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HRN Original Blog:
Maryland's Own GQ

Laurel Winter SprintFest: Part of a Great Holiday Weekend of Racing!

Winning Image wins 2014 What a Summer
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
  

On this President’s holiday weekend, Laurel Park hosts their Winter SprintFest while the national spotlight is on two stops along the Derby Trail. The first is on Saturday (Feb. 15th) at Golden Gate Fields for the G3 El Camino Real Derby and the second is on Monday (17th) at Oaklawn Park for the G3 Southwest Stakes. These are the last of the 10-4-2-1 2014 Kentucky Derby point values for the top four (4) finishers. Starting with the Fountain of Youth Stakes (Feb. 22nd) through the Sunland Derby (Mar. 23rd), the Derby point values increase substantially to 50-20-10-5.

In the G3 El Camino Real Derby a field of eight (8) will 1 1/8 miles over the Tapeta (synthetic) main oval.

Here’s how the 3-year-old colts will break from the gate at approximately 4:15p.m. PST (Race 8)…

#1 - Craftsman (8-1) D. Carr / S. Callaghan

#2 - Puppy Manners (8-1) F. Alvarado / J. Hollendorfer

#3 - Infosec (10-1) I. Enriquez / F. Lucarelli

#4 - Tamarando (3-1) R. Baze / J. Hollendorfer

#5 - Enterprising (5-2) G. Stevens / T. Proctor

#6 - Icy Ride (10-1) J. Valdivia, Jr. / B. Baffert

#7 - I’ll Wrap It Up (10-1) J. Hernandez / D. O’Neill

#8 - Dance With Fate (7-2) A. Gryder / P. Eurton

HOW I SEE IT:The Golden Gate Fields tapeta surface has been dishing out some very slow times over the past few racing days, but is not favoring one running style. With that being said, it appears to be a lack of early speed. Morning Line favorite Enterprising will likely take this contest in gate to wire fashion. After all, Gary Stevens certainly didn’t give up a days’ worth of mounts at Santa Anita to go north and leave all the chalk players hearts in San Francisco. Post Time odds of 8-5 seem more realistic.

For price plays in your exotics, consider that I’ll Wrap It Up should be able to sit right off of Stevens' shoulder without much pressure to stay on for a minor piece, while Puppy Manners will benefit from the added distance. Work horse Tamarando once again give it his all, but hang in the final furlong to get just a minor share.

THE PLAY: $20 WIN #5 and $1 Tri Box 2-4-5-7


In addition to expanding their live racing to four days a week (Wed. – Sat.), Laurel Park is conducting four (4) stakes races over the President’s day holiday weekend. The Winter SprintFest is headlined by two graded, seven furlong contests - the $300,000 G2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap for fillies and mares on Saturday, February 15 and the $250,000 G3 General George Handicap for 3-year-olds and up on Monday, February 17.

The Saturday ten-race card also includes the $100,000 John B. Campbell Handicap and while Monday’s program will feature the $100,000 Maryland Racing Media Stakes.

**** LAUREL PARK cancelled this SATURDAY card ****
The G2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap will be run on Saturday, Feb. 22nd. 
 


Recapping my previous blog posted selections at Laurel Park selections from Saturday, February 8th had 6 winners from 9 races (2 Top Selections; payoffs in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $6.80 (1st race), $11.20 (2nd), $4.60 (4th), $13.80 (5th), $4.40 (6th) and $22.40 (8th).

The BEST BET of the Day (5: 1-0-2) Brew Blessing (1st race: 3-1 M/L; 2-1 PT) four wide on the turn, angled out in upper stretch, remained on her left lead, closed determinedly, took the lead inside the sixteenth pole and drew out to win by 2¼ lengths, returning $6.80 to WIN, $4.20 to PLACE and $3.00 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (5: 2-2-0) Onegreatstep (5th race: 8-1 M/L; 5-1 PT) patiently rated well off the lead, eased out to the six path turning for home, advanced outside horses to take command near the eighth pole and pulled away under some encouragement to win by 7¾ lengths (aka Won for fun!) returning $13.80 to WIN, $6.60 to PLACE and $4.00 to SHOW.

 

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Sorry gals & gents, but LAUREL PARK cancelled their SATURDAY card as due to track conditions and more snow/rain mix heading to the Mid-Atlantic this afternoon.

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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.

 T
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.

   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.

Get all of my selections via ProPicks Mobile, a FREE app for your smartphone that gives you FREE selections from a variety of handicappers.










 

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