LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: november 26, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:15 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $6,573 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
Nine races, including three stakes races, on today’s card. #2 Divine Romance (5-2) crossed the wire first last out, lasting through a stretch duel to run a brisnet figure of 73, but was disqualified. The daughter of Divining Rod returns here and will likely press the pace from the rail. Her only bad career race came two starts back when she acted up in the gate. #7 Mysisternancy (3-1) has improved with just about every start since a dull debut in July. She’s run a 70 in back-to-back starts and overcame a wide trip to close for fourth last out. She runs the risk of a similar trip here, but should at least close for an exotics spot. #4 Gold Spot (8-5) battled all the way in her debut on grass, and held on for fourth, finishing ahead of her dueling partner who had experience. She’ll be a threat with any dirt aptitude.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#4 Hard Fought (7-2) ran respectably well in his first start off the layoff last out. He battled on the lead and managed to save fourth. His dueling partner, Dialing Dixie, held on to win, but it was his third win in his last five starts, and he’s better than anyone Hard Fought has to deal with here. #3 Tommy Shelby (5-2) takes a drop from open claimers, and while he’s inconsistent, on his best day he has a closing kick that can overtake these. #5 Great Go Go (3-1) improved dramatically second off the layoff at Delaware Park last out. He opened up a long early lead and held on for second. His figure of 77 was his best since early May. He’ll try to steal away on the lead once again.
- Laurel: Weekend stakes speed figuresWondering what the winning speed figures were for the six Laurel Park stakes this past weekend? Answers inside…
RACE 3: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
A few days ago, #4 John Hall (8-5) was entered to make his debut, but was scratched in favor of this race. This Brittany Russell trainee might’ve found an easier spot. Only two of his opponents have dirt experience, and none of the other firsters look that imposing. I’ll watch the board on this Maryland-bred son of Violence. #7 Captain Creed (3-1) has one start to his credit, which came at Gulfstream Park in May. He chased the pace while wide and lost a photo for second, with a solid figure of 73. The winner of that race, Awesome Strong, has since won two stakes races. This one returned to the worktab in mid-October for new trainer Tim Keefe and is an interesting alternative to the likely well-bet favorite. #3 Elfuesgomasbrilante (8-1) is the other one in the field with dirt experience, having chased the wide and faded on debut at Delaware. She adds blinkers second time out.
RACE 4: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#3 Nostalgic Run (5-2) led most of the way in his first start off the layoff last out, and held on for second after drifting out in the stretch. In his last start before going on the bench in mid-May, he got a similar front-running trip and held on. He should improve second off the layoff. #1 Our Lucky Man (9-5) got up for second at Delaware last out over next-out winner Artistic Reason. This one’s got a lot of late speed, and if Nostalgic Run can’t work out an easy trip and gets caught up in a hot pace, Our Lucky Man would take advantage. #5 Golden Gulley (4-1) has run three of his best figures in his last three starts and should work out a good stalking trip.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#8 Sunday Mischief (5-1) has been racing on grass for most of the year, but his lone win came on dirt on this track in January. He’s going to show speed from the outside and might not get serious challenge for the lead. The only one who could pull it off is #4 Katie’s Notion (3-1), who broke his maiden two starts back in gate-to-wire fashion. He stepped up to Maryland-bred allowance company next out and was no factor, but should find these waters easily. #7 Superstitieux (7-2) sat the trip and broke his maiden three starts back, and tries this level for the first time. He went off as the favorite against softer last out but broke slowly and wasn’t a factor. He’s racing first off the claim for Kenny Cox.
RACE 6: SAFELY KEPT STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 7 FURLONGS
The first stakes on the card is named for the legendary Maryland-bred sprinter, best known as the winner of the 1990 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. #2 Liscolvin (12-1) gets a stiff class test here, but ran a game race at Delaware last out. She dueled for the lead in a first-level race and won impressively, outfinishing her dueling partner by seven lengths and defeating next-out winner R Averie Lynn. There’s other speed horses in the field, but they’re all drawn far to the outside, while Liscolvin will race on the rail, and she’s shown she can withstand pace pressure. #1 Swayin to and Fro (8-1) ran a career-top 92 in winning the Shine Again Stakes in September, and narrowly missed that mark with a 91 in a tough open allowance race. She’ll rate off the pace on the inside and will be right there if the early leaders burn each other out. #8 Divine Huntress (4-1), a Maryland-bred daughter of Divining Rod, has long looked ready for a true breakthrough performance. Second in the Acorn Stakes earlier this year, she won the Miss Disco Stakes on this track in a three-horse photo finish two back, and makes her first start since a dull performance in the Charles Town Oaks. She ran a 92 several times earlier in her career, but hasn’t really moved forward off those races. Her career-best mark, a 97 in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, might have been a “sucked-along” type figure. Still, she has upside and has to be respected in this group.
- BackTracks: Star de Naskra “really something”In a new BackTracks: Maryland-bred Star de Naskra gave owner-breeder Jiggs Lancaster his first stakes winner in a long career — and then a whole lot more.
RACE 7: CITY OF LAUREL STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
This race is, of course, named after the location of the track. #5 Radical Right (7-2) beat his elders on this track last out, getting up to win after stalking a fast pace. He’s run a 100 and a 95 in his last two starts, making him the only one in the field to hit that mark in his previous two races (Twisted Ride also did so, but he won’t be here). #9 Little Vic (4-1) outfinished Radical Right at Delaware last out after dueling for the lead. The horse he battled with, Spikezone, held on for third and came back to win at Parx. He’ll have to withstand some heat but he’s shown he can do so in the past. #11 Nimitz Class (5-1) has run a solid 93 in two of his last three dirt starts. He sat the trip and won going two turns at Parx last out and cuts back around one turn here.
RACE 8: RICHARD W. SMALL STAKES, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/8 MILES
This race is named for the great Maryland-based trainer, best known for training Broad Brush and Concern. Ridin With Biden won the Turkey Trot Stakes at Parx the other day, so I wouldn’t expect to see him here. #3 American d’Oro (9-2) won his last two starts by a combined 16 3/4 lengths. His win two back was a bit of an exhibition, as he faced just four rivals in an off-the-grass contest, but he beat a legitimate allowance optional claiming field very impressively last out. A similar type of move as he made in his last two likely wins this one. #1 Ournationonparade (2-1) has won four straight races, including the Maryland Million Classic last out in his first start off the claim by Jamie Ness. He was scratched out of the Claiming Crown Jewel two weeks ago, but returns here and will sit the trip on the rail. #6 Thomas Shelby (8-1) dueled and faded against stakes company at Parx last out, but ran a 100 at Monmouth Park last out in a sharp gate-to-wire effort. With Ridin With Biden not running, there isn’t that much pace pressure, so he could find himself loose on the lead.
RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#5 Art I Something (4-1) ran her best race, a 59, on dirt two starts back, albeit against just two other rivals. She’s going to be a factor on the early pace. #3 All Worked Up (5-2) ran in the 60s consistently earlier in the year, but hasn’t raced since a dull race on April 8. If she runs back to her usual race, she’s a threat to go gate-to-wire. #7 Backstreet Affair (9-5) makes her first start off the claim for Kieron Magee after getting taken out of a race at Keeneland. She’ll get bet because of her class lines, and has competitive figures, but will have to improve after the non-effort last out.