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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


The classiest race, bringing down the curtain on Laurel Park’s Fall Meet, is for maiden allowance types, three-year-old fillies sprinting seven furlongs. Several are coming off layups or barn changes. A video review didn’t clarify the issues all that much.

Hydra (3-1) is making her first start in a year, going first time for Graham Motion who taps Trevor McCarthy and breaks from an advantageous outside slip.

The trouble line “hit gate” wasn’t really all that, as she showed no lick at any time. But we’re supposing there probably was soime reason for the layup. Motion is replacing Todd Pletcher who saddled her as the favorite last winter at Gulfstream Park.

Then there’s favorite, Song of the Night (5-2), making her first start for Todd Beattie, a profitable 21% angle. She was 2-1 in her last start, a Del Mar two-turner ,but was eased across the line as if Mike Smith was protecting her. Check that video and make your own assessment.

Weekend Delight (9-2) has run consistently faster but in eight starts over the Laurel strip could do no better than six show finishes. This leaves us with So Gracious (3-1) who has good form at the distance and over this course in her second lifetime start.

She finished gamely for place behind a solid front-end winner, going in the right direction. Now she returns to those conditions turning back off a turf mile at Aqueduct last month, a ‘bouncy’ effort off a strongly run seven-furlong turf sprint prior. We’re giving her a mulligan for that reason.

We like that she’s back on Laurel dirt returning at what to date has been her best trip. Check out her effort here last winter behind the repeat winner Las Setas and see if you agree it’s the best race on the page given today’s dynamics.

Check out RACE 5 on ‘Laurel Live Video’ for JAN 20 on HRI’s homepage. We’re willing to take her to win at 5-2 or greater.

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6 Responses

  1. No offense but i always found this track on its last leg[s] and i`m surprised that its biggest event ,The Preakness,has not been moved away from it yet. Oh,i like tradition but like its former nearby tracks,Timonium Bowie it seems that that same tradition has been swept away from reality.When i visited it yrs ago i felt like if i was at Suffolk Downs,or whatever they call it today ,that track near Boston`s Logan Airport; It` s there but not for me,but unfortunately neither does it when the Inner track at Aquaduct opens; small fields,dreary days and the same handful of trainers win the purse$ ,many times with jockeys that we wont ever see again in the Belmont Spring. That`s Not Entertaining,nor is it inviting or interesting while waiting too many long minutes for a small field of gallant animals who wish they were still at their own stables. Why not just wait two minutes for every horse entered in a race ? They still believe that gamblers,losers in this case,bet more while awaiting for post time? Is that why many small change gimmicks are always more available ? Awaiting for a race it`s not like being in my favorite Pastry shop[ Alba-Villabate,Brooklyn },,geeez ,even the aromas are not comparable but ‘skeevy’ ! They invested $ on it,i believe,but cannot change its aura,esp. if many of us never found it there.I like Maryland,with a few exceptions,but Laurel wont ever be a reason to get off I 95,… Got other inviting aromas to follow..Cin Cin,Happy New Year

  2. Looks like I am going to complete another year (six decades actually) without knowing or realizing exactly what the difference is between a stake race or a $10,000 claiming race when it comes to betting on the race – they all look the same to me.
    As to small fields, does it really matter? Aren’t there existing wagers that make small fields very enticing: doubles and pick threes (when there is a strong favorite in one of the races; don’t doubles and pick threes get a bit easier to win?

    1. Personally,even if the smaller fields increase the chance$ of ‘cashing ‘ a ticket or two ,that is,easier to ‘win’ ,but is that investment worth the risk ? Comparing it to the daily ‘pick 3’ of several states which offer less odds of losing..Some of us don`t just want to cash a ticket, if that was the case we can do like a former friend of mine who Only Bet Post time favorites TO SHOW in allowance or better races,,,most of them odds -on fav$. Yes,he collected more $,i mean tickets, than most of us but when he lost he was setback quiet a bit. Also when i last visited OTB,at Monticello,in its last snowy day there was a popular ‘Pick 3’,,it paid $ 7 ,,lots of ‘winners’ i guess,but how much did that winning ticket cost ? Worthy ROI is in wallet of the believer. Smart betting,wagering is not easy..,Never was. “Does it Really Matter ?.” ‘It Depends..’ as my lawyer son would usually say as I presently just keep ‘tabs’ on my ‘angles’.,such as $ 32 plus spot at the Big A yesterday[ after a betting losing streak of Six races,- $ 96]..It`s hard but beneficial to be sincere once in a while. Your $ ,and the ‘ball’ as J.Pricci used to write,is in your court.,,but i don`t remember if it was a Bocce or Basket ball,,,[ ahahah! ] Cognac x everyone !!

    2. If the bettor has the right exacta to begin with he/she hopes for some other selection to get it the gimmick besides the probable third, fourth choices. We all lost too many combo$ by eliminating two or more longshots.,now I root X them to make it in. Live n learn

  3. I always felt it was possible to find value in small fields; like anything else, it requires patience. I prefer larger fields like many because they are vertical, not horizontal players…

    1. If the bettor has the right exacta to begin with he/she hopes for some other selection to get it the gimmick besides the probable third, fourth choices. We all lost too many combo$ by eliminating two or more longshots.,now I root X them to make it in. Live n learn

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