Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Friday, September 8, 2017
We’ve arrived at opening day at Laurel Park! Friday’s nine-race program kicks off the 2017 fall meet at the central Maryland oval, featuring rapidly increasing pools and great racing action. The highlights of the meet include DeFrancis Dash day on September 16 and Maryland Million day on October 21. First post today, and for all days of the meet until Daylight Savings Time, is 1:10 PM EDT.
Myself, Danonymous Racing managing editor John Piassek (@theyreoff), will be providing my thoughts on today’s card, as well as for all Saturdays of the meet. Be sure to check out my twitter for Laurel Park updates (@ThisweekatLRL), as well as for episodes of my Laurel Park preview show, “This Week at Laurel”. The show will cover every Saturday of racing at Laurel.
Let’s rock! Good luck to everyone playing along.
Race 1: Claiming $7,500, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
3- Top Prospect: He won at this level back in June, ran third against similar last out, running a sharp brisnet figure of 85.
6- Wicked Heat: Penn National invader won two in a row over the grass surface, with sharp late pace figures and speed figures as high as 90. Should sit a great trip stalking the pace from the outside.
1- Big Joe Candy: Gets a jockey upgrade to Steve Hamilton and drops from the starter allowance level. Ran an 87 while finishing third at Penn National two races back. At a 12/1 morning line, he’s an interesting longshot contender.
Race 2: Maiden Claiming $25,000, 2yo, Fillies, 5 Furlongs
3- A Star at Last: First-time starter has been working well at Fair Hill, most recently going four furlongs in 49.2 seconds. No one who has run in the field has shown much ability, so any firster who looks good on paper, like this one, must be respected. Will be watching the board on her.
1- Fanniebellefleming: Debuted last out versus Virginia-bred maidens, was wide throughout and wound up running a figure of 64. Draws the inside post here, and should improve second time out.
2- Idaside: Improved her figure by 25 points while finishing third at Timonium last out. Gets blinkers on and figures to show early speed.
Race 3: Claiming $16,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
12- All I Karabout: Lost by only two lengths in his first start off a very long layoff at Monmouth Park last out. Trainer Horacio DePaz hits at 37% with horses second off the layoff.
5- Papa Pablo: He’s hit the board in seven of eleven lifetime; ran third against similar in his last race in July. Gets a jockey upgrade to Sheldon Russell.
7- Cent Comm: Has run figures as high as 81 in the past, Victor Carrasco maintains the mount, he’s never won on grass, but has been showing improving form over the surface.
Race 4: Starter Optional Claiming $25,000, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles
2- Degrom: Shipper from Delaware earned a figure of 92 in his last race going two turns. He’s hit the board in three out of his last four. Based on pace figures, appeared to be pace-compromised last out, and will hope for some more honest fractions as he rates off the lead.
6- Brighton Lane: Tried to close from fifteen lengths back last out, wound up finishing second, earning a figure of 91. 1-for-19 record is cause for concern, but nonetheless looks like a strong exotics contender.
7- Stand Guard: Usually runs figures in the mid-80s, drops down from the n/w1x level at Delaware Park, lost by only four lengths there, should stalk the pace from the outside.
Race 5: Starter Allowance $7,500, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
1- Odlum: He’s got early speed, the inside post, and great figures. It’s a formula for an easy victory.
5- Intrepid Citizen: Has raced wide in each of his last two at this level, but has won both. He’s never faced an opponent as talented as Odlumn, though, so he may wind up being up against it.
9- Barney Rebel: Lost to Intrepid Citizen twice in a row, both times at low odds. He won three in a row prior to that, however, and almost certainly won’t be the favorite. If you still believe in him, you’ll finally get a square price.
Race 6: Allowance Optional Claiming (n/w1x), 2yo, Fillies, 6 Furlongs
1- Hercatwillfoolu: She did something impressive last out: she came from behind to win in a race at Timonium. Her figure declined a few points compared to her debut, but that can be attributed to the funkiness of the bullring track. If she improves off the 77 in that debut at Laurel, she’s going to be a great value.
5- Limited View: Was great in her debut, ran a dud in the Adirondack Stakes, but is in no way worthy of being wagered on at odds-on. If she had lost a n/w1x allowance by twenty lengths last out (which is what the Adirondack Stakes essentially was), would she be a 1/2 morning line?
4- Deep Red: Ran a solid third versus similar last out. She improved her figure to a career-high of 79 last out, and will be showing bountiful early speed.
Race 7: Maiden Special Weight, 2yo, Fillies, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)
2- Simonela: She’s the only one with grass experience in the field, having run fifth last out, earning a figure of 83. Will be a great value if near her 10/1 morning line.
12- Sugar Shack: Great worker has the misfortune of being stuck in the outside post for her debut. Trombetta firsters are nonetheless dangerous, and is at least a candidates for the exotic positions.
5- In Jail: Debuts on grass after two tries on dirt, $175,000 purchase has had two good works at Fair Hill since that race. It’s not a great field, as far as we know, so she’s one that must be respected.
Race 8: Allowance (n/w1x), 3yo and up, 1 Mile
2- To Blave: Has run figures in the mid-80s three times in a row, including an 86 last out. Stretches out from seven furlongs here, which should play well into his late closing kick.
8- Grecian Prince: Almost wired a similar group last out, but was caught and settled for second. A major cause for concern: in 29 races, he’s won three times, with eleven second-place finishes. As such, he’s not worth betting to win, but is a good candidate for an across-the-board wager.
1- Legal Precedent: Saratoga shipper was impossibly wide throughout last out, but still ran a respectable third. When saving more ground in the past, he usually runs in the 80s.
Race 9: Claiming $7,500, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
2- Glowing Ember: Battled for the lead throughout last out at Monmouth, and finished a respectable second with a big figure of 85. Will once again be on the lead in this spot, and his last race gives me optimism that he can hang in there until late.
1- Prime Time Man: Takes a gigantic class drop from the n/w2x level, won for $12,500 at Delaware in June, so running for a tag is not terribly unprecedented. Late pace figures are good enough that he should get a great stalking trip from the rail.
9- Thurgood: Over the summer at Delaware, he won two races in a row at big odds. Finished second against similar last out, with a sharp figure of 88 at 12/1. Don’t discount him popping again at a price.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE. PICKS & ANALYSIS FOUND ON THIS SITE ARE MERELY OPINIONS BASED ON SUBJECTIVE ANALYSIS. PICKS DO NOT GUARANTEE ANY SUCCESSFUL OUTCOMES WHATSOEVER. PICKS ARE PROVIDED TO GUIDE YOUR STRATEGY TO PLAYING THE RACES. MATERIALS FOUND ON THIS SITE ARE IN NO WAY INTENDED TO ENCOURAGE GAMBLING. WHERE LEGAL, ALL WAGERS SHOULD BE MADE RESPONSIBLY AND ARE DONE SO AT YOUR OWN RISK.
(photo: Dottie Miller)