LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: march 19, 2023
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $4,733 Super High 5 — $0 Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 6 FURLONGS
#6 Quit Quay (6-1) stepped up to this level second time out in her most recent, and while she showed speed and faded, she dramatically improved her brisnet figure to a 72, up from the 59 she ran on debut. I’m expecting to go straight to the lead and to try and take them as long as she can. #1 Maria From Miami (7-5) has finished second three times in a row against better maidens and should find these foes easier. She moved up a bit early last out and faded, but should improve with a better-timed move. #2 Mama’s Eyes (9-2) also faltered on the pace last out, but ran a much-improved 75 two starts back when third behind Maria From Miami.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE
All three of my top picks are coming off wins at this condition. #7 One Las Olas (8-5) won by seven lengths against these types last out, coming from well off the pace to win under a drive. She’s run career-best figures in both of her starts this year. #3 Dunder Boss (5-2) has won her last two starts, including a hard-fought win at this level most recently where she defeated One Las Olas. This is her first start since that January 21 effort, and also her first start since being claimed from Brittany Russell by Richard Sillaman. #2 Anath (5-1) battled on wide and got up for her last-out victory. She’s cutting back from 1 1/16 miles and ran a much better figure at this distance two races ago.
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RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 4 AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
#2 Supe (6-1) gets the white-hot Jaime Rodriguez in the saddle. Four of his seven winners on Friday came on Jamie Ness horses, just like this one. This one got bumped around at the start last out but ran on well for a season’s-best figure of 66. #10 Espresso Lungo (7-2) has a big figure edge over these, with marks of 76 and 72 in his last two starts. His 0-for-18 career record, is not exactly inspiring, but at least most of those races were against better fields than this one. #3 Wired In (9-2) cuts back from 1 1/16 miles. He got bumped around a bit as the favorite going longer last out, but he might be better off at this distance anyway.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $40,000 (N/W3L), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#2 Sponsored (2-1) has run at least an 87 in three straight starts, including a solid third-place effort behind H P Moon and Magic Mule last out. Although neither one has won since that Jan. 22, they’re still in better recent form than most of these. #7 Down Cold (8-1) has run some solid recent races going longer, but now cuts back from 1 1/16 miles. He has good closing speed, and we’ll see how it works out going shorter. #6 Classier (9-5) won the 2021 Los Alamitos Derby, but has raced just three times since then, and not at all since January of 2022. He’s been entered and scratched twice against better horses, and is now dropped in for a tag in his first start for Brittany Russell. He’s got back-class, but this spot raises a red flag.
RACE 5: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $12,500, 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#4 Oxide (3-1) overcame a wide trip to beat a similar field in front-running fashion last out. It was the first time in a while he went to the front early on; usually, he likes to sit in mid-pack. #5 Assembly Point (6-1) rebounded nicely for third last out behind Oxide after a series of disappointing races. He won four in row at different Maryland tracks last year, including a race at this condition, and should sit near the pace. #8 Mr. Thrifty (9-2) ships in from Parx and lures Adam Bowman in for the mount. This one’s form is somewhat obscured by some poor efforts on wet tracks, something he won’t have to worry about here.
RACE 6: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
We’re welcoming Victor Carrasco back to the saddle in this race, as he’s named aboard Libraryofcongress in his first mount since being injured in a spill Oct. 21. #1 Starstreet (5-2), half of a Brittany Russell-trained entry, went off favored on debut and closed well for second, losing only to a fellow firster who got the jump on him. He’s out of Walk of Stars, a stakes winner at seven furlongs. #9 Ragtime Riches (7-2) also ran well on debut, closing for second behind a much-the-best favored rival. He was 6 1/2 lengths clear of third place that day. #3 Masterwork (9-2) adds blinkers second time out for Mike Trombetta and has worked well since his debut, where he was fourth after a rough break.
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RACE 7: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 7 FURLONGS
This is the first of two great allowance sprints. #2 Yodel E.A. Who (9-5) came from well out of it to get second in the General George Stakes last out despite not changing leads. He would’ve fit in in the race right after this, but Jamie Ness has apparently decided it’s worth risking him in pursuit of an easier win, plus he gets an extra furlong to deal with. His stablemate, #3 Mr. Hustle (3-1), snapped a long losing streak last out with a dramatic win at this level, getting up in the last few jumps going a mile. This might be bit too short for him, but he should at least rally for a slice. #1 Plot the Dots (6-1) was more forwardly-placed than usual in his most recent, and flattened out after engaging with the tough speed Irish Cork. He might be better off rating off the lead and pouncing, like he did in winning the Jennings Stakes earlier this year.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (OPEN), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#7 Factor It In (7-5) went off favored in the General George, but was flat after sitting near the pace. Rather than leave town in pursuit of another stakes spot, he’ll stay local and look for a rebound in a spot where he looks much the best on paper. He’s already won three stakes races on this track. #4 Sir Alfred James (3-1) gets Jeiron Barbosa in the saddle for the first time and hopes to stay close to the pace, so his closing kick can have maximum effectiveness. #3 Likeable (8-1) wired a tough field at Charles Town last out which included Sir Alfred James and Kenny Had a Notion, who was second in the Not For Love Stakes yesterday.
RACE 9: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 4-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES
#3 The Haunted Room (5-1) lasted a long way going a mile last out and got up late to win against n/w2L foes. She’s going around two turns for the first time, but both of her wins came at a mile, so this distance shouldn’t be super-imposing. #6 Offaly Fast (3-1) races for the Ness/Rodriguez combo. She joined the Ness barn in early December and ran a 76 at this level last out, her best figure for the barn. #1 Red Wine Time (6-1) is racing one step above what she’s eligible for, She was flat last time as the odds-on choice last out but put in some impressive closing rallies in her prior races.
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