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HRN Original Blog:
Maryland's Own GQ

"Bobby" is No Sure Thing in Holy Bull; Opinions on Laurel Park card

On Saturday (Jan. 26th), ten potential Triple Crown nominees will run in the $400k Grade 3 Holy Bull  Stakes at Gulfstream. Run at a distance of 1 1/16th miles, scheduled Post Time for this Derby point system event is 5:05pm (EST). The 4-5 Morning Line (M/L) favorite is #1 – Shanghai Bobby (Todd Pletcher trained; ridden by Rosie Napravnik). He’s a perfect 5-for-5 lifetime, including the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile which helped him earn the 2012 Eclipse award for 2-year-old champion. Considering this is his 3-year-old debut, and the ultimate goal is the Kentucky Derby, will he be cranked-up for this one?


This contest will be not cake walk for "Bobby" as the field includes a trio of graded stakes placed runners... #2 - Frac Daddy (8-1), second to Uncaptured in the G2 KY Jockey Club while #6- Dewey Square (12-1) was third; #4 - Bern Identity (4-1) second to Goldencents in the G3 Delta Jackpot. The Holy Bull Stakes marks the 3-year-old debut for these 3, "Bobby" and 3 others... #3 - Clearly Now (12-1) in from Woodbine for first natural dirt outing, #8 – Tulira Castle (30-1) and #9 - Fredericksburg (30-1) ran 1-2 in lone dirt efforts in a $75k N1X.The latter adds blinkers.


HOW I SEE IT: There is a ton of early speed in here. Bern Identity is the best of the few who can rate and come off the pace as he closed ground in the Delta Jackpot on a track that favored speed. Shanghai Bobby is definitely the most accomplished, but I doubt he’s cranked up for his 3-year-old debut. The ultimate goal is the Kentucky Derby, so he’ll probably get a bit weary in the final 16th of a mile, to salvage a minor share. Those who stand to continue to improve are Dewey Square and Itsmyluckyday.    


THE PLAY: $10 WPS #4 and $2 Exacta Box 1-4-6             




Recapping the previously posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Jan. 19th had 6 winners from 9 races (but just 1 Top Selection; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) in part to a very “chalky” day, having $2 WIN pay-offs of $7.20 (1st), $2.60 (2nd), $3.20 (3rd), $3.80 (4th), $4.60 (7th) and $28.00 (9th).


The BEST BET of the Day (4 0-0-0) Classic Wildcat (9-2 PT; 9-2 M/L) simply put, “failed to menace”, finishing 7th of 8 runners. Enough said.


The LONGSHOT PICK (4 0-0-0) In God’s Country (7-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) after a slow start, raced 5 wide, could only muster a mild rally to finish 4th less than 3 lengths behind the winner.


For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for Sunny skies with no chance of precipitation, meaning the track will be FAST at Laurel Park on Saturday Jan. 26th. Selections for all races posted were handicapped based on making multi-race wagers such as DOUBLE’s, Pick-3’s and Pick-4’s using all three (3) listed for each race in each leg.


1st race – $16,000 Maiden Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile

#4 – Backdoor Strike  (9-2)

#1 – Roccamo  (4-5)

#6 – Top Partner  (4-1)   


2nd race – $15,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs     

#3 – Fearsome (2-1)

#7 – Glib  (5-2)

#4 – Rio Samba  (12-1)


3rd race – $16,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. fillies – 5½ furlongs

#8 – Avie (5-2)

#9 – Star Holiday (6-1)   

#7 – Jersey Zapper (2-1) 


4th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for fillies 3 y.o. – 6 furlongs

#1 – Awesome and Classy (6-1)  

#3 – Tetherball  (2-1) 

#6 – Perfect Balance  (5-2)      


5th race – $5,000 Claiming N2X for 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile

#8 – Mister Dish (8-1)  $$$ LONGSHOT $$$

#6 – Summer of Summers (8-1)

#7 – Granted Ruler (9-2)   


6th race – $38,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. fillies – about 1 1/16 miles     

#2 – Red Hot Tweet (5-2) 

#3 – Dontstopmenow (7-2)

#5 – Everything Matters (7-2)    


7th race – $5,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile

#12 – Gambine Road (5-1)  

#10 – Dinos Romance (8-5)

#5 – Silver Endurance (10-1)


8th race – $125,000 Nellie Morse Stakes for F&M 4 y.o. & up – about 1 1/16 miles     

#10 – Ciguaraya  (5-1)     *** BEST BET ***

#8 – Tanivan (12-1)

#1 – Moon Philly (9-5)  


9th race – $8,000 Maiden Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 5 furlongs

#7 – Punta Sal (9-2)

#3 (POE) – Silver Prado  (6-1) 

#8 – Cinder Cone (5-1)




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Older Comments about "Bobby" is No Sure Thing in Holy Bull; Opinions on Laurel Park card ...

I agree GQ, my three horses in the Holy Bull are 1,4, and 6.
Good luck with you picks, gary.

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                Meet Gary Quill

  I am the most passionate person on the planet when it comes to thoroughbred horse racing! One sunny summer day in 1964 at Timonium Race Track is where my Dad and mentor introduced me to “The Sport of Kings”. Since that day, I have had the pleasure to visit over 40 different tracks across North America. Though an IT professional by trade, I’ve had a part-time gig with the Maryland Jockey Club since 1988.

here are thousands of rail-birds who claim to be great handicappers. Well, I don’t claim to be the best… just the most passionate and one that won’t tout “chalk”. Like a savvy stock broker, I look for value and often find it. Unlike the talking heads on horse racing television networks and the dozens of websites featuring handicapper’s opinions, I’m ACCOUNTABLE. That is, good or bad, you’ll always know how my previously posted picks performed along with a running record of my BEST BET and LONGSHOT Play of the Day selections for Maryland tracks (Laurel and Pimlico) at TheRacingBiz, see "The GQ Approach".

   In addition to focusing on the Maryland thoroughbred racing circuit, each year I follow the Derby Trail and post “GQ’s Derby Double Dozen” in early February. 

   My personal mission is to rejuvenate interest in thoroughbred horse racing. Being able to share my energy, thoughts and opinions on this sport via HRN will certainly help the cause.


"I lost $2 at Santa Anita and I've spent $3 million trying to get it back." - Mickey Rooney

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