There is some very good racing over the next few weeks. This weekend features two stakes-laded cards at Woodbine, an excellent Sands Point at Belmont, and a stakes-laden card at Laurel. The Pennsylvania Derby and Cotillion highlight the action next week at Parx, and then Breeders Cup prep weekends take us into October.
For Saturday, we’ll try a few spot plays posted here and then come back looking at some multi-race tickets tomorrow in the morning.
Laurel, Race 6 (All Along) – #5 On Leave (2-1) is the likely favorite but this is a pretty contentious group. Three horses come out of the Violet at Monmouth but we’ll oppose them: #6 Gianna’s Dream (6-1), who set a very slow pace in there, #4 Pricedtoperfection (8-1), who pressed the moderate pace and had nothing, and #7 Light Up Our World (7-2) who has had good trips in her US races and could be overbet again. Our picks is #7 Juno (4-1), who ships in from California for Neil Drysdale. Juno has been in some faster-paced California races and meets a field that should deliver a far more moderate pace. She’s the pick.
Laurel, Race 7 (Sensible Lady Turf Dash) – #5 Ginger N Rye (8-5) and #2 Miss Ella (5-2) ran 1-2 in the Smart N Fancy at Saratoga on August 27th and come back on 20 days of rest. In that race, they both got a big pace to attack and rallied up the inside, the place to be on the Saratoga turf course late in the meet. That might make them both a little vulnerable. #6 Everything Lovely (15-1) has some races that are good enough and looks like she went off form, but two-back she was surprisingly rated from the inside and put in tight, then at Saratoga last time she tried to rally inside when the whole race collapsed outside of her. The concern is six furlongs – she’s better going five and five-and-a-half furlongs and that can be a significant difference in these turf sprints. #10 Exaggerated (10-1) is our top pick for trainer Arnaud Delacour. She’s run once since June of 2016, a race in April at Keeneland where she had no shot against Lady Aurelila coming in off a 10-month layoff. Something might have gone wrong since she’s been back on the bench for five more months, but Delacour is 5-19 with a 3.13 ROI in turf sprints on 60-200 day layoffs (DRF Formulator).
Laurel Race 8 (Laurel Turf Cup) – #7 Holiday Star (6-1) had every right to need his money allowance off a 21-month layoff at Saratoga last time and further the race featured a very slow pace that held together. He should be much tighter this time for Graham Motion and is the pick in the Turf Cup. We’ll also use #3 Canessar (4-1), who makes his US debut for Arnaud Delacour.