Free Picks & Analysis — Who Do Ya Like?
Saturday, October 28, 2017
This Saturday’s card at Laurel lacks the hoopla of last Saturday’s Maryland Million program, but it’s nonetheless a solid 11-race card, with 136 entries. First post time is 12:30 PM EDT.
We’ve got myself, managing editor John Piassek (@theyreoff) providing FREE picks & analysis of every race on the program. Also be sure to check out my other account, This Week at Laurel (@ThisweekatLRL) for updates throughout the racing day. Good luck to everyone playing along!
Race 1: Maiden Claiming $16,000, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)
9- Saturday’s Rein: She’s been second in her last two grass races against similar company. Her last two attempts to race on the grass were washed away, but she’ll get her crack today. Karamanos retains the mount on this closer.
2- Grand Lassie: Was in the midst of a possible winning move two races back when she checked sharply and lost a lot of ground. Ran a career-best brisnet figure in there, now comes in here for the Dale Capuano barn, which hits at 23% clip with horses third off the layoff.
10- Wiggle Room: Ran well at 5 1/2 furlongs two races back, outfinishing the aforementioned Grand Lassie. Didn’t run great going 6 furlongs last out as one of the favorites, but did have some mild traffic there. Will seek to rebound here.
Race 2: Claiming $10,000 (n/w2L), 3yo and up, 7 Furlongs
8- Cent Comm: Broke his maiden for $16,000 back in August with a giant brisnet figure of 87. Has been working strongly coming into this race, and if he can save ground, it’s his race to lose.
4- Earned It: Cuts back to one turn after a disastrous wide trip last out. When going around one turn, he had hit the board in his last three races. Gets Alex Cintron for the first time, who has been having a sharp fall meet.
5- My Train: Broke his maiden for $7,500 at Presque Isle Downs last out. He isn’t proven as a chronic loser (unlike most of these) and picks up Steve Hamilton for his Maryland debut. One to keep an eye on at a possible price.
Race 3: Claiming $16,000 (n/w3L), 3yo and up, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)
6- In Arrears: Both recent tries on grass were promising, he was sixth against tougher last out, but was beaten less than four lengths. Has worked well since his last race, and should enjoy the class drop.
4- Princetonian: Almost upset at this level at 48/1 back in September. It was by far his best grass race from three tries, and will hope to regain that form to contend here.
10- Silver Romeo: Ran a gigantic figure of 97 three races ago, after running a string in the 80s last fall. He hasn’t found that form in his last few, but perhaps a three-month layoff did him some good. Cuts back in distance from 1 1/16 miles.
Race 4: Claiming $7,500, 3yo and up, 7 Furlongs
1- Sam Sparkle: Hard-knocking veteran comes in here off a win for $5,000 at Delaware Park. In that race, he battled for the lead throughout and wound up prevailing by a nose. He consistently runs in the mid-80s, a figure that should be good enough to win this one.
9- Classic Wildcat: 11-year-old made a bold swoop from far behind to win last out. He’s run big figures in his last two, peaking at an 87 in that victory. Expect him to be far behind early, then make one big run.
3- Mythos: Most of his best running has been around two turns this year, and while he’s run very big numbers all year long, this might be a bit too short for him. Still, his closing kick can’t be disregarded.
Race 5: Starter Optional Claiming $16,000, 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs (Grass)
7- Tricky Lion: Had a rough trip when going long last out, and wound up fourth beaten a length. In his most recent sprint, he ran a figure of 89, despite finishing up the track after a poor start. Should enjoy the unique 6-furlong distance today.
5- Runninginthevale: Ran into absolute beast last out in Special Envoy, but he didn’t embarrass himself. He finished third after setting the pace. Takes a big drop in class here and figures to be on or near the early pace.
8- Johnny U: Once a colt, now a five-year-old horse, he ran a big race against n/w2x company at Parx two races ago. He was last early on, but exploded late and lost by just a neck, earning a figure of 88. He didn’t run as well last out after a slow break, but he’s shown that he’s got the ability in him. Franklin Ceballos, who has been riding well lately, gets the mount.
