Tag Archive | "Laurel Park"

Let-It-Ride

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Handicappers Great Wins and Bad Beats of 2012; Saturday Selections at Laurel Park

Posted on 28 December 2012 by Gary Quill

Horseplayers are a rare breed. While at the track, we love to tell anyone within ear shot about how we just got beat and/or how anyone with half a brain should have known that the horse we bet (and won) would win.

It also seems that for every “Great Win” story, there is a “Bad Beat” or to use a current phrase “Epic Fail”. The best thing about these stories, they rarely are told about a major race like the Kentucky Derby, Preakness or Belmont Stakes. Most occur during your typical day at the track.

Below is an excerpt from an email I received from a reader of my blog for Black-Eyed Susan Day 2012 at Pimlico, in which my Longshot Pick was Sensible Lady (20-1 M/L). Enjoy!

My wife and I went to Pimlico, as we have done for many years now, for the Black Eyed Susan. We are casual bettors in the sense that, when we go, we commit an amount of money to lose and enjoy the day and the races. We know our way around looking at PPs and enjoy the thrill of handicapping itself.

I printed your selections for the day to have as a guide against our picks and we went through the day winning a couple of bets but losing more along the way. We went our own way for the most part and let your selections influence us in some. Before the 11th race, I took stock of your selections and contrary to the sensibility (misguided as it was) I had, you had picked a number of winners and had a number of horses finish in the money. Side note: The only pick I did not understand to that point was Shimmering Forest all others I understood how a case could be made.

Then came the 11th, after taking stock of your selections and getting my wife’s direction to do a 6-7Exacta box, I went to the window and picked Sensible Lady (#1) to Win and bet the $1 Trifecta 1-7-6 and 1-6-7. I went back to my seat to watch the race and my wife had no idea why I was jumping up and down as the 1 stormed down the stretch. After the win she looked at me perplexed and said “THAT was the 1 not the 7.” I said “I know I bet the 1 to win.” She got happy and said, ”At least we will not go home with our pockets empty.” It was then I told her that I also bet the Tri and then …oh baby!!! We were having trouble seeing the board and the payouts so we were quite pleased when we cashed in the tickets.Click HERE to see Pimlico’s 11th race results from Black Eyed Susan Day 2012

I talked you up to these guys, sitting next to us in the stands that were from Philly, directing them to WNST.net and told them to look for your Preakness day blog where you would predict the card. They wanted to buy me a drink because I turned them onto Sensible Lady and the Tri.

I talked you up to this family from New Jersey at the Charred Rib (where separately, we and they went to celebrate the day) telling them to check you out.

We enjoy our days at the races regardless of betting outcome. You though, contributed to make this Black Eyed Susan an extra special outing and for that I thank you and WNST for the wisdom of carrying your blog.

Thank you and regards,
Gil from Perry Hall

The best part of sharing my opinions in my blogs is receiving feedback such as Gil’s “Great Win” and being a shoulder to cry on when a reader experiences a “Bad Beat”.

Did you experience either in 2012? If so, I’m all ears!

Recapping posted selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Dec. 22nd had 7 winners from 9 races (3 Top Selections; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.80 (1st race), $4.60 (2nd), $3.00 (3rd), $23.20 (4th), $6.80 (7th), $9.60 (8th) and $5.20 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (12 5-1-2) Friendly Princess (4-1 PT; 4-1 M/L) had no excuse. The Brisnet Chart Comment was “dead aim off duel, wknd”. She was in what appeared to be a nice stalking position, but when the field turned for home , and was asked for her best stride, she offered nothing and finished 4th.

The LONGSHOT PICK (10 3-0-0) Today’s Treasure (15-1 PT; 15-1 M/L) was a great name for a longshot, but he failed to deliver a ROI as he got unexpected pressure early. Thoughts of this one being lone speed fell by the wayside when Donttangowithmango (9-5 2nd choice) jock decided to push his mount early, which eventually doomed not only my pick who faded to 6th, but also “Mango” who finished a distant 3rd. Just goes to show no matter how the race shapes up on paper, the human element can really screw it up.

