LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: FEBRUARY 3, 2023
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $2,424 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
The racing month starts with an odds-on favorite who looks very tough to beat. #4 Billykus (1-2) cuts back from six furlongs and takes a big drop in class. In his last two starts, he’s led late and gotten caught, so a combination of a shorter distance and easier rivals should lead him to the winner’s circle. #1 Bubba Chrome (6-1) dropped to this level for the first time last out and just missed after a wide trip. He can save more ground here from the rail post. #3 Unified Play (7-2), a first-time starter for Gary Capuano, is a half-brother to three winners and gets Jeiron Barbosa aboard for the career bow.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
#1 The Haunted Room (9-2) is the only one in the race who hasn’t lost against winners. She coasted on a gate-to-wire trip to break her maiden at sixth asking last out, and finds herself in a race where she won’t have much competition for the early pace. #4 Classic Lynne (3-1) made her local debut last out after spending the start of her career in her home state of New York. She was far behind early and closed well against a better non-winners of two field. She’s making her second start off an almost three-month break. #6 Musical Cat (7-2) has run a brisnet figure of at least 76 in three of her last four starts, putting her right in the range of what she needs to run to win. However, she’s flattened out in the stretch of her last few races and will have to show more late punch to win this one.
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RACE 3: CLAIMING $8,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#6 Dancer’s Melody (3-1) sat the trip and got up to win for the third time in six starts last out. The runner-up, Shackleford County, won an open $5,000 race next out as the even-money choice. This one has good tactical speed and is in improving form. #2 Red Queen (5-2) has competed at one mile or longer in her last few starts, but her best figures have come at this distance. She ran back-to-back 83s at seven panels at the fall meet. should be right at home against these. #7 Lady Jean (6-1) moved wide into the pace on the far turn last out, and ended up having to battle for the lead for longer than she might have liked. She ended up holding on for fourth while earning a 73, a solid mark for her first start in more than two months.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
Anthony Farrior has been on fire at the meet, winning eight races from 20 starters in January. Arnaldo Bocachica has been aboard many of those winners, and they’ll team up again with #1 Fortunata Italia (9-5). She was second behind stablemate and next-out winner Miss Casey in her most recent, and ran a career-best 82, the second straight start where she earned her best-ever figure. With the way Farrior and Bocachica are going, she looks unstoppable. #4 Hot Lookin Royal (7-5) blew away a non-winners of two field two starts back, then was solid in her first start at this level. The winner of that race shook off an early duel and was well clear of the others at the top of the stretch, and the late-running Hot Lookin Royal had little chance to catch up. Nonetheless, she outkicked her rivals and finished a clear-cut second. #5 Sweet Talia (6-1) was a flat fifth that day, but ran in the 70s in three straight tries prior. She’s hoping for a rebound effort here. She’ll need a very fast pace to close into to have a chance to win, but her usual closing rally should at least get her an underneath spot.
RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 7 FURLONGS
#3 Mama’s Eyes (4-1), a half-sister to Street Lute, who makes her long-awaited return tomorrow, has gotten better with every start. She stalked the pace a few paths off the rail last out and powered clear in the stretch, only to wilt due to the exertion of her trip and faded to third. Nonetheless, she ran a 75, a career-best figure by twelve points. She’s racing third off the layoff here and should get a better trip closer to the rail. #9 Maria From Miami (7-2) chased down Mama’s Eyes and got second in her most recent, which was also her local debut after starting her career in New York. She’s run in the 70s three times in her seven-race career and will be a threat if she turns in her best performance. #6 Brooklyn Girl (8-1) has rallied for second at big odds in her last two starts and should appreciate staying at seven furlongs.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#2 Breithorn (3-1) ships from Parx for his first start since mid-September. He battled on the lead in his last two and just missed both times. For his comeback, he gets Jeiron Barbosa in the saddle and looks to set the pace on the rail. His main challenge will come from #8 Nomo Ron (9-5), who will show speed from the outside post. He went first off the claim for Henry Walters from Anthony Farrior in his most recent, and led most of the way only to flatten out late. He’s had some time off since that December 17 effort, and if he can clear Breithorn from the outside, he might not be caught. #3 Tom Terrific (10-1) has been very consistent as of late, running no worse than a 74 in his last five starts. He has decent closing speed and is a threat for the underneath spots.
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RACE 7: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#5 Queen of Class (5-2) has rounded into her best self lately, with back-to-back career-best figures. She almost chased down favored loose leader Speak Your Mind last out, overcoming a bad start to miss by a neck.#3 Fashionatta (6-1) ran back-to-back figures in the mid/upper-70s over the summer, but she’s raced just once since September 9, a dull effort at Parx in mid-December. She put in two good four-furlong workouts at Pimlico in January, and is lightly-raced with loads of upside. #1 Backstreet Affair (2-1) was fourth in the same race as Queen of Class, coming up empty after a stalking trip. She’s improved her figure with every start since arriving in Maryland in November and will try to put it all together here.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, MD-BRED/SIRED, 1 MILE
#5 Mit Mazel (6-5) flattened out on the lead going 1 1/16 miles last out, but she’s now cutting back around one turn and faces a field without much early pace pressure. The only one who could challenge her is Blueberry Indygo, who hasn’t run a good race in ten months and has raced just once since July. If that rival doesn’t fire, Mit Mazel will find herself in a great spot on the lead. #4 She is Wisky (3-1) goes third off a six-month layoff and was fourth last out in the same race as Mit Mazel. She ran in the mid/upper-80s steadily last year, and if Mit Mazel falters on the lead, this one will be there to pick up the pieces. #3 Dry Well (9-2) was an impressive winner at Charles Town two races back and will rate near the pace.
RACE 9: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
#4 Bonded (4-1) broke his maiden going away two races back and closed well for second in his first start against winners. He’s cutting back from 1 1/16 miles to the distance at which he broke his maiden. #6 El Tolu (3-1) was well-beaten after dealing with traffic trouble last out, but now drops a bit in class. He lasted through a tough duel three starts back and broke his maiden in a (relatively) tough field. #2 Dart (9-5) has been the runner-up in his last three starts and flattened out going two turns last out. Perhaps the cutback to a one-turn mile will help the cause.
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