LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: june 9, 2023
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $0 Jackpot Super High 5 — $0
Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
We’re back at Laurel Park. #3 Singalong (9-2) races for the first time this year for Bob Klesaris, who is sharp bringing horses back off long breaks. She broke her maiden here last October in professional style. Runner-up Bali Kuta returned to win next out, while third-place finisher Candlestick Maker finished second in her next outing. This one has improved by leaps and bounds with every grass race. #6 Heartburn (8-1) contested the pace most of the way before fading late in her last start. She’s cutting back a bit from 1 1/8 miles and looks like the main speed threat. #9 Lady Mosler (6-1) chased the very impressive Bosserati, who returned to beat better, in her most recent start, but held on well for second. She should be close to the pace as she stretches out from five furlongs.
RACE 2: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#5 Majestic Frontier (9-2) goes first off the claim by Kieron Magee. He got away with an easy trip in his last start, coasting on the front end through moderate fractions with light pressure and holding on. He’s stepping up in class, but has been in very consistent form lately and should get the trip on or near the pace. #6 Savoy (6-1) has bounced back in his last two starts after experiencing a severe downturn in form over the winter. He got up to win at six furlongs last out and will be interesting if he can handle the extra distance. #3 Ghostlighter (6-1), the other Magee trainee in the race, has solid late speed and will try to get a better trip than last time, when he was stuck wide throughout.
- Notes from Pennsylvania Derby daySome news, notes, and observations from a rainy, messy but exciting day at Parx Racing, where the Pennsylvania Derby was run Saturday.
RACE 3: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
Two of my top three picks exit the race at this condition on Black-Eyed Susan day, which was won by odds-on choice S Muffin in a laugher. #3 Certain (5-2) made ground late and lost a show photo in his first start off a brief layoff. He ran some big brisnet figures going short over the winter at Gulfstream Park, with back-to-back marks of 79 and 82, and should improve second time on the circuit. #5 Ryder T (10-1) was well-bet on debut for a barn that rarely does much with their first-time starters. He ran respectably well, showing speed before fading in the last eighth. He’s also ripe for improvement at big odds. #9 Theolovesawinner (8-1) ran a career-best 70 when fifth behind Certain last out and should be near the pace.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#3 Distant Fire (3-1) was scratched out of a similar spot two weeks ago, and returns here. He once again looms large, having run in the 70s twice in his last three starts. He closed well last out and just missed last out behind a front-running winner. #4 Luv Ya Bye Bye (3-1) crossed the wire first at this level a few starts ago, but was disqualified for causing interference at the start. Since then, he’s shown speed and faded in three straight dirt starts. His recent figures are a cut below those of Distant Fire, but he should nonetheless play a major part in this one. #6 Moonset (5-2) is one of the lighter-raced runners in here, having raced just four times. He ran his most visually impressive race to date last out, battling with the early leaders and holding on until late.
RACE 5: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $12,500, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#6 Shofar (5-2) was beaten double-digit lengths in five of his last six dirt starts, and now returns to his preferred surface. He’s hit the exacta six times in his eight grass races, and came from well off the pace to win going away at Delaware Park last September. I expect some major improvement from his recent races. #3 Gunslinger (3-1) went gate-to-wire in his seasonal bow two races back, but faded last out after setting faster fractions under pressure. It looks like he shouldn’t get a lot of early challenges in this one. #10 Sir Terre (5-1) takes a step up in class off a victory at Delaware and has great closing speed.
RACE 6: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $30,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/8 MILES
#3 Clubman (4-1) makes his first appearance for Kieron Magee, his third barn of the year. He came from off the pace to win going away against similar types in his last start. He tends to sit a similar trip in most of his races, drafting in mid-pack and making his move on the final turn to a strong finish. #2 Rustys Gfivefifty (9-2) flattened out after a wide trip against better last out, He had a similarly rough trip in his last start at this condition three starts back, but showed heart and hung around for second. He should get a more ground-saving setup and returns to a track he’s enjoyed plenty of success on. #7 Bobby G (6-1) was a strong-closing second behind Clubman in his most recent start. He broke a long losing streak three starts back when rallying to defeat Clubman, and while he rarely crosses the line first, his rally is usually good enough for a share.
- Catching up with… Jessica PaquetteWe caught up with Parx Racing track announcer Jessica Paquette on the eve of her becoming the first woman to call a US Grade 1 race.
RACE 7: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED/SIRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#2 Boss Man J J (7-2) got into some traffic early on last out and lost early position. He came back on late and lost by just 1 1/4 lengths, representing a change in style for him. Usually, he’s close to the early pace. His best races have come on grass and he should be a threat if he gets a cleaner trip than last time. #7 Kobe Tough (3-1) ran some big figures against better last year, including a 95 in an open-company first-level win. He’s been working well for a while for Tim Keefe has he prepares for his season debut. This looks like a great spot to return in before facing tougher company next out. #5 B Determined (9-2) takes a big drop in class from open second-level company, where he ran an solid 85 in his first start off the layoff last out. His better figures have come in two-turn races, but he closed and lost by a length in his last sprint start.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (OPEN), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 MILE
The country’s best older male who doesn’t run in stakes races, #5 Zabracadabra (9-5) ran triple-digit figures against similar in back-to-back starts, then just missed after dueling in the stretch in his next two outings. His figures are still consistently superior to those of the rest, and he shouldn’t have much trouble with these if he runs his race. #1 Thomas Shelby (7-2) didn’t do much at Oaklawn park over the winter, but shipped here for David Jacobson last out and won an exciting stretch battle over Galerio. He’s coming back here from his Belmont Park base and should be a tough customer near the lead on the rail. #8 Yodel E.A. Who (8-1) closed for second in his most recent start at a one-turn mile. He’s fallen short in his latest outings, most of which have come in sprints. We’ll see if the longer stretch helps him here.
RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#9 Lawful (8-5), another Jacobson shipper, ran in the 70s twice going one turn over the winter at Gulfstream. He regressed a bit around two turns last out, but now cuts back in distance and has by far the best grass form this year of anyone in here. #5 Will’s Music (5-1) closed well to lose by less than four lengths first time out, and now faces a field that, with the exception of Lawful, is easier to deal with than that one. #7 Tall Order (7-2) showed good tactical speed last year and ran some solid figures, but races for the Phil Capuano barn, which has not yet won with a horse making their season debut.