Race 6: Maiden Claiming $16,000, 2yo, 5 1/2 Furlongs
1/1A- He’s Out of Queens/Distinctive Ride: Either half of the Ness entry has a great chance to win. The former was third in his debut, and has worked well since then. On Sunday, he worked five furlongs in a sharp 1:02, the fastest of seven times. The latter has already raced three times, but has not embarrassed himself in his last two. He ran a great 72 two races ago; if he can do that again, he should have this field at his mercy.
10- Distinctive Ride: Drops from the $40,000 level after a bland seventh in his debut. His figure was decent (67), so if he can improve a little bit, he’s a contender.
4- Fightin Phil: He’s got the most experience in the field, with five races so far. He peaked at a 66 when going two turns at Presque Isle after being on the pace. Expect him to show early speed once again, and if he’s not challenged too much, he could pull the upset.
Race 7: Claiming $7,500, 3yo and up, 6 Furlongs (Grass)
13- Bluegrass Ball: If he can draw in off a deep also-eligible list, he’s the one to beat. His figures tower over those of the rest, especially a giant 93 he earned against starter allowance company last out.
4- Blame Me: He hasn’t raced on grass since April, but it was a big effort. Making his first start off a six-month layoff, he finished a solid fourth, earning a big 86. He makes his third start off a brief layoff here, and looks to be in line to run a big one.
5- MC Squared: Hopes to repeat at this level after a gate-to-wire victory last out. Imagine he will try to go to the front once again.
Race 8: Maiden Special Weight, 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 6 Furlongs
3- Bloody Point: First-time starter for Delacour has been working lights-out at Delaware. It’s not a very strong maiden field, so if she races as well as she works, she’s going to be tough to beat.
6- Head For the Shore: 0-11 filly has hit the board in five of her races. She raced great first off the layoff last out, losing by just half a length, and has worked well since that race. Expecting a good run second time back.
2- Creative Thinking: Another promising firster, this one for Tom Proctor. She most recently worked five furlongs at Fair Hill in 1:00 4/5. Proctor isn’t quite as adept with debuters as Delacour is, so she may need a race.
Race 9: Maiden Claiming $40,000, 2yo, 5 1/2 Furlongs
6- Loves Last Dash: He hasn’t missed the board in his two races, and made decent ground when finishing second last out. Gets lasix for the second time, and should find the 5 1/2 furlong distance to his liking.
7- Sparty: Michael Pino firster comes in her with a string of fantastic workouts at Parx. He’s not great with first-timers, but the morning form is promising.
3- Day of Reckoning: Improved by 32 points last out when facing maiden claimers at Belmont Park. Gets some class relief here, and Rosario Montanez, usually based in New York, comes down to Maryland for the mount.
Race 10: Allowance Optional Claiming (n/w2x), 3yo and up, Fillies and Mares, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Grass)
5- Monavista Crossing: Brilliantly fast filly has won five out of her last six, all of them when setting the pace. Speed and pace figures both tower over the rest. If she wins here, stakes company could be next.
6- Most Beautiful: Ended up a solid second in her first start off a layoff last out, with a strong speed figure of 86. Hopes to take a step forward second time out, and figures to come from around mid-pack.
10- Irish Defence: She made her grass debut last out, and she stalked the pace and won easily, earning a figure of 91. Will rate off the blazing speed on Monavista Crossing, and if that one falters, she’s in a prime spot to spring the upset.
Race 11: Maiden Claiming $10,000, 3yo and up, 7 Furlongs
6- Miss My People: Has run career-highs in his last two after two difficult trips. Hoping for an easier time of things here, if he gets smoother sailing, he can improve off his lifetime top of 73.
7- Unclenedwhodrank: Drops to an all-time low claiming tag. Gets blinkers on, usually runs figures in the upper-60s, and has a good workout coming in here.
5- Whata Guess: Disappointed as the favorite at this level two weeks ago in his first race on the east coast. His form in California had been promising, so maybe his second start on these shores will do the trick.
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