Wednesday at Laurel Park; Pretension and Tiger Walk still on Derby Trail

March 06, 2012 | Gary Quill

This past Saturday in the G3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct, 2 year old champion Hansen was an impressive winner over twelve unproven foes. Two of those having Maryland ties, Tiger Walk and Pretension certainly did not embarrass themselves, finishing 4th and 5th respectively, losing a 3-way photo for 3rd to Finnegan’s Wake, nine (9) lengths behind Hansen, dubbed “The Great White Hope for 5-5-12” per part-owner Dr. Kendall Hansen’s T-Shirt. The 138th running of the Kentucky Derby is on May 5, 2012.

Hansen winning Gotham Dr. Hansen sporting shirt Photos courtesy Skip Dickstein / Timesunion.com

Tiger Walk, as he did in his previous race the G3 Withers Stakes, lagged far behind early then closed plenty of ground in the stretch. Both races were at 1 1/16 miles, so one would think further distances should suit him just fine. Say, the 1 1/8 mile G1 Wood Memorial Stakes? According to Chris Daley of Maroon PR who handles PR/Media for Sagamore Farm, “Tiger Walk will likely be entered in the $1,000,000 G1 Wood Memorial Stakes on April 7th at Aqueduct”, to make one last attempt to earn a trip to Churchill Downs and run in the Kentucky Derby.

Pretension was sent off at 35-1, the second longest price in the 13 horse field but was in the thick of it throughout. Travelling mid-pack most of the way, jockey Edgar Prado moved him up to 3rd in mid-stretch but was unable to make up further ground on the leader and got the short end of the 3-way photo for 3rd. So what’s next for Pretension? “He came out of the race great”, said trainer Chris Grove, “Not sure what is next, maybe the Illinois Derby (G3 $500k 1 1/8 mile on April 7th @ Hawthorne) or the Jerome (G2 $200k 1 mile on April 12th @ Aqueduct)”.

Saturday’s 9-race card picks resulted in 3 Top Selection winners, $2 Exactas in 5th ($20.60), 7th ($6.40) and 8th ($20.40) races as well as $1 Trifectas in 7th ($27.20) and 8th ($16.00) races. The BEST BET of the Day was off the board and the LONGSHOT PICK ran 2nd ($5.20 $2.20). Overall a pretty “Chalky” day.

My opinions for the Laurel Park Wednesday, March 7th card are below. 1st race post is 12:35pm EST. Track Condition: FAST

1st race – $10,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. – 7 furlongs
#4– Bandidos Yanquis (7-2)
#2 – Uncle Todd (6-1)
#5 – Avenuesofnewyork (4-1)

2nd race – $12,500 Maiden Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#5 – Mr. Record Man (5-2)
#1 – Morning Light (5-1)
#6 – Star Walk (4-1)

3rd race – $5,000 Claiming NW2L for 4 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs *(A)*
#1 – Everyone (7-2)
#3 – Blackburnian (5-2)
#2 – Wire Funds (10-1)

4th race – $33,000 Maiden Special Weight for fillies 3 y.o. – 6 furlongs
#5 – Classy Citizen (12-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PICK $$$
#7 – Dial Direct (7-5)
#8 – Fear The Facelift (3-1)

5th race – $25,000 Claiming for fillies 3 y.o. – 1 1/16 mile
#6 – Her Way (3-1)
#4 – Jiddy (4-1)
#7 – Supertripp (6-1) SCRATCHED

6th race – $8,000 Claiming NW3L for fillies & mares 4 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs
#6 – Shuga Bear (6-1)
#3 – Riteplace Ritetime (4-1)
#4 – Miss Shoppin Diva (7-2)

7th race – $5,000 Claiming for fillies & mares 4 y.o. & up – 7 furlongs
#1 – My Sweet Nenana (4-1)
#9 – Super Craft (12-1)
#4 – Flipofthecoin (5-2)

8th race – $5,000 Starter Allowance for 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile
#2 – Dancin’ Dixie Cat (7-2) *** BEST BET ***
#3 – Cherokee Raider (3-1)
#6 – Grunwald (9-5)

9th race – $10,000 Maiden Claiming 3 y.o. & up – 1 mile
#3 – Little Grandpa (9-2)
#10 – Red Flair (8-1)
#4 – Greek Dancer (6-1)

*(A)* - indicates amateur jockey race

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