If there’s one variable that’s readily apparent in Thursday’s featured allowance sprint at Laurel Park is that there’s no shortage of early speed signed on.
Seven have been entered and five have done their best work on or on top of the early splits. Coming from shorter sprints into the always demanding 7 furlongs at this venue, Eastern Bay (3-1), 2-for-2 since Gonzalez’ claim, looms the speed of the speed.
Laki (8-5) always seems to show up, as his (25) 9-4-5 attests, and is a deserving favorite and most likely winner at a short price. Still, there is another worth considering. Arch Cat (6-1), a mid-Atlantic nomad, has found his way back to Maryland in top form.
Winless at this trip in three starts, he is a dual winner at 6-1/2 furlongs, a similar dynamic, and was a strong-rally second in the listed Dave’s Friend here DEC 28, so the surface is not at issue.
The most important dynamic is his late-running style in a match of speed and he’s tactical enough to place himself well from his outside draw in a short field.
Taking Arch Cat to win at 4-1 or more, key-boxing exactas with Laki and Cordmaker (6-1), who might finally wake up with switch to X-Man Perez. Also using 7F specialist Carlos L (8-1) in the super-exotic mix.