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.