the top to win Small StakesOnetime claimer Armando R rallied outside to prevail in Saturday’s Richard W. Small Stakes at Laurel Park for his second straight stakes win.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#6 Fowl Nation (8-1) went off favored on debut at Delaware Park, but was forced to chase a loose leader while racing very wide, which is rarely a recipe for success. The Jamie Ness/Jaime Rodriguez is potent at Delaware, of course, but it’s also been tough here as of late. #7 Wyatt Ridgely (6-1) ran a respectable 67 in his first career start on grass last out, and gets to face a soft field in his dirt bow. His dam, Domestic Bliss, won the 2010 George Rosenberger Memorial Stakes at Delaware and has produced three winners, including a pair of six-figure earners. #10 Silver Patron (6-1) showed promise in his first two starts, but has been well-beaten in his last two races after having problems at the gate both times. If he gets a clean start, he could surprise on the class drop.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
#9 Young Turk (7-2) was in inconsistent form in Kentucky earlier in the year, but he’s been better since arriving in the Mid-Atlantic over the summer. He broke his maiden in style at Delaware with a figure of 78, then improved to an 85 when third against better last out despite a wide trip. He’s going second off the claim for Jerry Robb. #11 Pudge Boy Palace (10-1), another recent claim from Kentucky, has to battle all the way at Charles Town last out, but got up to win with a career-best figure of 77. This is, of course, a tougher spot, but he consistently ran around that range in the midwest earlier this year, and those figures are good enough to at least contend. #4 Born for Victory (10-1) has made just four starts, two of those against winners, and he’ll show speed from the inside.
RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 1 1/16 MILES
#1 Uncaptured Storm (9-2), one half of the Mark Shuman-trained entry, held second at Delaware last out, with a figure of 67, despite a wide trip. He’s breaking from post position two here, just like he did last time, but hopefully he’ll be able to work out a ground-saving trip. #7 B West (6-5) improved dramatically second time out, running an 82 while lasting through an early duel and holding on for second. This’ll be his first start around two turns, after having previously run well going seven furlongs. #8 General J R (8-1) finished fourth behind B West last out, making up a ton of ground late after sitting way off of it early. One of his best figures, a 71, came three starts back at 1 1/8 miles, so he’s shown some aptitude around two turns. Looking for him to make a mild move and get in the exotics.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
This is the grand finale of the Maryland grass season until next spring, so savor it while you can. #5 Translate (5-1) is two photo finishes away from having three consecutive victories since arriving from California in the spring. She was a game second in her first local start off a 4 1/2-month layoff, then won going away next out and lost a photo after some traffic in her most recent start. Her recent upper-70s figures would beat these, but she ran in the 80s earlier this year and would be exceptionally tough if she recovers that form. #7 Join the Dots (9-2) ran competitive figures in two grass starts in New York but was visibly flat both times. She should be more competitive in this spot for Shug McGaughey. #1 Island Philo (5-1) was in an unusual spot in the Maryland Million Turf Sprint last out. While she usually rates in mid-pack, she decided to duel for the lead. She ultimately flattened out and was well-beaten, but she won twice on this track earlier this year and narrowly missed against stakes company twice in recent starts.
- 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, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
#5 Alottacents (6-1) has already crossed the wire first, having done so in a maiden race here in July. However, he was disqualified, and after being scratched in mid-September finally returns to the races. He put in a solid four-furlong drill recently, going in 49 seconds, and faces a largely inexperienced field. #7 Feeling Woozy (5-1) was no match for Prince of Jericho last out, but did manage to get up for second while running a 70, right about in the range he’s run in each of his three starts. This gelded son of Irish War Cry ran his best race when near the pace two races ago. #9 Circling the Drain (9-2), one of two first-time starters in here for Brittany Russell, has turned in improved workouts over the past few weeks. Her dam is Who’s Cozy, a producer of three winners, including stakes-winning Who’s in Town, the dam of stablemate John Hall.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED/SIRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
For a while, it looked like #7 Heir Port (3-1) was going to pull off the upset in the Maryland Million Sprint. However, he flattened out late and ended up beaten 2 1/2 lengths. He’s run in the 90s in his last two starts and looks like the fastest one in the field early. If he breaks cleanly, he should be able to cross to the front and leave the rest in the dust. #1 Frightland (4-1) makes his first start since June 17, when he stalked the pace and destroyed the field by 11 lengths to break his maiden with a figure of 87. He’s been on the worktab since mid-October and gets his class test here in his first start against winners. If he’s ready to go first off the bench he has a big chance, but he improved dramatically to win in that fashion and might have to do it again here. #3 Patriotic Party (15-1) also enters here off an impressive maiden win, where he ran an 87 in his first start in 6 1/2 months. Much like Frightland, he improved sharply in that race and will try to keep moving forward here. He rated off the pace and pounced that day and will get a similar trip here.
RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
#6 Awesome Dynamo (1-1) ran a 73 and an 81 in his last two starts, representing dramatic improvement from his first few starts when he was in middling form. Last out, he dueled for the lead throughout, and while he outfinished his dueling partner, it wasn’t enough to hold off Addy’s Laddy T N T, who sat a great trip. #7 Steady Eddie (7-2) chased the pace at Presque Isle last out and improved drastically to a 76.This’ll be his first start going a one-turn mile (he was previously entered at this distance here but lost the rider at the start), but he’s shown good form going long on conventional dirt before, including a 67 earned going 1 1/16 miles as a 2-year-old. #2 See Out (10-1) raced wide on the pace on grass last out but held on for third. In his lone dirt start, an off-the-grass contest at Delaware in October, he came from well out of it to lose by just a neck. That race was a bit aberrant as he’s usually close to the front.
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