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HRN Original Blog:
Maryland's Own GQ

Mr. Baffert Goes To Washington?

The 8th day of December will seem more like a day in April as temperatures along the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. corridor hover in the low 60’s. That should bring horse racing fans out to Laurel Park who otherwise had settled into hibernation mode just two weeks prior to the winter solstice.

For Saturday December 8th the Laurel Park 9-race card features the $125,000 City of Laurel Stakes for 3-year-olds. Shipping in from New York for Chad C. Brown is Hardened Wildcat, making his first start since Belmont Stakes Day, when he finished 4th behind the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Trinniberg in the G2 Woody Stephens. Easily the most impressive career win for this 3-year-old son of Hard Spun was the Fred Capossela Stakes at Aqueduct on March 10, 2012.

 

              

 

Bob Baffert er uh, well one of his assist trainers, comes to Laurel Park for the first time in 2012 to saddle Brigand. The graded stakes placed son of Flatter has been part of the Exacta in 8 of 11 career starts. New York has been his home since Baffert shipped him to Aqueduct last spring for the G2 Jerome, where he gave this years BC Sprint runner-up, The Lumber Guy all he could handle.

            


It would be great to see Bob in the Laurel paddock, but that’s one early Christmas gift that Santa won’t be delivering. As attractive as D.C. is in December, he’s certain to stay in California to see if his 2-year-old filly Executiveprivliege can rebound from her first defeat, when beaten one length in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. She’ll be the prohibitive favorite in the $500,000 G1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park on Saturday.

The City of Laurel Stakes field of eight (8) also includes Preakness Stakes Also-Ran, Pretension (11th). This Maryland based runner is hoping to regain his early 3-year-old form prior to starting his 4-year-old campaign.

Recapping my selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Dec. 1st   had 7 winners from 9 races (5 Top Selections; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $8.00 (1st race), $3.20 (4th), $6.40 (5th) and $3.40 (6th), $2.20 (7th), $5.60 (8th) and $3.20 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (10 5-1-2) Highly Justin (M/L 9-2) took the early money in the wagering, opening at 3-2 odds but did floating up to close at 2-1 to be the co-favorite. He ran a strong race showing tactical speed, took the lead in mid-stretch, and gamely fought off a rivals challenge to the wire, getting the head bob in the photo for the win, returning $6.40 to WIN, $3.80 to PLACE and $3.40 to SHOW.

T
he LONGSHOT PICK (9 3-0-0) Three Ways Home was scratched. Usually when time permits I’ll post an alternate pick, but since none of my other top picks met my personal criteria (5-1 M/L or greater) there was no Longshot pick of the day. 

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for Mostly Cloudy skies, but just a 20% chance of precipitation. So hopefully the MAIN TRACK will be FAST. Selections for Laurel Park, Saturday, Dec. 8th are posted below. 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 – $12,500 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 7 furlongs
#1 – Bravo Romeo (4-5)    POE - #1A - Peaceadaaction - SCRATCHED
#3 – A Fleet Spirit  (6-1)
#
6 – No Shenanigans  (3-1)

2nd race – $15,000 Claiming for N2L fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#7 – Lookin for Me (6-1)
#2 – Lil Escape Artist (3-1)
#3 – Roxbury Rocket (6-1)

3rd race – $38,000 Maidens for 2 y.o. – about 1 1/16 miles
#4 – Heat Press (5-2)
#7 – Wellington Wizard (7-2)
#3 – In Todd We Trust (3-1) 

4th race – $40,000 Allowance N1X for MD-Bred 3 y.o. and up – about 1 1/16 miles
#4 – Schist (2-1)
#1 – Warrensburg (7-2)
#6 – G G’s Buddy (15-1)

5th race – $5,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up N2Y or N4L – 6 furlongs
#3 – Vote Yes for Love (8-1)     $$$ LONGSHOT $$$
#8 – Lastcallfordisco (5-2)
#9 – Funky Country (6-1)

6th race – $7,500 Starter Allowance for 3 y.o. and up – 7 furlongs
#
2 – Flying Forward (5-1)             *** BEST BET ***  
#5 – Brimstone Island (2-1) 
#4 – Everybody’s Daddy (10-1)

7th race – $5,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up N2Y or N4L – 6 furlongs
#8 – Spellit (3-1)
#4 – Jack o’ Lantern (5-2)  
#3 – Morumsco (5-1)

8th race – $125,000 City of Laurel Stakes for 3 y.o. – 7 furlongs
#3 – Hardened Wildcat (7-5)
#2 – Brigand (3-1) 
#
7 – Bellefire (10-1) 

9th race – $5,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. OR N3L 4 y.o. and up – furlongs
#8 – Brayzen Billy      xxx - SCRATCHED - xxx 
#6 – Summer Robin (7-5)
#1 – Cat in Motion (4-1)
#3 – Oil Rig (9-2)

GOOD LUCK!

 

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Older Comments about Mr. Baffert Goes To Washington?...

Nice to see Hardened Wildcat back ... I really thought he was going to win something nice this year.
like #3 with the #5 and #6 in this race.
wish I could be there some good racing happening
Too bad, Mr. Baffert does not leave California very often anymore.

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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