We’re headed back out to one of our favorite fall tracks, Laurel Park!
We didn’t get off to the hottest of starts in our FREE PICKS & ANALYSIS at Laurel on opening weekend but that’s bound to turn around. While we’re posting picks for every race, would recommend reading the analysis for each, taking into account our listed BEST BETS and LONG SHOTS, and picking your own spots based on all of the information. Good luck!
Race 4: #3 Late to the Party (3-1 ML)
Race 5: #5 Mr. Maybe (12-1 ML)
INDIVIDUAL RACE PICKS
Race 1: 6-1-3
#6 Third Avenue Cello comes back to the races after nearly a year away for Linda Gaudet. Son of Pioneer of the Nile last ran a well beaten second at the $16k maiden claiming level over the dirt at Laurel. Horse shows a steady series of works leading up to the return in this softer $8k mcl event. Toledo scores 23% when up for Mrs. Gaudet and has won with 2 of 6 mounts for her at Laurel. #1 T Mac has looked pretty bad of late but gets back to an oval that he didn’t run all too poorly over in the winter. Possible underneath. #3 Knight Smoke also drops in for less off of the claim for Phil Schoenthal. Can’t love the 0 for 13 but this looks like a more reasonable spot for him.
Race 2: 5-2-6
#5 Cadaques cuts back to 6 furlongs after tiring at a mile last out, which was his first race against winners. Broke the maiden two-back going this distance. Trainer does well and the cutback and Frankie Pennington comes in to ride two today (the other is #12 War Relic in race 7), with 36% winners for the barn off of a large sample. #2 Mighty Oak should sit fairly close to the pace and hang around for a piece. Rates a bigger danger if #3 Saintly Deed doesn’t go with him. Kobiskie/Whitacre owned the joint for stretches over the winter and make it even harder to not use the horse.
Race 3: 2-11-12-3-13
Super tough race to narrow down but ultimately landed on #2 Sam’s Sonic. Horse covered a ton of ground, wide all the way around last out as the beaten favorite going a mile at Delaware. He still had some kick late, closing into some pretty average fractions to grab third. Like the addition of Carrasco, who scores at a nice 23% clip for Hammy at Laurel. Should enjoy a much better trip and has the tactical speed to hang close to the pace if it ends up being slow. #11 Loren’s Rock also comes in off of a nice effort at Delaware. Not many closed on uncontested leader in that one, #9 Jo Way Java, but Loren’s Rock did make up some ground late. Centeno has had himself a nice start to the meet, as well. Going to use another price underneath with #12 Purely Dunn. Lightly raced gelding wire a maiden special field at Timonium last out in a dirt sprint. Magee is a master at placing them and if he likes a mile on the turf coming out of that one, I like it too. Christian Santiago Reyes is also pretty high % when up for Kieron. Auto-using #13 Sweet Lew in multis, even though we have no clue what we’re going to get off of the 9-month break.
Race 4: 3-6-1
Looks like there might be something of a duel up front. #6 Bubz Foo Foo might be the fastest of the bunch. Guessing #8 Soft Ball and #7 Emelina wear themselves out chasing or pressing and think it sets up pretty nicely for #3 Late to the Party. Horse beat $7k n2’s at Pimlico, from off the pace. Carrasco back up for Campitelli (25%) should ensure a heads up ride. #1 Margaret Ownzit has been in really bad form but drops down to her lowest level to date and can perhaps run into a slice with the bug boy up for Kieron and carrying just 105.
Race 5: 5-10-9-4
Gotta believe Motion’s #9 Loves Last Chance is going to take all the money in this race, which should set us up for a nice opportunity to score with a bomb. Horse that catches the eye is #5 Mr. Maybe. On paper, it might not look like this one belongs but have a look at the race 10 days ago at Delaware. The horse got a very bizarre ride, as Victor Santiago seemed to willingly lose position. Only when passed by the entire field, did the horse get sent late and passed some horses while riding the rail. Don’t think we exactly saw what he was capable of in that one. Now, Tim Ritchey ships him in and gets Alex Cintron on, which qualifies as a major jock upgrade. Mr. Maybe broke his maiden going this 1 1/16-miles distance two-back and the third place finisher from that one returned to win next out at Monmouth.
Race 6: 2-5-7-8
Tough read with seven firsters lined up. Like last week, C.C. Lopez is in to ride just one horse for Kelly Breen. He won with the other and this time he’s on #2 Joe Franklin, a Bernstein baby. That’s kind of fun to say. Horse has been working well at Breen’s home base on the Jersey Shore and barn scores 27% with firsters. #5 Golden Years is another must use in this opening leg of the late Pick-4. He’s been firing bullet after bullet over the course. Jenkins gets Carrasco up for the maiden voyage. #7 Welcome Bay tired badly on debut but we’ll allow the possibility of improvement going second out for Motion (16%). The early and late board will tell you most of the story in this race, so keep an eye on it.
Race 7: 9-5-14-8-12
Lots of early speed signed up for this mile turf event. You could make an argument for several in here but the one we’ll go with on top is #9 Ceci N Red. Filly has had excuses in her last few and the race two-back wasn’t even a bad race. She’s won twice at the distance and has hit the board in more than 50% of the time at a mile. Don’t mind seeing Nik Juarez up either. He’s been riding really well at Monmouth and looks to stay hot here. #5 Mshomecomingqueen is another one who’ll be flying late. She’s won over course and distance and is right there with the rest of these if you excuse the last. #14 Jerry Love may need to work out a trip but she’s shown flashes of ability. Her win going a mile here last Fall catches the eye. #8 Handoverthecat is another intriguing one. Thinking she might’ve wanted more than the 5 1/2 furlongs she got in the stakes at Monmouth last out. Gets a top rider for her return to Laurel and could certainly factor if she can settle into a nice spot behind the pacesetters.
Race 8: 2-3-5-4
This one is a total headscratcher. Features Tony D’s #3 Fire Starter, who was a Kentucky Derby hopeful last year after breaking his maiden by 10 3/4 lengths, right here at Laurel. The problem is hasn’t won since. Good to see him back in Dutrow’s hands after three races away but the horse has been so off that you almost have to try to beat him. Going to take a shot with #2 Eternal Flight. Though his recent efforts might not show it, he’s a horse with a little bit of speed from the gate. Carrasco could try to steal this one because there aren’t any need-the-lead types in here and he’s drawn right near the rail. Has a win and three other placings from six starts at the distance and gotta believe there’s a reason McMahon enters him here.
Race 9: 6-2-3-7-1 (AE’s not factored)
#6 My Enigma goes first out for Hammy, with the X-man up (22%). This is a homebred by Indygo Shiner, who has proven to be a strong turf influence. We’ll take a shot with this one at 9-2. Others to consider are #2 Markakis, first out for Robin Graham, who is not only high percentage with firsters but with everything else. #3 Rich Dalone is another one who’s hard to leave off. Dale Capuano has gotten off to a nice start at the meet and scores with 30% of firsters.
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