LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: november 9, 2023
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $884
Jackpot Super High 5 — $2,139
Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $40,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
Another beautiful day for racing awaits us in central Maryland. #2 Elusive Edge (10-1) improved significantly second off the layoff and cutting back in distance last out. He got involved in a speed duel through honest early fractions, and lasted until the late stages, losing by three lengths with a very solid brisnet figure of 86. He ran in that range against better in New York earlier this year, and should be primed for a peak effort. #7 Great Idea (4-1) closed well to get third against better last out, and ran well at this distance earlier this year. His closing kick is well-suited for the long stretch run of the 5 1/2-furlong sprints. #1 Kenner (5-1) will try to control the pace on the rail for the ever-dangerous Jamie Ness/Jaime Rodriguez combo.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $10,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
While heavy morning line favorite #3 Cocktail Dreaming (1-1) is in peak form and coming off a big win, her recent figures aren’t that much better than those of #6 Ginger Girl (4-1). Take out her race three starts back where she broke awkwardly in a five-furlong dash, and she’s in improving form with wins in two of her last three starts on this track. She has great tactical speed and a solid late kick, and while she may be at her best with a bit more distance, she’s a great alternative to try and beat the favorite. #7 Linashaspecshoes (5-2) is the only other serious contender in the race. She’s won three of her last four starts at Delaware Park and will hope for a hot early tempo.
- 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: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#4 Get Loaded (5-1) dropped to bottom-level maiden claimers in her last grass start at the Meadowlands, and closed well for second, running at least a 69 for the third straight time in a grass sprint. She should pick them up and lay them down late. #7 In Her Cups (3-1) had the doors blown off her by Bandonarun last out, who returned to beat first-level allowance foes in similar style. This one outpaced the others to get second, and looks like the controlling speed this time. #11 Princess Lena (15-1) makes her first start for Keri Brion after previously racing at Remington Park. She showed some speed going two turns in her grass debut before fading, and is eligible for big improvement at a good price. Brion has already won with a first-time runner in her barn at this meet.
RACE 4: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 1/16 MILES
With only 8 races today, the late pick 5 starts here. #6 Doesn’thurttoflirt (5-2) consistently runs in the mid-50s, and showed some speed going a mile against better last out before tiring. Her usual race beats this bunch. #3 Turbo Millie (3-1) made her two-turn debut last out, and fought on in the stretch to get second. She’s the only one in the race with two-turn experience, which can’t hurt. #4 Any Fools Gold (5-1) has the most early speed in the race, and will try to take them around for as long as she can.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $40,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
#1 Wrecking Ball (6-1) ran a career-best 83 in a tough first-level allowance race at Delaware in his most recent grass start. The winner, Curly Larry and Mo, lost by a nose to Hardspun Reason in his prior start, who in turn came back to beat Maryland-bred allowance foes with a rush. Third-place finisher Hoku was a next-out winner at Parx. Furthermore, without a lot of speed in here, he could find himself controlling the pace from the rail. If so, it could prove very advantageous. #7 Wicked Secret (6-1) closed strongly for second last out and just missed behind gate-to-wire winner Happy Cat. Even if Wrecking Ball plays the role of front-running winner here, this one can close for another slice. The same is true for #11 General’s Duty (10-1) who has lost by less than a length in each of his last two starts, albeit with honest paces to run into both times.
RACE 6: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED/SIRED, 7 FURLONGS
#9 Order Ofthe Kettle (8-1) improved to a career-best 85 second off an eleven-month layoff last out. He was well-beaten by Seven’s Eleven that day, who returned to dominate the Maryland Million Sprint. This one has shown precocity in his four-race career, and could be sitting on a big effort. #7 Disputed Claim (4-1) has won each of his last three starts by daylight, including a very sharp gate-to-wire score in the Maryland Million Starter Handicap last out. It might be a bit harder to get to the lead here, with lots of fast horses signed on, but he’s shown the ability to rate and win. #1 Rhumjar (9-2) runs in the 80s consistently against more similar types to these, but didn’t do much against better going longer in the Maryland Million Classic last out. This field and distance looks more like his speed.
- 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: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED/SIRED, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
This looks like a “if it’s ever gonna be the day…” type of spot for #6 Fun Notion (9-5). He’s lost in a photo finish three consecutive times at this level, including a nose-bob to Childers in his most recent start. His recent figures are superior to those of the others, and he should get a nice trip on or near the pace. He beat Elusive Edge in his last start; if that one comes back to win race 1, it might make Fun Notion look better. #3 Tall Order (9-2) has finished just behind Fun Notion in some of his recent starts, and was a hard-charging second at this level last out with a season’s-best 82. #1 Upsidedown Man (6-1) was a hard-luck third in his most recent, and is fairly lightly-raced with lots of room to take a big step forward.
RACE 8: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
Let’s try a longshot in the get-out race. #3 Always Forward (30-1) broke her maiden in professional style two starts back at Charles Town then ran a career-best 69 at Delaware last out, closing some mild ground in the stretch going longer. She’s cutting back to a spring here, and has both the best last-out figure and the best late pace figure in the field. She’s also in ascending form in a field where most of the others are inconsistent, so if she can put it all together, she can surprise. #6 Jess’s Gypsy Girl (8-1) takes a slight drop in class after facing better most of the year, and has good tactical speed. #4 Bali Hai (6-1) improved second off a long layoff with a sharp second-place effort against similar last out, and now gets a rider switch to Angel Cruz.
- Laurel Park picks and ponderings: December 1, 2023
- Laurel Park picks and ponderings: November 26, 2023
- Charles Town picks and analysis: November 25, 2023
- Laurel Park picks and ponderings: November 25, 2023
- Laurel Park picks and ponderings: November 24, 2023
- Laurel Park picks and ponderings: November 23, 2023