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FL and LA Derby Analysis; Closing Day at Laurel Park

General A Rod 1
Saturday is closing day at Laurel Park then Maryland racing switches to Pimlico Race Course for a 35-Day Spring Meet highlighted by the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes on May 17, 2014.

Nationally, there are two (2) KY Derby preps… the Florida Derby and Louisiana Derby. Both are contested at 1 1/8 miles. Runners are vying for precious Derby system points. One hundred (100) points to the winner with forty (40) points to the runner-up, third is worth twenty (20) points and ten (10) points awarded to the fourth place finisher.

The first will be the $1,000,000 Florida Derby (G3) at Gulfstream Park. A field of eight (8) will head postward in the finale of the 14-race card that offers eight stakes including the $300,000 Gulfstream Oaks (G2), $200,000 Pan American (G3), $150,000 Rampart (G3), $150,000 Orchid (G3), $100,000 Appleton (G3) and $100,000 Skip Away (G3). It will be part of a one-hour telecast on NBC Sports Network from 6:30-7:30 p.m. EDT. Here’s how these 3-year-olds will break from the gate in Gulfstream Park’s 14th race on Saturday. Approximate Post Time is 6:48pm EDT...

#1 - Wildcat Red (x3-1) J. Velazquez / J. Garoffalo

#2 - Matador (15-1) J. Leparoux / M. Casse

#3 - Cairo Prince (9-5) L. Saez / K. McLaughlin

#4 - Constitution (4-1) J. Castellano / T. Pletcher

#5 - East Hall (20-1) J. Leyva / B. Kaplan

#6 - General A Rod (7-2) J. Rosario / M. Maker

#7 - Allstar (30-1) O. Bocachica / M. Vitali

#8 - Spot (8-1) C. Lanerie / N. Zito

HOW I SEE IT: Just like the Fountain of Youth, that is, through the first 8.5 furlongs. The final 1/16th will separate the KY Derby Contender from the Pretenders. Cairo Prince and Constitution will track those two, with the latter getting the best of this group. East Hall threw in a clunker at Tampa Bay, but has always gotten a piece of the purse here. So use him on the bottom in your Tri’s and Super’s.

THE PLAY: $10 WP #6  and $1 TRI 1,3,4,6,8 / 1,3,4,6,8 / 5

The G3 1 1/8 mile $1 million Louisiana Derby is the 11th race of the day with a post time of 6:10 PM CDT.

#1 - Intense Holiday (2-1) M. Smith / T. Pletcher

#2 - King Cyrus (15-1) J. Graham / T. Pletcher

#3 - Louies Flower (20-1) M. Mena / B. Calhoun

#4 - Flat Gone (50-1) K. Desormeaux / K. Desormeaux

#5 - Gold Hawk (12-1) S. Bridgmohan / S. Asmussen

#6 - Vicar’s in Trouble (4-1) R. Napravnik / M. Maker

#7 - Commanding Curve (20-1) R. Albarado / D. Stewart

#8 - Rise Up (10-1) G. Melancon / T. Amoss

#9 - In Trouble (4-1) J. Rocco Jr. / A. Dutrow

#10 - Albano (9-2) K. Clark / L. Jones

HOW I SEE IT: In Trouble ran a super race in the Gotham, first time going long and after six month layoff. Look for Rise Up to be more forwardly placed and make amends for his last outing. Intense Holiday might have a rough going from the rail and the added weight might cause him to come up short.

THE PLAY: $10 WP #9 and $2 Ex Box 1-8-9

Saturday (Mar. 29th) is Closing Day of the Laurel Park Winter Meeting. This day is my most anticipated of the year. Why?! Because this means that the 2014 Pimlico 36-day meeting starts on Thursday, April 3rd.

Recapping previous blog posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, March 22nd had 7 winners from 9 races (4 Top Selections; payoffs in BOLD) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $4.00 (1st race), $3.20 (2nd), $4.20 (3rd), $2.60 (4th), $7.00 (5th), $5.60 (6th) and $8.00 (7th).

The BEST BET of the Day (9: 2-3-2) Cheops (2nd race: 9-2 M/L; 9-2 PT) raced along the rail while trailing through the first 3 furlongs, then rallied 5-wide at the 3/16th pole passed all rivals except the 3-5 favorite, returning $3.00 to PLACE and $2.20 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (10: 3-5-0) Read All About It (4th race: 8-1 M/L; 5-1 PT) chased the pace three deep on the turn, was no match for the 1-5 PT favorite winner but finished well clear of the others to return $2.80 to PLACE and $2.20 to SHOW.

FYI – the BEST BET of the Day selection will never be a M/L favorite and the LONGSHOT PICK will simply be the runner having the highest M/L odds among my top picks for an entire card.

PLEASE NOTE: Statistics provided for the BEST BET and LONGSHOT PICK in parentheses represent the Number of Picks: Wins-Places-Shows. For example, the BEST BET (10: 1-2-3) was picked 10 times resulting in 1 winner, 2 places and 3 shows. In the past, I would reset these numbers at the start of each meet. For 2014, I reset these numbers on Jan. 1st in order to chart results on a yearly basis.

Selections for Saturday, Mar. 29th at Laurel Park will posted on Saturday A.M. after scratches based on a SLOPPY track as the forecast calls for heavy rain all day. Selections 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 Maiden Claiming for 4 y.o. and up – 7 furlongs
#1 – Cooking Up a Storm (1-5)
#4 – Imperial George (8-1)
#5 – Wildly Leaks (20-1)

2nd race – $5,000 Claiming for F&M 4 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#3 – Willow Creek (5-2)
#2 – Grammy Pat (9-5)
#6 – Tracey’s Smile (12-1)

3rd race – $5,000 Claiming for F&M 4 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#6 – Stormin Margaret (6-5)
#1 – I’m Done (5-1)
#5 – Go The Distance (7-2)

4th race – $5,000 Claiming N3L for 4 y.o. and up – 1 1/8 miles
#5 – Imperial Force (8-1)
#7 – Hard Drive (8-5)
#6 – Cyclone Warrior (7-2)

5th race – $5,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#1 – Senor Quickie (5-2)
#4 – Don Cebu (3-1)
#2 – Blue Wildcat (20-1)

6th race – $12,500 Claiming for F&M 4 y.o. and up – One mile
#4 – Bluegrass Belle (12-1)  $$$ LONGSHOT PLAY $$$
#5 – Brew Blessing (5-2)
#6 – My Unbridled Storm (9-2)

7th race – $5,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#9 – Cotton Won (8-5)
#5 – Crosseyed (4-1)
#4 – Dancin n’ Dealin (15-1)

8th race – $40,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. and up – 7 furlongs
#1/1A – Gimlet With a Twist / Milwaukee Woman (4-1)
#3 – Dixie Traveler (9-5)
#5 – Balansense (5-2)

9th race – $50,000 Optional Claiming for 3 y.o. fillies – 6 furlongs
#7 – Aunt Ellipsis (5-1)  *** BEST BET ***
#4 – Officer Buns (8-1)
#6 – Proud to Be Wild (9-5)

10thg race – $12,500 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. – 5½ furlongs
#6 – Three Giant Leaps (5-1)
#2 – Baby Titan (3-5)
#7 – Chase N Maddie (8-1)

Good Luck!


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Older Comments about FL and LA Derby Analysis; Closing Day at Laurel Park...

If there is one track that can rival Aqueduct in slwwziness,you named it Andy
Pimlico is opening. That has to mean that Spring is finally here!

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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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