LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: december 4, 2022
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:05 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $0 Super High 5 — $2,365 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
Today’s first race features seven entries, two horses with experience, and only one who’s shown much ability. That’s #1 L Street Lady (7-5). In her debut on grass last out, she rated near the pace and closed well on the rail to finish third. The horse who finished second that day, Opus Forty Two, came back to win yesterday at Tampa Bay Downs. This’ll be her first dirt effort, but unless someone in here really steps up first out, or she takes a big step backwards on dirt, she’ll be tough to beat. Her biggest competition will come from her stablemate #2 Bright Moon (3-1), going first-out for Brittany Russell. She’s had a string of good four-furlong workouts and is out of Looking Great, who has produced two winners from as many starters. #6 Major Houlihan (4-1) has a recent bullet workout in her lines for Mike Trombetta and gets Jeiron Barbosa aboard for her debut.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
I’ll take a shot against #5 Quick Tempo (1-2), who won against better last out, but had a voided claim against him out of that mid-October race and is now taking a notable drop in claiming price. He was taken for $25,000 at Colonial Downs in August. I’ll look for an upset with #3 Instigated (6-1) who ran brisnet figures in the 80s in three straight races earlier in the fall, including an impressive win against conditioned foes at Delaware Park two races ago. He was well-bet against starter allowance company last out but fell flat. He’s hoping for a rebound here. #4 Mojac Kat (12-1) was burned up on the pace last out but showed heart on the lead in his prior races, including a win two starts back where he dueled down the stretch. He has a good recent workout at Penn National as he prepares to make his first start off the claim by Henry Walters. He might not want to engage with Quick Tempo on the early lead but has shown he can rate.
- Laurel: Weekend stakes speed figuresWondering what the winning speed figures were for the six Laurel Park stakes this past weekend? Answers inside…
RACE 3: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#6 Crimson Rocket (5-2) set a loose lead last out, in his first start against n/w2L types, and led most of the way before getting collared in the last eighth. He looks like the fastest one in the field early and should be able to get another clear lead. If he improves off that race, he can wire them. #4 Jebster (3-1) sat the trip and broke his maiden going away last out. He’s improved his figure with every start and is the only one in the field who has never lost against winners. If Crimson Rocket fades, this one will get first jump. #2 Bowie Two Step (9-5) also has good tactical speed, but has faded late in his recent races. He’ll get the trip and hang around for an exotics spot, but he’ll have to show a stronger punch late.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#10 Manitoulin Island (5-1) was flat in her debut in July, but returned from a brief respite last out and closed well for third, missing second by less than a length. She improved her figure 12 points that day to a 68. #1 Poet in My Heart (3-1) has run better in her 5 1/2-furlong outings, but had a rough break in her lone seven-furlong start and faded. With a cleaner break here, the distance shouldn’t be a problem. #8 Party Ready (4-1) shipped to Charles Town for her debut for Brittany Russell, but raced wide throughout and showed little, running a 49. She’s had a good workout since then; we’ll see how she takes to the big track.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
After two starts where he set the pace and got caught on the lead, #7 Strategic (3-1) finally finished the job last time and held on to break his maiden in gate-to-wire style. He shouldn’t get serious pressure on the lead. #4 Milano (9-2) ships down from New York, where he churned on and got fourth in his most recent start. He runs in the mid-70s consistently, which may not be good enough to win n/w2L races up there, but puts him right in the mix here. #3 Mailman’s a Flyer (8-1) finally broke his maiden a few starts back at Charles Town at 14th asking. He rated off a very slow pace in that race but overcame it to win. He’s not like to get a favorable pace to run into here but can get up for a minor share.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
In contrast to her debut, where she did no running at all, #9 Five Star Fern (9-2) showed speed in her most recent start before giving way in the last eighth. She showed determination in the stretch in that race and looks to improve second off the layoff. #14 Book and Cancel (6-1) ships down here for Rudy Rodriguez after three starts in New York and at the Meadowlands. Much like Five Star Fern, she improved in her second dirt start, running a 65 at Aqueduct two races back after a flat debut. #7 Carmel Sunrise (6-1) cuts back around one turn, where she was a solid-closing second on debut, and makes her first start for Ben Feliciano.
- 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: CLAIMING $8,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
#2 Camp Pendleton (4-1) chased the pace while wide two starts back at this level, and led in the stretch before getting caught by Albertano, a five-time winner on the year. This one struggled going two turns last out, but this distance should be more in his wheelhouse. #3 Welling (1-1) overcame a bad start to win at Delaware two starts back with a very impressive 89, but was very dull last out. His best wins this race, but I’m not sure I could take him at low odds after his most recent. #1 Oxide (5-1) has no chance to catch up to No More Talk last out when that rival got the jump on him, but he outkicked the others and got up for second to run a respectable 75. He missed most of the year but has been rounding back into form in his last two performances.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#10 Sweet Gracie (5-1) scratched out of the Safely Kept Stakes last Saturday and resurfaces here. She made a solid wide rally and got third in the Maryland Million Distaff behind FIlle d’Esprit, who continued her excellent year with a victory in the Politely Stakes most recently. This one will likely be forced wide here, but she overcame that kind of trip last out and now faces softer. #5 Alta Velocita (6-1) ran some below-par figures earlier in the year, but has been rounding into better form lately with two straight in-the-money finishes at this level. She gets Jaime Rodriguez back in the saddle for the first time in a while; they won the last two times they teamed up. #2 Response Time (5-1) has outfinished some of these in recent starts and will likely set the pace on the rail. She’s the only one in the race to run at least an 86 in each of her last two starts.
RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#6 Alliallioxenfree (2-1) led most of the way in her debut and held on for third, outfinished by the much more experienced Ladro Di Fichi and #3 Thunder Boss (8-5), who has similar form but will likely get overbet. While Alliallioxenfree should once again be able to get to the front, if she fades, Thunder Boss will be there to pounce. #7 Brzina (7-2) closed well for second in her dirt debut last out and adds lasix first off the claim by Kieron Magee.