Friday Picks at Laurel Park; Apprentice Jockeys making waves

March 08, 2012 | Gary Quill

The Maryland thoroughbred horse racing circuit as a long, rich tradition of launching the riding careers of young jockeys. Chris McCarron, Edgar Prado, Kent Desormeaux, and Ramon Dominguez all started as an apprentice rider at either Bowie, Laurel or Pimlico before blossoming into superstars in the industry.

Over the past decade, many young riders came to Maryland in hopes of becoming the next jockey phenom, but none have enjoyed such overwhelming success that could take them to the tracks in Kentucky, New York or California. At the current Laurel Park meeting, two (2) ”bug boys”, Kevin Navarro and Alexis Batista, are showing some promise and may be ready to challenge some of the top journeymen jockey’s for the “live” mounts. The term “bug” refers to a weight allowance (10, 7 or 5 lb.) given to apprentice riders versus journeymen riders.

Kevin Navarro has managed to gain the confidence of trainer Dale Capuano for whom he’s started to get the lion’s share of mounts. On Thursday at Laurel Park Kevin rode two (2) winners bringing his 2012 win total to 15 from 97 mounts. For his career which started in 2011, he has 27 wins.

Alexis Batista also got his first mount in 2011 and to date has ridden 36 winners. What’s impressive about Batista is that so far in 2012 he’s ridden 17 winners from 149 mounts while in 2011 he needed 288 mounts to get to the 19 win mark.

In watching both of these riders in the heat of competition, they demonstrate qualities required to become a top jockey. Considering both are likely to retain their “bug” over the next couple months, don’t be shocked to see either one or both do quite well at the upcoming Pimlico Spring meeting.

Thursday’s 9-race card picks had 8 winners (3 Top Selections), $2 Early Double ($34.00) and Late Double ($17.00), $2 Exactas in 5th ($16.80) and 8th ($24.60) races, $1 Pick-3 in races 4-6 ($30.20), $1 Pick-3 in races 7-9 ($29.10), $1 Pick-4 in races 6-9 ($96.00) and $1 Pick-5 in races 5-9 ($334.70). The BEST BET of the Day won paying $7.00 3.20 2.40 and the LONGSHOT PICK was off-the-baord (OTB).

Selections for the Laurel Park Friday, March 9th card are below.
1st race post is 12:35pm EST. Track Condition: FAST

1st race – $15,000 Claiming NW3L for 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile
#4 – Supreme Ruler (5-2)
#6 – Shookstown Road (6-1)
#7 – Walkin’ Boss (15-1)

2nd race – $5,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#8 – Bri’s Vision (8-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PICK $$$
#4 – Ship From Abroad (3-1)
#6 – Joel’s Touch (30-1)

3rd race – $10,000 Claiming for fillies 3 y.o. – 7 furlongs
#1 – Little Chicken (8-5) *POE*
#3 – Haitian Nation (9-5)
#4 – Promessa Doce (12-1)

4th race – $25,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. – 5½ furlongs
#2 – In Hot Pursuit (9-2)
#8 – Getupwiththesun (15-1)
#4 – Costas Fiftieth (9-5)

5th race – $5,000 Claiming NW3L for fillies & mares 4 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile
#2 – Parade Of Colors (6-1)
#4 – Nightswimming (5-1)
#6 – Calocagathia (8-1)

6th race – $5,000 Claiming NW2L for fillies & mares 4 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#3 – Indian Sugar (2-1)
#7 – Lil Cyd (10-1)
#4 – Gimme Twenty (3-1)

7th race – $33,000 Maidens for 3 y.o. – 6 furlongs
#9 – Random Pay Check (5-2) *** BEST BET ***
#8 – Whatdoyousee (6-1)
#2 – Prince Of Hoboken (9-2)

8th race – $25,000 Optional Claiming N2X for 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile
#4 – Strangerinthenight (6-1)
#3 – Eddie C. (10-1)
#7 – Bid Til Included (8-1)

9th race – $5,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile
#3 – Safe Landing (4-1)
#4 – Changing Funds (20-1)
#7 – Hint (3-1)

*POE* – Part of Entry; if #1 is a late scratch, DO NOT use #1A,
instead use #5 – Prime Mistress (10-1) in 3rd race.

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