LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: october 29, 2023
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $743
Jackpot Super High 5 — $5,019
Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
We’ll wrap up October with a 10-race card. #2 Spirit of Power (4-1) made her regional debut at Colonial Downs last out after starting her career in Florida, and came from well of the pace to finish a strong-closing third. She’s stretching out from 5 1/2 furlongs here, but did win around two turns at Gulfstream Park earlier this year. #7 Boardwalk Fries (7-2) got going in the last eighth and lost in a close photo against similar last out, running a brisnet figure in the 70s for the second consecutive race. She’ll add blinkers here, which will hopefully help her focus earlier. #6 Hazelmoor Beach (5-2) exits the same race as Boardwalk Fries, and hung around late to lose by less than a length despite a wide trip all the way.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
Brittany Russell has clearly snapped of of her slump, with a win every day of the race week, and she looks likely to add another win to her record with #3 First to Arrive (1-1). The Sycamore Hall homebred drops for a tag for the first time, and has run in the 60s in both of her dirt starts. She’s run in well against better in both of those races; no one else in the race has great late pace figures. #1 Sunny Sunrise (5-1) goes first out for John Salzman Jr, who puts Jevian Toledo in the saddle. No one with experience has much clear-cut speed, so as long as this one breaks well, look for her to set the pace. #5 Kapadokya (8-1) ran a solid 65 two races back, and should keep Sunny Sunrise honest from her outside.
- Speedyness favored in Maryland JuvenileAdded blinkers and added ground have made a difference for Speedyness, who will seek his third straight win as the favorite in Saturday’s Maryland Juvenile.
RACE 3: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $20,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS (GRASS)
Many of these exit the same race at this condition on October 12. #1 Hitch a Ride (8-1) finished third that day, and made up tons of ground in the stretch while wide to get third. Her ceiling isn’t as high as some of the others, but she always puts in a great late rally and will be especially dangerous if she can find clear sailing. #10 Shasta Star (7-5) won that October 12 race, and enters this contest on a six-race winning streak. She handled the step up from $12,500 types without trouble last out, and should work out another nice trip near the pace. #9 Boston Princess (6-1) sat the trip and faded going a mile at Monmouth Park last out, but might find the shorter distance more to her liking.
RACE 4: CLAIMING $25,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#3 Dancinonthebeach (6-1) broke her maiden in professional style on debut, stalking the pace and kicking away with an 80. Trainer Hugh McMahon has had a very strong fall meet, with six winners, and should have this one primed for her first start against winners. #5 Lovely Liza (4-1) bounced back off a dull race at Timonium to run an 80 against similar last out. She was bothered a bit at the top of the stretch, though it likely didn’t have much of an impact on her final position. Nonetheless, she adds blinkers here and has by far the best late pace figures in the race. #1A Ratified (9-5) broke her maiden first off the claim by Jamie Ness last out. She got a target to close into that day, and should get another one here with lots of early speed.
RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $20,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#6 Opinionated (7-2) drops back to this level after a visually impressive try against better last out. She’s hit the board in both of her starts at this level or similar, and should charge hard late. Tim Woolley sent out a closer to win on grass yesterday. #3 Lem Me Drink (3-1) improved a bit second off a brief break last out, and ran in the upper-70s and low-80s consistently in New York earlier this year. She has good tactical speed, and will be tough to hold off if she works out a trip. #14 Nami (4-1) had nowhere to go in the stretch last out and was completely stymied. She’s turned in a better kick with smoother sailing, but does run the risk of a wide trip.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE
Just when you thought you couldn’t get enough first-level allowance action after yesterday, we have more today! This one begins the late pick 5. #9 Will Or Won’t (8-1) has won three in a row against slightly easier between Delaware Park and Penn National. Her plan is to break well, clear to the front, and try to keep going. While that would be an easier task with a better post, she has the best early pace figures int he race, so it can be done. #5 Charming Way (5-2) was a solid second behind Mama G’s Wish, who returned to win next out at Timonium, in her most recent start. This one hasn’t raced since August 12, but has some good recent workouts, including a bullet five-furlong drill on October 8. #6 Western Lane (7-2) lasted through pace pressure to win an off-the-grass affair at Saratoga last out, and is the only one in the field who has run at least an 85 twice in her last three starts. She could make things interesting for Will Or Won’t in the early stages.
- Martina Rojas: “Nothing like loving your job”Preternaturally driven apprentice rider Martina Rojas has opened some eyes of late with solid meets at Presque Isle, Timonium, Pimlico and now Laurel.
RACE 7: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#5 Bay Street (6-1) finished fourth on debut, in a race where the horses who broke 1-2 stayed that way throughout. Third-place finisher Bandonarun won her next two starts, and was recently the sales-topper at Wanamaker’s. #13 Up for It (6-1) has run in the 70s three times in her last four starts, and chased the pace for a respectable fourth at Delaware in her most recent. #11 Brooklyn Girlee (5-2) has gotten better with each start since joining Arnaud Delacour’s barn earlier this year, She pressed the pace and finished second in her grass debut at Delaware earlier this year. The winner, Bossy Diva, came back to finish third against first-level allowance company at Woodbine next out.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W1X), 2-YEAR-OLDS, 7 FURLONGS
#1A War Master (8-5) was well-bet on debut, but exceeded expectations with a dominant 8 1/2-length win, earning an 85 in the process. Third-place finisher Eyes Eleven returned to break his maiden yesterday. This one gets a class test after debuting for a $20,000 tag, but if he replicates that move, he’ll be hard to handle. #4 Circle P (3-1) improved sharply to win at second asking last out despite a wide trip. He’s shown great tactical speed in his two-race career, and should be able to work out a nice setup. #6 It’s My Rainbow (15-1) has improved by leaps and bounds with every start, and is likely to set the early pace.
RACE 9: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
#7 Chicken Parm (5-1) turned in a big performance on debut last out, going gate-to-wire to win with a very sharp 87. She’s cutting back a bit from 1 1/16 miles and looks like the main early speed. They’ll have to run her down to win this one. #10 Tracy Flick (9-5) improved dramatically second off a very long layoff last out, almost running down loose leader Chorus Girl to secure second with a career-best 87. Another step froward, and it’s entirely possible she’s able to chase down Chicken Parm. #3 She is Wisky (20-1), a stablemate of Chicken Parm’s, came from the clouds to beat Maryland-bred allowance foes two races ago, and might slide through the cracks in the betting.
RACE 10: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE
#6 Glass of Courage (5-2) and #7 Notion of Love (3-1) exit the same race on October 13. Both of them bumped each other late, but held gamely int he stretch and finished second, and third, respectively. Glass of Courage debuted in that race, while Notion of Love improved sharply off a lackluster debut at Timonium. These two are hard to separate. #3 Hanksdiviningrod (20-1) made decent ground on debut last out, and could improve further with extra distance.
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