Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Saturday’s going to be a huge day at Laurel. It’s all about honoring the legacy of legendary Maryland-bred sprinter Ben’s Cat, who sadly passed away earlier in the year, not long after his retirement. Laurel’s put on quite the show in Ben’s memory: there’s six stakes races on the program, most of them with big fields and competitive wagering opportunities. The first post time will be at 12:00 PM EST.
We’ve got myself, site managing editor John Piassek (@theyreoff) providing FREE picks & analysis of all 11 races! Be sure to check out my account This Week at Laurel (@ThisweekatLRL) for live updates every racing day at Laurel. Good luck to everyone playing along out there!
Race 1: Maiden Claiming $25,000, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
11- Karma: Drops down to the maiden claiming level on the grass for the first time. She had shown good form over the summer in Indiana and Kentucky, struggled two back against maiden special weights at Laurel. She should enjoy the class relief.
9- Hey Mabel: Closed from far out of it in her grass debut to finish fourth, with a respectable brisnet figure of 70. Cuts back in distance slightly, and should improve second time on the lawn.
13- Goldmakesmesmile: 0-for-18 record is cause for concern, but did cross the wire first at 17/1 two races back before being disqualified. Ran a solid third at this level last out, with a year-high figure of 70. If she draws in, merits respect.
4- Get Up She’s Gone
5- Hard Headed Woman
Race 2: Geisha Stakes, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, MD-bred, 1 Mile
2- My Magician: Almost ran down heavily favored Crabcakes in the Maryland Million Distaff. It was a great bounce-back effort after two lukewarm efforts over the summer. Figures to sit mid-pack early on, and has great late pace figures that should benefit her.
4- Lucky in Malibu: Showed no punch in the Tax Free Distaff last out, but has a string of excellent figures beforehand. Gets leading jockey Jevian Toledo to ride, and has come in the top two in six out of nine lifetime at Laurel.
7- Miss Nosy: She’s won three races in a row, including an easy score in the Maryland Million Distaff Starter Handicap. Has a chance to command the early pace; she’s won three races this year gate-to-wire.
Race 3: Claiming $15,000, 3yo and up, 1 Mile (Grass)
9- Uncle Dave: Takes a much-needed class drop down from allowance and stakes company. His figures have been fantastic as of late, including a 100 three races ago. He has not run less than an 80 in the past 12 months.
10- Ultimate Avary: Had a rough trip last out, but lost by less than three lengths with a career-high figure of 86. Tries the males for the first time, and hopes to get a cleaner trip here. If she does, watch for her.
1- Captain Dixie: Hasn’t missed the board in three races this year, all against similar company. Rallied from far back to win at Delaware Park last time out. He ran figures as high as 97 last year; he has not been able to duplicate that effort this year, but nevertheless fits in with these.
5- Put it Foward
13- Monkey’s Medal
Race 4: Claiming $7,500, 3yo and up, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)
5- Racy: Just missed going five furlongs at Delaware last out, led but was run down at Laurel two grass races ago. The 10-year-old has figures of 84 and 83 in those two races, both of which should be good enough to win this one.
7- Starship Thor: He’s another one who usually runs figures in the 80s, disappointed at this level last out after a very wide trip. In this spot, he’s got the 4 post, so ideally he will be able to save more ground than last time.
11- No Knock Raid: Cuts back in distance after trying to stretch out in the Maryland Million. He’s missed the board in five straight races against tougher, but figures have been competitive. He should enjoy the drop in class.
3- Ring Collector
14- Classic Wildcat
4- Final Forum
Race 5: Smart Halo Stakes, 2yo, Fillies, 6 Furlongs
3- Take Charge Paula: After two strong mid-Atlantic victories, she couldn’t handle the 1 1/16 miles distance of the Pocahantas Stakes at Churchill Downs. Rebounded nicely with a second-place finish in the Matron Stakes last out. She should enjoy the six-furlong distance against lesser competition.
8- Pacific Gale: Won the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth Park two races back, earning a big figure of 91. Like Take Charge Paula, she struggled when stretching out around two turns, and should enjoy the one-turn races much better.
