Horsecrap & Money: Fall Festival of Racing Is A Sneaky Great Day For Gambling Good Times

Featured, Sports and Bets — November 14, 2014 at 7:02 am by

Laurel Park’s got a great racing lineup on Saturday with six stakes races.  The highlight of the day is the $350,000 De Francis Dash, a six furlong sprint which features a ton of Graded Stakes winners from some of the top barns and trainers on the East Coast.  Saturday’s Laurel card is easily the most intriguing wagering card in the country this weekend and it’s cool to see the Maryland Jockey Club stepping up it’s game with some quality fall racing.  The De Francis Dash actually lost its Graded Stakes designation after the MJC failed to run it a couple of times and as the prize money for the Dash dwindled.  But with back-to-back years of a $350,000 purse and with the race getting its own day to shine with a fine supporting card, the Graded Stakes designation will most certainly come back sooner than later.  Elite talent is shipping in to race at Laurel in November and that’s a positive thing for Maryland horseracing.


Now it’s time to start handicapping.  We’ll give our top choice for win honors in each race below.  Local legend, Ben’s Cat, is entered in the De Francis Dash, which means I’ll definitely find a way to make myself bet on him.  I love Laurel Park this time of year and having this kind of quality card to wager on in the fall is pretty exciting for horseplayers in the great State of Maryland.  So hit the ATM, grab a form, and head on out to the track.  It’ll be 45 degrees and sunny- a fine day for the sport of kings. A day of winning money followed by watching the Terps beating Michigan State sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday.

Take these for what you will. Let’s go get ’em.

Laurel Park


Race 1:  Smart Halo 100K-  I love it when they start the card with a stakes race.  The MJC did the same thing on Maryland Million Day.  The 12:35 post is perfect for looking at the form over a nice lunch.  In this sprint for 2-year-old fillies, we’ll try to beat the Todd Pletcher import and favorite, #1 Overprepared.  Trying to beat Pletcher trained two-year-olds is tougher than trying to beat Toby in a, “I love Kim Kardashian,” contest, but we’ll try anyway.  The #2 Morning Tale is an intriguing prospect.  Notice in her last she was engaged in a long speed duel and even fell behind before ultimately prevailing.  And that was against other winners. That’s huge and it shows heart- I love horses that love to win.  Add jock Carmouche and trainer Kevin McCarthy’s 2014 success and you’ve got a live looking filly at 4-1.

Race 2: ALW 42K-  The #2 Seventh Son has three lifetime wins, but it has been a minute since the gelding has seen the winner’s circle.  He loves to run in the money, but he can’t get that ALW N1X graduation.  I think he can do it on this weak filed.  The 8-5 favorite just broke his maiden in a claimer and the rest of the field seems pedestrian.  Seventh Son has flashed speed but he can rate too, his Beyers fall within the par, and he’ll probably have decent odds because he’s shipping in from the smaller track circuit.  At 6-1 he’s definitely worth a wager.

Race 3:  James F. Lewis 100K-  Loaded and wide open field for this sprint for two year olds.  We again are refusing to bet favorites and are looking for value.  We may have found it with the #9 Golden Years.  This colt was bred out of Not For Love, a very successful Maryland sire, and this guy’s already won twice over the Laurel Park oval.  The Carassco/Jenkins combo has been deadly with some odds and this colt has the look of a live one coming off his Maryland Million Day win.  If he stays 5-1 or better he’s a hammer bet.

Race 4:  City of Laurel 100k-  Seven furlong test is a challenging puzzle, but I like the #8 Lynx.  Freaked in last in the slop and works suggest that the form will hold.  Can rate just of the speed and draws a nice post to stay close and do just that.  Barn does well with the shorten up angle.  Time to turn style into substance with a stakes win.

Race 5: Safely kept 100k- The favorite is a promising 3 year old, but she just broke her maiden and has never faced winners and she’s drawn way outside.  No thanks.  I’ll take a stab with 8-1 shot, #1 Who’s In Town.  Got run off her feet in Grade 2 try two back but came back with a nice OC win.  Got a freshening after that and does well off short rest.  Training nicely, bred for the 7 panels, and I’ve always liked Michael Matz as a trainer of horses.  8-1 is juicy.  A step forward can get me that money.

Race 6- The Richard W. Small 100k–  #7 Stromin Monarcos has travelled and raced all over the place this year. I actually saw him race live at Delaware Park this summer and he broke the track record at a mile.  Distance is a bit of a question here, but I think I’m getting  the best horse at 7-2 odds.  Like him in this spot- they shipped him back north from Gulfstream for this.  Also intrigued by the #5 Bold Curlin.  Exacta time, babes.


Race 7: OC 32K– #7 Fasnacloich laid an egg last time out and never picked up her feet.  No worries, she’s done that before and come back running to win.  She’s perfect at the mile turf distance and her third in the Violet still stands out here.  Long odds warrant a play but if it creeps to 3-1 I may look elsewhere.  Situational wagering.

Race 8:  De Francis Dash- #8 Ben’s Cat is a beast and a legend, but he usually runs on turf.  No worries, the last time he sprinted on dirt he popped a 103 Beyer and beat the formidable Ribo Bobo.  There are a lot of big time sprinters in here with big time ability, but sometimes you gotta just play this game with your heart.  Besides, I’ll never get 8-1 on the big guy again.  Feeling the upset here…..


Race 9: ALW42K–  You’re on your own, babes…..


Enjoy the races!   Leave comments below on your own race analysis and probable plays…..


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