WIN$day Picks at Laurel Park; Delgado and Turf Races Return

March 13, 2012 | Gary Quill

Alberto Delgado has had over 24,000 mounts, winning on 2,868 of them during his 30 year riding career. Unfortunately, last month he was suspended for 30 days due to his ride on February 1st in the 7th race at Laurel aboard 1-2 favorite My Sweet Nenana who finished 7th. The Maryland Racing Commission stewards slapped Delgado with the suspension for “failure to put forth his best effort” aboard the 6 year old mare owned and trained by Dane Kobiskie. Steward John Burke explained, “Albert said he was afraid of the horse and we concur. We don’t believe there was anything nefarious going on here. Nothing points to it.”

Delgado began serving the suspension on February 12th and thus can return to race riding as of Wednesday (March 14th), but it appears he will not return as Kobiskie’s regular rider. Malcolm Franklin who has ridden all of Kosbiskie’s starters since February 12th is named to ride both of Kosbiskie’s runners entered at Laurel Park on Wednesday. However on Thursday, Kobiskie has four runners and split riding assignments between Delgado and Franklin. Alberto does have two mounts on Wednesday and I’ve always been a fan of his, even though he broke my heart in the 1995 Preakness Stakes when he guided 25-1 longshot Oliver’s Twist to a troubled second place finish, a half length behind Timber Country but edging Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch. See I was foolish enough to KEY Oliver’s Twist in the Trifecta over Timber Country and Thunder Gulch. If it weren’t for traffic issues entering the stretch, Oliver’s Twist may have been led into the Winners’ Circle. Yep, “if if’s and but’s were candies and nuts…”.

Officially with less than a week left of winter, the 3rd warmest on record in the Maryland area, the turf racing season is just around the corner. It might actually start before live racing switches from Laurel Park to Pimlico on March 30th.

Word from Georganne Hale, MJC’s Racing Secretary is that she may be writing some turf races for the final four (4) live racing days at Laurel Park, March 21st – 24th. A quick peek at the Pimlico Condition Book revealed an average of two (2) turf races per day. IMHO, there are plenty of owners and trainers wanting to try their horse on the grass that 3-4 grass races per day would result in fields of 10 or more. The only caveat is if Mother Nature isn’t so kind on race days and turf races are switched to the dirt, the likelihood of more than half the field being scratched is a very real possibility. Maybe Georganne consulted the Farmer’s Almanac and the Baltimore metropolitan area is predicted to have a wet spring?


Photos courtesy: Jim McCue / MJC

Saturday’s 9-race card picks had 7 winners (2 Top Selections plus a $40.20 winner), $2 Early Double ($34.00), $2 Late Double ($11.40), $2 Exactas in 1st ($16.60), 2nd ($15.00), 6th ($13.60) and 9th ($39.80) races; $1 Trifecta in 1st ($22.40) and 6th ($25.10) races. Both the BEST BET of the Day and LONGSHOT PICK were off-the-board (OTB).

Selections for the Laurel Park WIN$day, March 14th card are below.
1st race post is 12:35pm EDT. Track Condition: FAST

1st race – $5,000 Claiming for fillies & mares 4 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#5 – Hidden Joy (6-1)
#4 – Cute Creation (4-1)
#6 – Basketball Bella (12-1)

2nd race – $16,000 Maiden Claiming fillies & mares 3 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#4 – Seekthe Wildlight (20-1) $$$ LONGSHOT PICK $$$
#2 – Cross Mountain (3-1)
#3 – Holiday Dreaming (5-2)

3rd race – $5,000 Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. & up – 5½ furlongs
#6 – April’s Foil (4-1)
#2 – Raven’s Luck (6-1)
#7 – Go Six Go (5-2)

4th race – $15,000 Claiming NW3L for fillies & mares 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile
#2 – Politelyprecocious (2-1)
#6 – Next Level (15-1)
#4 – Fingersnapper (9-2)

5th race – $8,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#5 – Morning Light (8-1)
#4 – Barry Meatball (8-1)
#3 – Jitterbug Bop (15-1)

6th race – $7,500 Claiming for fillies & mares 4 y.o. & up – 1 1/8 mile
#1 – Joepaul’streasure (1-2) *stronger POE (1A – All About Her) scratched
#5 – Lady Outflanker (10-1)
#4 – Easily Distracted (12-1)

7th race – $35,000 Alllowance N1X for 4 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 mile
#6 – Piamento (4-1) *** BEST BET ***
#3 – Moving West (12-1)
#5 – Prince Majestic (8-1)

8th race – $18,000 Claiming for 4 y.o. & up – 1 mile
#3 – A Fleet Spirit (3-1)
#1 – Count On Lou (3-1)
#2 – Quay Lime Guy (6-1)

9th race – $8,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. & up – 6 furlongs
#8 – Dirty Talk (5-1)
#6 – Squish (4-5)
#3 – Count Floyd (6-1)

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