Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, October 14, 2017
We’re just one week away from one of the biggest days on the Laurel Park calendar: the Maryland Million! Until then, we have a ten race card at the central Maryland track this Saturday, which kicks off at 1:10 PM EDT.
We’ve got myself, managing editor John Piassek (@theyreoff) providing thoughts on the all 12 races. Be sure to check out my twitter feed, This Week at Laurel (@ThisweekatLRL), for updates throughout the card.
Good luck to everyone playing along!
Race 1: Maiden Special Weight, 2yo, Fillies, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)
10- Gibbet: First-time starter has been working brilliantly at Saratoga, and in fact I’m surprised she did not start at the meet. Ships down from the Spa for her debut, has a lot of bullet workouts, and ought to shine in this spot.
7- Chauncey: Won the battle, but lost the war in her grass debut last out. She dueled for the lead throughout, and wound up losing to a fast-closing rival by only half a length. Turned in a bullet five-furlong workout last weekend, and should improve second time on the lawn.
2- Helena the First: Another serious first-time starter in the race. Jockey Daniel Centeno and trainer Arnaud Delacour won with a two-year-old on the grass on Friday, and Delacour’s hitting at a blazing 40% this meet.
Race 2: Claiming $5,000, 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs
3- Humbolt Street: Gets a big jockey upgrade from Luis Rodriguez to meet-leading Jevian Toledo. Checked hard last time out, costing himself ground, and wound up getting disqualified to fifth for interference. Prior to that, he came in the top two in four of five races this year.
1- Patti’s Pirate: Hopes to brush off his dismal effort last out, when he lost by 22 lengths after briefly pressing the pace. He had won two in a row before that, including some very good brisnet figures of 84 and 76.
7- Aim Straight: Has always been close at this level and has great late pace figures. Suffered last out after having to check sharply on the turn.
Race 3: Maiden Special Weight, 2yo, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
6- Chirping: Takes a drop down in class after trying maiden company at Saratoga twice. Faltered at low odds last out when stretching out for the first time, but has had four good workouts at Fair Hill getting ready for the return. Should bounce back here.
4- My Brothersledge: Almost pulled off a shocker at 72/1 last out, when he led most of the way and wound up losing by less than five lengths. Figures to show early speed once again; stays on Lasix and retains Julian Pimentel in the saddle.
8- Maynooth: Stretches out from 5 1/2 furlongs. In his debut, he made a decent rally to just get second in a three-horse photo. Trainer Cathal Lynch is a sharp 19% with horses routing for the first time.
Race 4: Claiming $16,000 (n/w3L), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
10- Fed Up Fired Up: Made a solid rally to finish fourth last out after trying to run down a loose leader. She’s run great figures recently, including an 82 in that most recent race. Steve Hamilton is second place in the jockey standings. At a 15/1 morning line, she’s worth a bet.
1- Quick Thinker: Raced wide throughout last out, but still got up to win, running a career-best figure of 79. Hopes to save ground this time, which will make her chances even better.
8- Spicy Girl Red: Another horse who was hung wide in her last race, but still ran a great figure of 83. Wound up losing by only 2 1/2 lengths. Like Quick Thinker, she’ll have to save ground, but she’ll have a tougher time doing so.
Race 5: Maiden Claiming $10,000, 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs
4- Whata Guess: Los Alamitos shipper makes his first start for meet-leading trainer Claudio Gonzalez, has worked fantastically since shipping in from California. Must improve off three poor tries on the west coast, however.
9- Slim: He’s hit the board seven times without a victory to his credit. Definitely a strong exotics candidate, but don’t want to take low odds once again.
1- Patriot Saint: Career maiden makes first start since January here. He’s run at least a 70 in each of his last three races, with a career-high of 84 two races ago.
Race 6: Claiming $20,000, 3yo and up, 1 Mile (Grass)
3- Dattt Melody: He was wide throughout last out at Parx, but still ran an excellent figure of 94. He ran that high back in July at Delaware Park, so no reason to believe he can’t do it again.
1- Dream Man: Made a game rally last out to finish third, beaten a length last out. Nine-year-old veteran usually comes from far behind and tries to launch a big rally, so he hopes his rally won’t fall short again.
4- Rum Tum Tugger: Cuts back in distance from the long-distance races he’s used to, and takes a drop down class. Ran figures in the upper-80s earlier in the year.
Race 7: Claiming $7,500, 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
9- Hard Drive: Showed guts in his first start off a three-month layoff last out, closing from behind to finish second. Looks to return to his yearly high of 85, retains the riding of Steve Hamilton.
4- Heiko: Has early speed and takes a drop from the $20,000 level.
15- Wicked Heat: He’ll have to draw off the AE list to qualify, but if he does, he’ll be dangerous. He’s won two in a row at this level, and held off a rally from aforementioned Hard Drive last out. Trainer Tim Kreiser is hitting at 50% between this meet and the summer stand.
Race 8: Maiden Claiming $25,000, 2yo, 1 Mile
5- Hermans Gold: Drops from the maiden special weight level, where he broke slowly but still managed a decent fifth. Gets upgrade to Angel Cruz in the saddle.
2- Fightin Phil: This Presque Isle Downs invader has early speed and experience at long distance race. He got burned by a fast pace in his last race, and will hope to slow things down on the lead this time.
6- Done Acting: He was hung very wide last out at Timonium, which is an impossible task, but still improved his figure by 13 points from his debut. Finally gets a fast track and should stalk the pace wide.
Race 9: Allowance Optional Claiming (n/w2x), 3yo and up, 1 1/16 Miles (Grass)
2- Andalusite: Ran a big 98 last out after making a decent closing rally at Parx. Red-hot Toledo picks up the mount, as he hopes to save ground with this one.
8- Toughest ‘Ombre: He hasn’t hit the board in five this year, but has nevertheless earned figures in the 90s in each of his last three races, Getting out of the tough New York allowance ranks should help him.
6- Silent Waters: Got the job done last out at Suffolk Downs with an easy front-running trip. Hopes to get another clear advantage on the lead here.
Race 10: Maiden Special Weight, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)
5- Sympathetic: Raced greenly last out but still missed by just half a length, with a career high of 83. Makes her third start off the layoff here.
6- Radial Element: Rated but was no factor in the same race that Sympathetic also exits. Still a contender for exotics, but wouldn’t want to take low odds.
11- Suburb: Another one making her third start off the layoff for the dangerous Shug-Boyce combination, which has already connected for a victory at the meet.
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