Race of the Week 2017

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Maryland's Own GQ

Try Not To Overanalyze the Gotham

The Derby Trail heads north to the The Big Apple for its only legitimate prep race of the weekend, on Saturday (March 2nd) for the $400,000 Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct  race track. The Gotham Stakes is contested at 1 1/16 miles on the inner dirt track. It features a field of 12 runners, 7 of whom have previously run in a graded stakes while 3 take a big jump after scoring their maiden victory last out. In 59 previous runnings of the Gotham, only Secretariat (1973) has managed to win both the Gotham and Kentucky Derby.

The Morning Line favorite is #11 - Overanalyze (5-2), last seen winning a head-bob decision over Normandy Invasion in the G2 Remsen at Aqueduct in November. The latter ran a troubling 5th in last weekends Risen Star Stakes at Fairgrounds in NOLA. A solid 3-1 second choice is #7 – Vyjack, undefeated in 3 career starts, all at Aqueduct. One of three Kiaran McLaughlin's runners, #8 – Elnaawi (8-1) stands a good chance based on the amount of lip service he's getting from industry experts. No surprise here due to the fact he's #19 on GQ's Derby Double Dozen posted here on Feb. 9th, when no one else even gave him a mention.   


Though the G3 Withers Stakes winner Revolutionary will skip this dance and point to the G1 Wood Memorial, four (4) other Withers starters will answer the bell in the Gotham… #2 – Champion Boy (30-1; 5th in Withers), #3 – Escapefromreality (6-1; 2nd), #5 – Amerigo Vespucci (20-1; 4th) and #6 – Siete de Oro (15-1; 3rd).


HOW I SEE IT: With the likelihood of a FAST track (only 20% chance of precipitation) and the Big A dirt surface playing “fair” (i.e. not speed favoring like a certain track located in south Florida), it appears the best horse, with a clean trip will win. So is Overanalyze the best horse? Not necessarily on Saturday, but a quick, early pace would certainly help his cause, which he just might get. #1A - Now and Then,  #4 - Ore Pass (12-1), #6 – Siete de Oro, #7 – Vyjack and #10 West Hills Giant (20-1) will see to that. When the real racing begins at the head of the stretch, expect #3 – Escapefromreality (6-1) and #8 – Elnaawi (8-1) to make their presence known while the favorite, Overanalyze finds his best stride in the final furlong. But will it be enough to get to the Winners Circle? Well do you think Johnny Velazquez took the mount, leaving warm, sunny Florida for chilly New York just because he could also see a Broadway show?

The Gotham PLAY: #11 - $10 WIN, $20 PLACE; $2 Ex Box 3-8-11

Recapping the previously posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Feb. 23rd had 8 winners from 9 races (1 Top Selection; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.80 (1st race), $6.60 (2nd), $4.00 (4th), $6.00 (5th), $6.40  (6th), $7.80 (7th),$2.40 (8th) and $5.20 (9th).


The BEST BET of the Day (8 1-0-0) Sweet Julianna (5-2 PT; 5-2 M/L) dueled between rivals to the quarter pole, kept on to mid-stretch but weakened in the final furlong, finishing 4th.


The LONGSHOT PICK (8 0-0-2) Libertytown Lass (19-1 PT; 10-1 M/L) racing without blinkers was outrun early, but  mustered a nice rally in deep stretch to get SHOW money, returning a handsome $7.20 to SHOW.


For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for a clear skies, meaning the track will be FAST at Laurel Park on Saturday Mar. 2nd. 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 – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o.– 5½ furlongs 

#1 – Raven’s Dance  (9-2)  

  #6 – Star Destiny  ----  SCRATCHED ----

#2 – Press One  (15-1)

#5 – Calvary Raid (12-1) 

2nd race – $7,500 Claiming N2L for 4 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs     

#6 – Lacrosse Moon (5-1)

#3 – My Seby (2-1)

#1 – Esson  (7-2)


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

#3 – Golden Joop (5-2) 

#1 – Everything Matters (7-2)   

#4 – Moon Legacy (4-1) 


4th race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 miles

#1 – Legally Included (5-1) *** BEST BET ***

#5 – Hypatia’s Sky  (9-5)

#6 – Chanterelle (7-2)   


5th race – $5,000 Claiming N2Y for 4 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 miles

#7 – My Piano Man (3-1)

#2 – Dixie Emperor  (8-1)

#10 – Tea Tott  (20-1)    


6th race – $40,000 Maiden Claimng.for 3 y.o. – One mile     

#6 – Bolt Action (5-1) 

#2 – A Street  (20-1)

#1 – Indian Companion (3-1)    


7th race – $5,000 Claiming for 4 y.o.& up N1Y or N4L – 1 1/16 miles

#6 – Changing Funds (6-1)

#8 – Hanson Heights (2-1)

#7 – Pics Good Boy (15-1)


8th race – $150,000 Ceasar’s Wish Stakes for 3 y.o.fillies – One mile     

#1–  Walkwithapurpose (1-1)

#6 – Sense of Reality (5-1)

#5 – Seven Stars (4-1)


9th race – $5,000 Claiming N3L for F&M 4 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs     

#6 – Our Favorite  (15-1) $$$ LONGSHOT $$$

#7 – Bubbie Hon  (4-1)

#1 – Smoky Opal  (7-5)




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Older Comments about Try Not To Overanalyze the Gotham...

gary i won the early daily double at laurel park for 7.80 for a 2$ wager i had 26$ wagered on the double so i got almost 100$, i came to the track with 80 bucks and left with 280 because i hit 20$ win bets in tampa bays 5th and aqueducts 4th pretty good day, i missed the early pick 4 at laurel though, but im ahead 200 bucks today ill try again next week with ur picks im taking another week off haha sitting on the 200$
Gary thank you very much for this laurel handicapping perspective i am writing down your picks and heading to calder to play the early pick three and pick four in laurel and double as well i hope we can get a winner g.q
Gary, Gary, Gary........Moon sighting in the 2nd. Sure hope you are right!!!!!

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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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