LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: january 15, 2023
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $4,768 Super High 5 — $790 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W3L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
We’ve got eight races on the docket this Sunday. #1 Bella Betina (6-1) ran a career-best brisnet figure of 75 last out, when she came from the clouds to win a n/w2L race going away. She had run similar figures in some of her recent races, but had never shown a kick like that prior to that win. It was definitely a promising performance. #5 Fortunata Italia (6-1) also ran a lifetime-best figure in her most recent, when she was a solid-closing fourth at this level last out. She’s going second off a brief layoff for Anthony Farrior. #7 Abidale (5-2) gets a rider to switch to Jaime Rodriguez and tries to rebound off a dull race on this track last out. In her prior performance, she went gate-to-wire at Parx. That’s the only time in her recent lines she’s been on the lead.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
#1 The Haunted Room (5-2) has run in the 60s in two of her three dirt starts and drops to a career-low level here. She was fourth last out; the top two finishers both came back to win, while the third-place finisher got second next out. #3 Hushemup (8-5) almost took them all the way around at Woodbine last out, but was collared late. She should have a very easy time on the lead here; it’s just a matter of how long she can last. #6 Just One More (3-1) ran her best race so far in her lone start at this distance. She’s improved her late pace figure with every start.
- Several local runners among Barbara Fritchie nomsThe nominations for the Barbara Fritchie Stakes upcoming at Laurel Park include several local runners, among them last year’s show horse Fille d’Esprit.
RACE 3: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/8 MILES
#3 Nautilus (2-1) is two photo finishes away from having won six consecutive dirt races. He dueled with ex-stablemate #5 Guillaume (5-2) all the way around last out and lost by a neck in a game effort. That rival is back in here, having been claimed from Jamie Ness by Ferris Allen. He lasted after a long duel to win two starts back as well, but I’m not sure if he can do it three times in a row. The rail should play in Nautilus’s favor this time. #4 Irish Boolum (6-1) showed promise when he dominated a first-level allowance field at Delaware Park two races back, but struggled in the City of Laurel Stakes last out. This spot looks like it’s somewhere in between those two races. I’m interested to see how he does stretching back out around two turns.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
With the shorter than normal card, the late pick 5 begins here. #3 Goodafternoonoscar (4-1) ran a big race on debut at long odds. He chased the pace in second through solid early fractions, and was the only one of the top four finishers who did not come from more than ten lengths off the lead. If he moves forward off that race, he’ll be tough. One of those closers was #6 Omo Dada (4-1), who came from twelve lengths out of it to get second while racing near the rail. He’s going second time out for Tim Keefe, whose runners generally improve with experience. If he gets a fast pace to close into, all the better. #7 Mine Run (7-2) has worked well for his debut for Brittany Russell, and gets to waive the claiming tag by virtue of being a Maryland-bred. I’ll watch the board on him and see how much money he takes.
RACE 5: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, MD-BRED/SIRED, 6 FURLONGS
#8 La Casa de Oro (7-2) set the pace and fought hard through a two-pronged challenge last out. She was overwhelmed late by Combat Queen, who has defeated La Casa de Oro in each of her last two starts and has won three in a row total. This one will get pace pressure here, but she’s shown she can withstand it against better. #9 I’m Gittin There (6-1) worked out a great trip last out, stalking the pace and getting up to win by a length against open first-level foes. She looks like she’ll be in perfect striking position if the pace is hot. #10 My Flicker (5-1) was one of the rivals who challenged La Casa de Oro in the stretch last out. This one led briefly, but tired and finished third. Nonetheless, she ran a career-best 83 that day, and she’s also going to get a good trip off the pace.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
#8 Me Darlin Kathleen (7-2) has moved forward with every start and made what looked like a promising move last out before flattening out. She’s cutting back in distance from seven furlongs. #6 Lovely Liza (5-2) is one of two here making her return off a long layoff for Ned Allard. She ran a 55 in that June 1 contest, but hasn’t been seen since. She’s worked well since mid-December, including a squeezed-in workout at her Delaware base, and if she’s matured since that June race, she could prove tough to beat. #5 Cami Rachelle (9-2) has hit the board in three of her last four starts at this level, but backed up after setting the pace last out, in a race that has to be considered a step backwards. Her best figures have come when she sits off the pace, rather than on it.
- Which horses had the best post-CT Classic careers?Art Collector’s win in Saturday’s Grade 1 Pegasus got us wondering: which winners of the Charles Town Classic had the best careers after their Classic win?
RACE 7: ALLOWANCE (OPEN), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#5 Zabracadabra (8-5) came from just off the pace to beat a third-level field going away last out, earning a 103 for his second straight career-best figure. The fourth and third-place horses in that race, Vance Scholars, came back to finish 1-2 in a third-level race yesterday. He’s turned a corner in his last two starts and will almost certainly be bound for stakes company next out with a win here. #3 Amatteroftime (5-2) almost caught Ridin With Biden in the Kris Kringle Stakes last out, but the wire came just in time for the winner, while Amatteroftime had to settle for second. He usually comes from off the pace and would prefer a fast tempo to close into. #2 American d’Oro (6-1) turned in back-to-back impressive victories last fall, but struggled in his last few against stakes company. I’m willing to give him a look against slightly easier at a good price.
RACE 8: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
#9 Bali Hai (7-2) has gotten better with every start, holding on well to get fourth with a career-best 62 last out. Jean Alvelo keeps the mount after getting aboard her for the first time in her most recent. #7 Sweet Factor (6-1) drops back to this level and looks like the main speed threat in the field. She tired after a duel last out but could be a threat if allowed to sneak away. #3 Five Star Fran (4-1) was outkicked by a runaway Brittany Russell winner last out, but held second over the rest for her fourth figure in the 50s in as many starts.