6- Caught Dream’n: Broke her maiden last out with a sharp figure of 84, a nine-point improvement off her debut. There’s a lot of speed signed on to this race; look for her to be closing from a little further behind.
Race 6: City of Laurel Stakes, 3yo, 7 Furlongs
6- Honor the Fleet: Blew away a group of older horses last out, earning a gigantic figure of 104. Makes his second start off the short layoff, with Steve Hamilton retaining the mount.
2- El Areeb: Won two graded stakes at Aqueduct over the winter, and was super-impressive when winning the James Lewis Stakes here last year. Of course, there’s no guarantee he’ll be 100% first race off the bench, and he’ll almost certainly be overbet. Tread lightly.
4- No Dozing: Won the Concern Stakes on this track over the summer, but showed little in the Allen Jerkens. Drops back to listed stakes company, figures to sit mid-pack for the hot Delacour barn.
Race 7: Safely Kept Stakes, 3yo, Fillies, 7 Furlongs
4- Dawn the Destroyer: She’s run at least a 95 in three straight races, including a big 102 at Saratoga two races ago. Finished third in the Prioress Stakes last out. She should stalk the pace from the inside.
11- Shimmering Aspen: This filly loves Laurel; she’s won five races in a row at this track. Didn’t care much for the bullring at Charles Town last out, but won two stakes races over the summer at Laurel. Outside post is primary cause for concern.
13- Your Love: New York shipper defeated older foes last out, sitting a great trip and drawing off to easy victory. She’s won three of five lifetime and has a peak figure of 98.
Race 8: James Lewis Stakes, 2yo, 6 Furlongs
6- Kowboy Karma: Looked very promising after two impressive victories at Delaware Park, but struggled when going a mile in each of his last two races. Cuts back in distance to six furlongs and gets class relief after finishing fourth in the Champagne, behind Breeders’ Cup champion Good Magic.
5- A Different Style: Parx shipper was very impressive breaking his maiden last out, winning by six lengths with a figure of 90. He’s the best alternative if you want to try and beat the favorite.
3- Whereshetoldmetogo: Pulled a mild 9/1 upset when winning the First State Dash at Delaware last out. He’s done nothing wrong around one turn, will have to come from behind to win this one.
Race 9: Richard Small Stakes, 3yo and up, 1 1/8 Miles
5- Watershed: Won the grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland back in April, showed little in his next two, but ran big figures in each race. Makes his first start since early July, may not be fully tuned up for this one, but should still turn in a good showing.
3- No Distortion: Another one who hasn’t raced in a while, he was last seen winning the Carl Hanford Stakes at Delaware Park in mid-July. Figures to rate off the leaders.
6- Securitiz: New York allowance veteran just barely won the Seattle Slew Stakes last out, has hit the board in his last four with figures in the upper-90s each time out.
Race 10: Allowance (n/w1x), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)
11- Quality Time: Since arriving from Europe, she’s made a good name for herself, with figures in the mid-80s every time out. Endured some mild traffic last out but still ran a solid second, 4 1/4 lengths clear of 3rd.
8- Goldwood: Belmont Park invader couldn’t keep up with allowance company there, broke her maiden here back in September at low odds. Her best races have come over the Laurel grass, and should enjoy a return to familiar settings.
10- Sweet Yare N Dira: Hasn’t missed the top two in three grass tries, couldn’t catch up against similar last out at the Meadowlands, looked impressive winning at Monmouth Park four races back, will try to return to that form here.
9- Adios Annie
3- Miss Mischevious
13- Annie’s Bandit
Race 11: Maiden Claiming $16,000, 2yo, Fillies, 5 1/2 Furlongs
2- Purring Valentine: The most experienced member of the field, with five races to her name so far. Generally shows speed/fade, will hope to hold on the longest in this mediocre group. Strong figure of 69 two races ago is reason to believe.
8- Marvelous Martha: Has been second two out of three times, most recently was 6-wide when launching a big rally. She ran a career-high of 66 in that race; could do even better when saving ground.
3- Daray: Gets blinkers on, a class drop, and a jockey upgrade to Sheldon Russell.
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.
(Ben’s Cat photo: Horse Racing Nation)