Horsecrap and Money: There Is Loot To Be Had At Laurel Park With Six Turf Stakes Races

Sports and Bets — September 27, 2014 at 12:52 am by

Laurel Park has got it going on Saturday with six stakes races, all of which are on the turf.  Racing horses on grass is downright awesome.  The grass races often come down to the last stretch drive, as many more turf horses than dirt horses save their energy for one big and bold move down the lane.  Turf closers and stalkers save ground and jockey for position around the track, tracking the leaders and waiting for the home stretch to make their move.  Meanwhile, the tracked leaders hope they have enough energy to hold the closers and stalkers off until the wire.  All of this makes for a lot of excitement, and when your money is attached to a particular horse’s success, well, that just increases the excitement ten-fold.    Turf racing can also often offer larger fields, and therefore more betting value. Saturday down in Laurel is no exception to this.  All of these $100,000 stakes affairs are packed with entries.

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There is money to be made at Laurel Park, babes, you just gotta have the right horse.

Hopefully we do.

Laurel Park is a nice track.  It’s weird, while getting there it seems the track is jammed in between a bunch of major roads and yet somehow tucked inside the mini-suburbia-tropolis that is Laurel.  But once you get there you kinda feel like the track is in the middle of nowhere.  The area it’s in is oddly both large and small at the same time.  I guess this is how it pulls off it’s charm.  The place is lovely.  When I think of Laurel Park, I think of the backstretch during the fall months.  Watching the horses power through the long backstretch with the leaves changing colors in the background is a thing of beauty;  and it’s a sight made even more beautiful when your 10-1 longshot gets to the wire first.

With the Maryland Million upcoming, we’ll be taking a look at Laurel for the next few weeks.  Maybe it’ll help sharpen our handicapping skills in time for the Breeder’s Cup on Halloween and November 1.  (Speaking of which, there are several Breeder’s Cup prep races on Saturday too.  Can you say simulcast?)

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Let’s go get ’em. Below we’ve got our picks for the top spot in each of Saturday’s stakes races at Laurel. Take these for what you will.

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Race 3: The Selima 100K – For all my talk of value and big dollars, for the first stakes race I’m going with a favorite.  #9 Harlan’s Honor won her last turf sprint going wire-to-wire.  I expect the same here.  While this juvenile miss will have plenty of others looking for the lead with her, I don’t feel they’ll be able to match the 44.1 half mile that she posted in her last.  Recent workouts are blazing and suggesting that the speed is real and repeatable.  Go, go, go.  Plus, the trainer/ jockey combo have won 3 out of 4 races this year at Laurel Park and 35% of their races together overall and anywhere. Speed of the speed looks like all systems are ready to fire for this weekend.

Race 5: The Laurel Futurity- First the two-year-old ladies ran, now it’s time for the boys to run their turf sprint stakes.  Taking a stab with a 10-1 shot here.  The #10 One Eyed Ray looked awful in his debut, but he bounced back nicely in a MSW affair to break his maiden.  Sure, that win was against NY state-breds, but most of these are facing winners for the first time as well.  The breeding is there for this colt and he can stay out of trouble early with this post and make his move from a stalking position.  10-1 is 10-1 and I’ll gamble with this grey.

Race 7:  The Lady Baltimore-  #9 Fasnacloich.  I don’t know how the hell to say her name, but I’ll be screaming it as she rumbles down the lane this Saturday.   Filly has had a solid 2014 campaign and like the way she split rivals to get up for third in her last try, a Grade 3 event. She also seems to like to win, which is a good trait for a horse to have. 8-1 odds add to the appeal.  Progressing Beyers over last three tries and the slight freshening in preparation for this one looks well meant.  There is horse here, babes. A lot of evenly matched horses in here in a big field, should be a fun one.

Race 8:   The Jameela-  Who can beat #3 Madame Giry, the 6-5 favorite.  Anybody?  We’re willing to throw down some cash on the #9 CC Gold.  CC Gold has one career turf start and it was the best race she’s ever run, even though she finished second.  In that contest, a stakes race at Pimlico on April 5 of this year,  CC finished second to Embarr, who just won a stakes here last week at Laurel.  CC Gold was 15-1 that day and she popped her best Beyer figure, an 81, or her career.  Why it’s taken so long to get back to the grass is beyond me.  Longshot city at 8-1 and she may get ignored at the windows to make those odds even juicier.  Putting in exacta with the 3 as well.

Race 10:  The Laurel Turf Cup-  #8 St. Alban’s Boy.  Won his last two, the last being a solid and shocking win in a long distance contest at Saratoga. The second placer in that last came back and just missed winning the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup.  Seems to be in a zone and Beyers are going up and up.  Like the work tab and jock/trainer combo have won 45% of their races together in 2014 with a ROI of over $9.  There’s a lot to like about this guy in a competitive field.  This could be my biggest play of the day.  Throwing in exacta and triple combos with the 3, 4, 9, 11, and 14.  Hammer time.

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Race 11:  The Laurel Dash-   I want the #8 Ben’s Cat to go out to Santa Anita for the Breeder’s Cup and win the damn turf sprint.  But King Leatherbury has never taken or even nominated his prized gelding for the biggest showcase of horse talent in North America.  That’s a damn shame, because this guy’s a contender against anyone, anywhere.  He’s a $2 million winner and the best Maryland bred of the millennium.  Since the Big Ben’s Cat isn’t going to Cali this November, I’m hoping he simply crushes this field today, wins out for the 2014 campaign and gets to retire in style.  After all, he is 8 years old.  I won’t bet him, except in multi-race wagering, but I won’t bet against him either today.  I’ll just watch him run.  Much Respect.

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