Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Monday, December 18, 2017
Laurel’s got an excellent card lined up for their final Monday afternoon card of the year, with nine races on tap. As usual, first post time is 12:30 PM EST.
Today, we’ve got Joseph Hansen (@jhansendc) providing his thoughts on the card. Joseph’s a Marylander who tweets about Laurel on a regular basis, and we’re happy to have him on the Danonymous crew as a second Maryland handicapper. Give him a follow on twitter when you can.
Good luck to everyone playing along!
Race 1: 7-4-1
Race 2: 6-3-4
Race 3: 1-7-3
Race 4: 3-4-2-8
Race 5: 2-5-3-6
Race 6: 1-3-5
Race 7: 2-6-9
Race 8: 1-4-3-7
Race 9: 1-7-8
Race 1 (Md 25000 (25-20), 2 yo, 6 furlongs)
Though Schoenthal doesn’t show good numbers with his debut runners (2/25 over the past year with 8 ITM finishes), his charge Good by Me (7) will offer some value in the opener and provides a number of positive angles. First, his purchase price was almost 8 times the stud fee. Second, sire Cherokee’s Boy broke his maiden in his 2nd start at the MSW level and immediately came back to win the Maryland Million Nursery and was eventually a graded stakes winner, earning over $1 million over his 48 race career. Third, he has some additional win-early pedigree as full brother Lunar Rock (7 year old also entered today) won his 4th career start and hit the board in 10 of his first 11 races and was stakes-placed early in his 3 year old season, while full brother Lunar Legacy won at 2nd-asking, albeit going long at Laurel. Although dam Single Woman eventually found her way on the claiming level, she did break her maiden at the MSW level at CT. Fourth, the last time the jockey and trainer teamed up on a first-time starter in a maiden claimer, in October, Sassy Irene paid $21 to win. Finally, the rest of the field does not strike too much fear, as probable favorite Swingstage (2) is sent out by a barn that’s winless for the year in 30 starts and figures to be a short price, and probable 2nd choice D.K. Two Step (1) draws the dreaded rail for a barn that’s not known for 2 year olds.
Race 3 (Md 25000 (25-20), 2 yo, 6 furlongs)
I made Arrivederci (1) my best bet on 11/6 when he lost by a neck and a head at this level, and I don’t see a reason to pick against him today either, as 3 others have come back to win next-out from that same race where he was odds-on. Ness claimed him in that one, and while he’s 0/5 with 2 year olds first off the claim, 4 have finished in the money. It’s a move he hasn’t made since 2014, so I assume he’s high on this one. His debut race keeps looking better, as Prince Lucky took a PA-bred stakes earlier this month and runner-up Clouded Judgement broke his maiden in November and shows up in an allowance/optional claimer at Gulfstream on Sunday. Of the other 4 horses in that race, 3 have come back to break their maiden, and all 3 won by at least 4 lengths.
Race 5 (Md 25000 (25-20), Fillies and Mares, 3 years old and up, 5.5 furlongs)
Stay West (2) debuted in June and ducked in dramatically from the rail position at the start, losing all chance but continued to fight and finished only a ½ length out of 4th despite the impossible start. In her next 2 starts, she set blazing fractions while being pressed on the lead at the straight maiden level. Two starts back she was 2nd to the Larry Jones trainee Americana who took an optional claimer in her next start and followed that up with a 2nd place finish. The fourth place finisher in that race broke her maiden 2 starts later at the MCL level. In her latest, she ran into Moonlighting Majic, a horse that was just as fast as her and who dueled her into submission while the 3rd place finisher broker her maiden next out against PA-bred straight maidens. Lake gives a leg up to Ceballos on the drop and figures to play catch me if you can; don’t think anyone will. I’ll note that Private Drama (5) is a half to 4 siblings who all won over $100,000, most of them sprinting, two of whom broke their maiden at first asking at the straight maiden level. Another half sibling was stakes-placed in her second career start as a maiden, eventually breaking her maiden in her 4th start and earning back-to-back allowance wins immediately thereafter. Her sire Big Drama was very fast, winning the Breeders Cup Sprint. The trainer doesn’t get many opportunities with first-time starters, but does have a win and 2 runner-ups with 5 such starters. Concerning that there’s a month gap between the most recent 2 works, but prior to that was working pretty steadily, with back-to-back gate drills at 4 and 5 furlongs, and could get lost in the betting.
Race 8 (Alw 42000N1X, F&M, 3 years old and up, 1 1/16M)
The feature is a pretty competitive N1X allowance for fillies and mares. The inside horse Sneaky Betty (1) is interesting at a price. I love how this 3 year old beat older to break her maiden at Churchill and was right back in the winner’s circle in her first start against winners. Geralis claimed her out of that event and moved her into allowance company even after the expiration of the jail period where she was a decent 3rd after making a middle move into the far turn to gain contention but faded late. Also note that as a 2 year old she was in company with Dancing Rags and Tequilita. She’ll have to make up 4 lengths on Keep Your Distance (5) who figures to try to take them wire to wire on the stretch-out to 2 turns. I question her ability to get the distance at what promises to be a pretty short price. Of the 3 year olds, Prevailing Party (4) owns the classiest maiden win, taking a straight maiden event in her latest with the field’s highest last-out Beyer. She’s definitely a contender, but the first start against winners is usually a challenge. Untaken (3) won at first asking in April this year, cleared the N2L condition 2 starts later against older, and finished 4th in stakes on the turf at Monmouth. The winner 2 back ran 6th in a restricted stakes at Gulfstream earlier this month. Frisky Whiskey (7) might be rounding back into form after a few lackluster efforts off the bench. Her Beyers from earlier this year certainly put her in the mix.
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.