**** Selections for Laurel Park on Saturday, Dec. 29th are on Page 2 ****

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Santa_and_horse

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Maryland Jockey Club is Spreading Christmas Cheer / GQ Picks at Laurel Park on Saturday

Posted on 21 December 2012 by Gary Quill

Saturday’s live racing card at Laurel Park will be the last one prior to Christmas Day. Live racing returns on Wednesday, Dec. 26th through Saturday the 29th. The 2012 racing season comes to an end on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31st) with a special Monday live racing card. Live racing continues on Tuesday (Jan. 1st) to start the new year, simulcasting on Wednesday and Thursday then back to live racing on Friday, Jan. 4th.

Since Santa arrived at the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) early this year distributing the first year of slots revenue, MJC is in the giving mood on Saturday. For those who go to Laurel Park to enjoy 9 exciting chase scenes, they’ll be treated to a FREE 2013 Maryland racing calendar. Plus some lucky fans selected throughout the day choose a wrapped package from the Giving Tree. Among the mystery gifts are flat screens, iPads and game systems.

Recapping my selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Dec. 15th had 7 winners from 9 races (5 Top Selections; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $3.00 (1st race), $3.80 (3rd), $4.20 (4th) and $5.00 (6th), $7.40 (7th), $5.60 (8th) and $2.60 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (11 5-1-2) Flying Forward (3-1 PT; 5-1 M/L) based on my handicapping knowledge, looked to be the lone speed in the race. Unfortunately, even with a better jock in the irons, he failed to get the lead. Settled into a second but never threatened the leader, and weakened in the stretch finishing 4th.

The LONGSHOT PICK (9 3-0-0) Vote Yes for Love got a no vote from the track veterinarian and was late morning scratched. Usually when time permits I’ll post an alternate pick, but since this one was not among the early scratches listed, rather a late scratch, there was no Longshot Play for the second consecutive post.

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for Mostly Cloudy skies and windy, but no chance of rain so the MAIN TRACK should be FAST. Selections for the are posted below. 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 – $15,000 Claiming N2L for 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile
#4 – Hunter Jak (2-1)
#1 – Spinnaker Bay (6-1)
#6 – Gypsy Baron (3-1)

2nd race – $7,500 Claiming N2L for 3 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#6 – Leather Gloves (5-2)
#4 – Awesome Life *** SCRATCHED ***
#3 – Brad (7-2)
#5 – Elexagente (6-1)

3rd race – $38,000 Maidens for 2 y.o. fillies – 5½ furlongs
#5 – Lady Sabelia (3-1)
#2 – Neigh O Me (8-1)
#3 – Railtown Girl (8-5)

4th race – $7,500 Claiming N2L for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile
#6 – Friendly Princess (4-1) *** BEST BET ***
#1 – Trippi’s Wish (8-5)
#3 – Printasticat (6-1)

5th race – $7,500 Claiming for 3 y.o. and – 5½ furlongs
#3 – No Shenanigans (7-2)
#6 – Boreal Forest (5-2)
#2 – Wicked Thunder (12-1)

6th race – $25,000 Optional Claiming N2X for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 mile
#1 – Today’s Treasure (15-1) $$$ LONGSHOT $$$
#2 – Rhetoricalquestion (2-1)
#6 – Donttangowithmango (5-2)

7th race – $5,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up N2Y or N4L – 1 mile
#9 – Menifee Six (5-1)
#2 – Valentino’s Boy (15-1)
#6 – Rabbit Tracks (30-1)

8th race – $125,000 Thirty Eight Go Go Stakes for F&M 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile
#2 – Bold Affair (4-5)
#9 – Onepointhreekarats (4-1)
#7 – Withgreatpleasure (10-1)

9th race – $8,000 Maiden Claiming for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 5 furlongs
#2 – Stroud Point (4-5)
#1 – Epaminonda’s Girl (6-1)
#6 – Count on Hope (9-5)

GOOD LUCK!

