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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

LAUREL PARK LIVE — JAN 4

If races ran accordng to the way they look on paper, Saturday’s Laurel Park feature would be easy. Then that’s why they run the races, isn’t it?

There are two speed horses that won their last race with authority, both in wire to wire style with almost identical fractions to match, though Ten Oaks Miss (3-1) ran a tad faster final time than did Bye Bye Bertie (2-1).

Mitigating that somewhat is the fact that ‘Bertie’ is now a 4-year-old and as such has a bit more upside than the 2-year-old who ran off and hid from the competition–a year and a half ago!

Working strongly with two bullet half-miles recently, Hamilton Smith gives the assignment to Trevor McCarthy. However, post draw could be significant as her speed rival draws mid-gate while she breaks from the rail.

I will avoid the handicapping hair-splitting by going in a different direction: Well Hello (7-2). The 5-year-old mare has enough speed to maintain contact and the kick to finish the job. Victor Carrasco, who had ridden two other horses in this matchup, takes this filly today.

Trainer Horatio DePaz has some favorable stats coming into this. His beaten favorites win at 32% next time out, and he is a profitable 30% with LAY-3 returnees. The best Laurel Live Video to review is from MAY 3, RACE 7. She finished second–but finish she did–off appropriate fractions.

The fact that rain is forecast helps as that effort came in the mud. We’re betting Well Hello to win–won’t accept less than 5-2–and we’ll key-box her in multiple pools with her speedy rivals. Now, should one of those scratch, it would be a different ballgame, would it not?

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