LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: march 11, 2023
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $11,512 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 4 AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
This is the last Saturday with a 12:25 post for a while; we’ll move the first post back fifteen minutes starting tomorrow. #6 Luv Ya Bye Bye (6-1) crossed the wire first in his first start off a brief layoff last out, but was disqualified after causing interference at the start. If he can behave himself at the gate, he’s in with an upset chance; he’s in career-best form and should get a good trip near the pace. #7 Amity Road (8-5) was second twice against similar at Monmouth Park last summer, running back-to-back brisnet figures in the mid/upper-70s. However, he hasn’t raced since July 30. He can’t be discounted completely, but I think I prefer a more recently-raced horse at a better price. #3 Here and Nofurther (7-2) was the victim of Luv Ya Bye Bye’s erratic break last out, but held in late to cross the wire third. He’s had some traffic in each of his last few starts; we’ll see if he gets smoother sailing here.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 7 FURLONGS
#2 Brzina (9-5) got her lone career win due to an after-the-fact disqualification, but still has figures far better than these and will be hard to beat if she runs her race. She’s run at least a 75 in each of her last two starts; no one else has done that at any point in their last two. #4 Performanceanxiety (4-1) lasted through a duel to win going away at seven furlongs last out, She held third after getting into a similar battle at a mile last out, and now gets back to her preferred distance. #3 Write This Down (8-1) ships down from New York and makes her first start for the Horacio De Paz barn. She’s settled back into a steady schedule after a spotty season last year and gets Jeiron Barbosa aboard for her Maryland debut.
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RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE
#7 Hidewright Away (7-2) ran a much-improved third in her second career outing last out and now adds lasix for the first time. She’s never gone beyond six furlongs, but at least she made decent ground in her last race. #6 Major Houlihan (7-2) was a promising third two starts back at Aqueduct and looks for a rebound after showing some brief foot and fading last out. #3 Titian Tyrant (7-5) has hit the board twice at a mile or longer, the only one in the field who has done so. She couldn’t catch Voodoo Mama Juju in the stretch last out, but held well after racing near the pace and was a clear-cut second.
RACE 4: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#4 Pit Stop Man (2-1) dueled through fast fractions on the outside with Ladneedsahandler in his most recent, but held on to win by a head for his second straight figure in the 90s. He’ll get pace pressure again, but he’s shown he can withstand it. If Pit Stop Man gets used up on the lead, #3 The Cairo Kid (3-1), who has won two in a row at this level and outkicked him late last out, will take advantage. If he can avoid getting too close to a fast pace, he’s in great shape. #6 Top Boss (5-2) has also won four of his last six starts. Two starts back, he dueled for the lead but held on to win a desperate photo in a slightly softer field.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $20,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
#2 Need a Marker (3-1) ran a career-best 75 at this level last out, where she vied for the lead and held third. The only serious speed in here is her stablemate, #6 She’ll Make Waves (9-2), who went gate-to-wire to win on debut. As long as Need a Marker doesn’t get tangled up with her barn buddy, and it’s unlikely Xavier Perez will let her, she’ll be in good shape. #1 Goldieness (5-2) has dramatically improved in her last few start, peaking with a determined maiden win second off the layoff last out. She’ll rate a good trip off the pace on the rail.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
#5 Oma Dada (7-2) made a bold move last out, stretching out from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles. However, he handled the extra distance with ease, as he raced on the lead while wide and crushed the field, running a career-best figure of 89. He’s gotten a lot better with every start and has shown improved tactical speed in his last few starts. #7 Leonids (5-1) improved dramatically in his second start. He sent his inexperienced dueling partner into a sound defeat, but held on to win with an 89. If he can handle the stretch-out from six furlongs, he’ll be tough. #6 B West (4-1) won at this level three starts back after a wide trip and gets some class relief after facing stakes company in his last two starts.
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RACE 7: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
If Leonids wins the previous race, it’ll boost the stock of #4 Assume Nothing (9-5) even further. This one made his dirt debut second-time out last out, and cut into the margin late to get third, beaten less than a length. His most formidable rivals are coming off long layoffs, and as long as he doesn’t regress too much off that last race, he’ll be very tough. #2 New York Panther (5-1), a Brittany Russell trainee just like Assume Nothing, ran in the mid/upper-70s twice around one turn last summer, but flattened out after a wide trip around two turns third time out and hasn’t been seen since. He’s worked well for his return and adds lasix for the first time. #1 Box N Ben (9-2) ran a 76 at first asking behind Heldish, but hasn’t run since a flat fourth in early August.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W2X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
#6 Mit Mazel (9-5) has won her last three starts around one turn, all of them in impressive gate-to-wire style. There’s lots of speed drawn to her inside, but she has great early pace figures, and she looks fast enough to clear everyone from the outside post. #1 Cashing Big Checks (5-2) can show speed or rate, and should be able to work out a good setup if Mit Mazel can’t clear and the pace melts down. She chased better last out at Parx and faded, but has run well both at one turn and at this distance. #5 My Flicker (7-2) races for the dangerous Anthony Farrior/Arnaldo Bocachica combination and was second to Beneath the Stars, a multiple stakes-placed stablemate, last out. She’ll also come from off the pace in her first start at a mile.
RACE 9: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W3L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#7 Branco Maria (7-2) has run at least a 78 in his last two starts, the only one in the field to hit that mark at any point in their last two races. He has great closing speed, and although his recent route form isn’t as good as his sprint form, he ran some promising races around two turns last year. #2 Never Change (9-5) went off favored at this level last out, and finished second while getting outkicked in the stretch. You’ll at least get a better price here if you still believe. #6 Cash Kid (6-1) was third behind Never Change that day and also has solid late speed. He got up to win off a slow pace three starts ago and is a solid candidate at least for the exotics.
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