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Top 10 Maryland Racing Moments of 2012

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Top 10 Maryland Racing Moments of 2012

Posted on 21 December 2012 by Gary Quill

With just a few more live racing days remaining in Maryland for 2012, it’s time to recall the Top Ten most exciting thoroughbred chase scenes that took place at a Maryland track.

In 2012 there were over 1,300 races contested at the three (3) Maryland thoroughbred tracks (Laurel Park, Pimlico and Timonium). Of course, the biggest was the 137th Preakness Stakes that saw Derby winner I’ll Have Another chase down Bodemeister in the final yards to capture the second jewel of racings’ Triple Crown.

To the casual horse racing fan, they may only witness races that are broadcast on network television. But 365 days a year somewhere in North America, a track is conducting races. Whether it be a graded stakes or a $5,000 Claiming race, they all hold the possibility of generating great excitement along with a fantastic finish.

Here are my Top 10 Maryland races of 2012. Do you have one that didn’t make the cut?

10. Black-Eyed Susan – May 18th– Race 10 @ Pimlico

In Lingerie looked tight as a drum while impressively pulling away from the field.

9. 107-1 Winner – March 21st – Race 9 @ Laurel Park

A 1 for 18 lifetime low-level claimer Wire Funds proves that running on turf versus dirt can be like night and day. This one was first time on grass (for $10,500 tag) while stepping up from the $5k claiming ranks on dirt, failing to have hit the board in his previous 5 outings. After winning this one, he came back to win his next 3 on the lawn against $12.5k Claimers, $25k Claimers and $43k Allowance company.

8. Mr. Diz Stakes – April 7th– Race 10 @ Pimlico

Reigning MD Horse of the Year Ben’s Cat rallies to take 3rd consecutive Mr. Diz Stakes.

7. Near Triple Dead Heat – March 16th – Race 7 @ Laurel Park

After racing 7 furlongs, no measurement could separate Milwaukee Chief and Artic Raven, while Let Me Be Frank settled for SHOW money a mere whisker behind those two.

6. Ladys Legend for the Cure – May 18th– Race 4 @ Pimlico

Class Rules may have won easily but it was 59-year-old Jennifer (Rowland) Small in who was in the irons, and the other retired female jockeys who made the 3rd annual People’s Pink Party Day a memorable $40k Allowance NW1X race.

5. Rapid Redux notches #22 – January 4th – Race 6 @ Laurel Park

This $5,000 Starter Allowance would be the 6-year-old geldings final race. Retired with a record 22 race win streak intact, he won a total of 28 races from 42 career starts.

4. Frank J. DeFrancis Dash – October 27th – Race 9 @ Laurel Park

Action Andy rallies in deep stretch to catch Il Vilano at the wire. What really hurts is that I had Il Vilano. How many times is the cameraman wrong when showing the winner on the gallop out in a tight photo?!

3. Pimlico Special – May 18th– Race 12 @ Pimlico

Alternation puts in a game performance as he gets the better end of the head bob versus Nehro. Watch the slow motion replay at the wire. Nero actually catches and gets ahead of Alternation 5 feet before the wire. Once again, guess who had Nehro at 6-1?!
The next day I had Steve Asmussen (Nehro’s trainer) crying on my shoulder saying, “How in the hell did he not win that race?!”

2. Double Dead Heat – October 8th – Race 7 @ Laurel Park

Truly a horse racing rarity, as Rockaby Bay and Masterel hit the wire simultaneously for the WIN while just a neck behind Elkhorn Creek and Colonel Bill could not be separated for the SHOW purse, in this $25k Optional Claiming event.

1. 137th Preakness Stakes – May 19th– Race 12 @ Pimlico

I’ll Have Another and Bodemeister, Round 2. If this stretch run doesn’t give you goose bumps, then you must not be breathing.

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MarylandJockeyClubLogo

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MARYLAND THOROUGHBRED RACING UNITES WITH 10-YEAR AGREEMENT

Posted on 14 December 2012 by Gary Quill

LAUREL, MD. 12-14-12— The Maryland Jockey Club (MJC), the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA) and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MHBA) today announced that they have come to a 10-year agreement for sustained racing at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park.

