LAUREL PARK PICKS AND PONDERINGS: NOVEMBER 10, 2023
In which we pick the races from Laurel Park each day…
Post time: 12:25 p.m.
Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $1,698
Jackpot Super High 5 — $2,761
Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: CLAIMING $10,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#1 Last Second Louie (4-1) hounded the pace while wide every step at Delaware Park last out. Both of the other horses who were on that pace faded, and Last Second Louie pulled clear late, but he was chased down by a rival who sat well off the fast early tempo. This one should get a much better trip today. #4 Long Live Now (5-2) was a stout-closing third in his most recent start, running a career-best brisnet figure of 76 in the process. He didn’t run that well in his prior two starts, but that race represents a leap forward, and he’s lightly-raced enough (seven starts) to make me think that he could take another. #8 Alottacents (9-5) dropped to this level for the first time last out, and led late after stalking the pace before getting run down and settling for second. He may be more at home against these types than the better non-winners of two foes he’s been facing, but that last race left me cold.
RACE 2: MAIDEN CLAIMING $45,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
6-1-5-9 (DIRT: 2-4-5-7)
#6 Bay Street (2-1) finished a game-closing second in her first start off a two-month layoff last out, losing to a front-running favorite who ran them off their feet. This one is stretching out around two turns for the first time, but there’s nothing about her recent form to suggest that she can’t handle the distance. Her dam, Zister, won going 1 1/16 miles on grass. #1 Magic in the Park (4-1) and #5 Krone (7-2) exit the same race at this condition on October 21. While Krone showed good tactical speed and outfinished Magic in the Park, who just got up for third, it was Krone’s fifth second-place finish in her 15-start career. She’s had many chance sin races like this, and can’t quite seem to take advantage. Magic in the Park, meanwhile, has only raced three times, but has already run in the 70s twice. She has more upside in my eyes, and might end up going off at a better price.
- 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: CLAIMING $5,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/8 MILES
#1 Walk Away Joe (4-1) was claimed by Keri Brion out of a game second-place effort at this level in mid-July, and now returns for the first time since then. While it’s been a long time since he won, most of those defeats were against better rivals. #3 Up Against It (10-1) drops from the open $8,000 level and gets a rider switch to Jevian Toledo. He ran his best figure in almost a year last out, running an 86 in a sharp second-place effort. #6 Transfer the Funds (8-1) went gate-to-wire last out, and might go for the front again in a race without a lot of early pace.
RACE 4: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 1/8 MILES (GRASS)
1-6-7-3 (DIRT: 2-4-6-3)
I think I can give #1 Victory Bridge (4-1) one more shot. She started her career with back-to-back figures in the 70s this summer, then declined a bit to the upper-60s against these types in her last two races. Still, she’s very consistent, has lots of experience, and has good closing speed. As long as the pace isn’t too slow again, she’ll be a factor. Graham Motion has a dangerous pair in here in #6 Carina Nebula (9-5) and #7 Lorraine (5-2). The former has improved in her last two starts against better maidens, and led almost the whole way at Colonial Downs two races ago before fading. The latter has never been around two turns, but ran a solid 73 when fifth on debut at Delaware and has worked well since.
RACE 5: CLAIMING $40,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
#8 Genieinabridle (5-2) has won three in a row, all of them by no more than a half-length, rallying from well out of it to win each time. Last out at Delaware, she surged from well off the pace and got up just in time over a similar field. We’ll see how she handles a cutback from six furlongs, though she did rally for second at this distance over the summer. #1 Miss Georgie (3-1) has been rounding back into her best form since returning from an almost-seven month break in mid-July. She crushed a non-winners of two field last out, running a career-best 84, and should sit a pocket trip near the pace on the rail. #3 Bound by Destiny (6-1) was overmatched against de facto stakes company at Delaware last out, but ran in the low/mid-80s in her two prior starts. She should be right at home against these.
RACE 6: CLAIMING $16,000 (CONDITIONED), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 1/2 FURLONGS (GRASS)
3-11-10-7 (DIRT: 8-4-12-10)
Take out the two-turn lines of #3 Gatita Suave (3-1), where she was overmatched against better, and you’ll find a filly who consistently runs in the mid/upper-70s against these types. She lost two brutally close photos here over the summer, with the August 13 photo in particular being one of the closest you’ll ever see. #11 Quick Power Nap (9-5) was taken a bit out of her element last start after a rough break, but it didn’t matter much, as she swooped the field to win impressively. With a cleaner break, she’ll work out a nice trip on the outside. #10 Getaway Palace (8-1) is the only one in here to run in the 80s in each of her last two starts. She’s cutting back around one turn and dropping slightly from the $40,000 level.
- 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 OPTIONAL CLAIMING (N/W3X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 5 1/2 FURLONGS
The heavy morning line favorite, Greeley and Ben, hasn’t raced in almost a year, making him very vulnerable in my book. As such, you’ll get inflated odds on pretty much everyone else. #1 Cynergy’s Star (4-1) returns to dirt after back-to-back tries against stakes company on grass. He was an impressive winner against second-level foes in his last dirt try, and has a strong late kick that will make him dangerous as long as he gets clear sailing. #7 Factor It In (5-2), a three-time stakes winner on this track, finished a game third in his first start off a six-month layoff last out. He ran in the triple digits on occasion around this time last year. If this 7-year-old can recapture that form, he’ll be tough. #3 Karan’s Notion (6-1) makes his first start off the bench here, and is a hard-trying gelding who held third after setting the pace in the King Leatherbury Stakes last out.
RACE 8: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $20,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 1 1/16 MILES (GRASS)
2-3-8-6 (DIRT: 10-7-1-5)
#2 Inanna’s Quest (6-1) ran a much-improved race in her last grass start at Colonial, closing for second off a loose leader. Her running style and the way these paces play out means it’ll likely be a grinding win, but she’ll at least get the trip off the rail. #3 Sing Scat (7-2) saw her four-race win streak snapped last out in the Maryland Million Turf Distaff Starter Handicap, though she ran a career-best 82 in the process. She’ll also get a nice trip near the pace for the Jamie Ness/Jaime Rodriguez combo. #8 Gennie Highway (6-1) has run improved figures in her last few starts, including back-to-back 83s two and three starts back, and will hope for an honest pace to close into.
RACE 9: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
#3 Senator Kelly (2-1) has run back-to-back 74s in two starts since returning from a 14-month layoff in late September. He closed a bit better last out than he did in his first race off the bench, suggesting further improvement could be afoot. #9 The Last Jumpstart (8-1) has found himself struggling at the end of one-mile races in his last few starts, but closed respectably well in his only start going this distance in mid-July. #4 Great Call (8-1) is also cutting back, in his case following back-to-back starts at 1 1/16 miles, and has good early speed.
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