“I am confident and pleased via this agreement,” said Stronach Group chairman Frank Stronach, who owns Pimlico and Laurel, “we will now have long term stability, year round racing and stabling, an attractive purse structure, promise for the breeding industry and a strong foundation to restore Maryland racing to its pre-eminence in North American racing.”

“We created a plan that benefits everyone and develops a sustainable model for the future,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “I would like to thank Governor Martin O’Malley for his continued support of the industry. We appreciate his involvement two years ago which set-up the framework for this deal. We appreciate Maryland Racing Commissioners John McDaniel and Bruce Quade for their commitment as well as the leadership from the MTHA and MBHA for working with us to make this happen.”

The 2013 racing season will feature 146 days of live racing days at the major Maryland tracks, the same number as in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The Maryland Jockey Club will guarantee a minimum of 100 days a year for the balance of the agreement. There are provisions in the contract for the horsemen to race additional days through a revenue-sharing program.

The deal also calls for Pimlico and Laurel Park to remain open for year-round racing, training and stabling for the balance of the contract. Chuckas indicated Pimlico and Laurel would maintain a minimum of 1,900 stalls.

Chuckas said the deal “allows the Maryland Jockey Club to invest in capital improvements at both facilities and we plan on submitting a plan to the Maryland Racing Commission and Maryland Department of Budget and Management in February.”

The parties will ask the Maryland Racing Commission to approve 2013 racing dates at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

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A Bob Baffert sighting at Laurel Park for Saturday’s Stakes race?

Posted on 07 December 2012 by Gary Quill

The 8th day of December will seem more like a day in April as temperatures along the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. corridor hover in the low 60’s. That should bring horse racing fans out to Laurel Park who otherwise had settled into hibernation mode just two weeks prior to the winter solstice.

For Saturday December 8th the Laurel Park 9-race card features the $125,000 City of Laurel Stakes for 3-year-olds. Shipping in from New York for Chad C. Brown is Hardened Wildcat, making his first start since Belmont Stakes Day, when he finished 4th behind the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Trinniberg in the G2 Woody Stephens. Easily the most impressive career win for this 3-year-old son of Hard Spun was the Fred Capossela Stakes at Aqueduct on March 10, 21012.

Bob Baffert er uh, well one of his assist trainers, comes to Laurel Park for the first time in 2012 to saddle Brigand. The graded stakes placed son of Flatter has been part of the Exacta in 8 of 11 career starts. New York has been his home since Baffert shipped him to Aqueduct last spring for the G2 Jerome, where he gave this years BC Sprint runner-up, The Lumber Guy all he could handle.

It would be great to see Bob in the Laurel paddock, but that’s one early Christmas gift that Santa won’t be delivering. As attractive as D.C. is in December, he’s certain to stay in California to see if his 2-year-old filly Executiveprivliege can rebound from her first defeat, when beaten one length in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. She’ll be the prohibitive favorite in the $500,000 G1 Hollywood Starlet Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park on Saturday.

The City of Laurel Stakes field of eight (8) also includes Preakness Stakes Also-Ran, Pretension (11th). This Maryland based runner is hoping to regain his early 3-year-old form prior to starting his 4-year-old campaign.

Recapping my selections at Laurel Park from Saturday, Dec. 1st had 7 winners from 9 races (5 Top Selections; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $8.00 (1st race), $3.20 (4th), $6.40 (5th) and $3.40 (6th), $2.20 (7th), $5.60 (8th) and $3.20 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (10 5-1-2) Highly Justin (M/L 9-2) took the early money in the wagering, opening at 3-2 odds but did floating up to close at 2-1 to be the co-favorite. He ran a strong race showing tactial speed, took the lead in mid-stretch, and gamely fought off a rivals challenge to the wire, getting the head bob in the photo for the win, returning $6.40 to WIN, $3.80 to PLACE and $3.40 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (9 3-0-0) Three Ways Home was scratched. Usually when time permits I’ll post an alternate pick, but since none of my other top picks met my personal criteria (5-1 M/L or greater) there was no Longshot pick of the day.

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for Mostly Cloudy skies, but just a 20% chance of precipitation. At 10:00am on race day, the MAIN TRACK is listed as FAST. Selections for the Laurel Park, Saturday, Dec. 8th are posted below. 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 – $12,500 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 7 furlongs
#1 – Bravo Romeo (4-5) POE #1A – Peaceadaaction SCRATCHED
#3 – A Fleet Spirit (6-1)
#6 – No Shenanigans (3-1)

2nd race – $15,000 Claiming for N2L fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#7 – Lookin for Me (6-1)
#2 – Lil Escape Artist (3-1)
#3 – Roxbury Rocket (6-1)

3rd race – $38,000 Maidens for 2 y.o. – about 1 1/16 miles
#4 – Heat Press (5-2)
#7 – Wellington Wizard (7-2)
#3 – In Todd We Trust (3-1)

4th race – $40,000 Allowance N1X for MD-Bred 3 y.o. and up – about 1 1/16 miles
#4 – Schist (2-1)
#1 – Warrensburg (7-2)
#6 – G G’s Buddy (15-1)

5th race – $5,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up N2Y or N4L – 6 furlongs
#3 – Vote Yes for Love (8-1) $$$ LONGSHOT $$$
#8 – Lastcallfordisco (5-2)
#9 – Funky Country (6-1)

6th race – $7,500 Starter Allowance for 3 y.o. and up – 7 furlongs
#2 – Flying Forward (5-1) *** BEST BET ***
#5 – Brimstone Island (2-1)
#4 – Everybody’s Daddy (10-1)

7th race – $5,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up N2Y or N4L – 6 furlongs
#8 – Spellit (3-1)
#4 – Jack o’ Lantern (5-2)
#3 – Morumsco (5-1)

8th race – $125,000 City of Laurel Stakes for 3 y.o. – 7 furlongs
#3 – Hardened Wildcat (7-5)
#2 – Brigand (3-1)
#7 – Bellefire (10-1)

9th race – $5,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. OR N3L 4 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs
#8 – Brayzen Billy SCRATCHED
#6 – Summer Robin (7-5)
#1 – Cat in Motion (4-1)
#3 – Oil Rig (9-2)

GOOD LUCK!

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Whiskey Romeo

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Maryland Horsemen and Breeders Long-Term Agreement Will Make Racing Stronger in Free State; Selections for Saturday at Laurel Park

Posted on 30 November 2012 by Gary Quill

UPDATED Dec. 1st 10:22am: Please note that the Longshot Play of the Day was SCRATCHED. Since no other top pick qualifies (5-1 or more) to be a Longshot Pick, unfortunately there will be none documented today.

On Wednesday the boards of directors of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (MTHA) and Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MHBA) approved the framework of a deal to govern racing in Maryland for the coming decade, according to numerous sources. The framework reportedly is largely identical to a term sheet supported by the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC), which owns Pimlico and Laurel Park. Lawyers for all sides are crafting the final legal document, and some details remain to be worked out.

If and when it is finalized, the long-term agreement will stand in stark contrast to the year-end battles that had characterized track-horsemen negotiations in recent years. Its 10 year term, perhaps the first such deal in the country, is expected to provide stability to an industry gradually regaining its footing after a long period of uncertainty.

Under the deal, racing would continue in 2013 under the same provisions that govern it this year. That means a 146-day racing schedule, with horsemen, breeders, and the state providing subsidies of more than $10 million to eliminate the MJC’s losses.

In subsequent years, the MJC would guarantee a minimum of 100 live racing days; the horsemen and breeders could buy additional days at their discretion at a “true-up” amount designed to hold the racetrack financially harmless. For those additional days, the horsemen and breeders would bear any losses beyond the true-up amount and retain any profits generated. With slots subsidies, Maryland racing could thus maintain a 146-day schedule while providing record-high purses.

The deal also calls for the closure of the Bowie training center, with Pimlico to reopen for training. Pimlico and Laurel would be open for training and stabling year-round at no charge to horsemen. The framework calls for the MJC to maintain a minimum of 1,600 stalls, including 300 new stalls at Pimlico, some of which would replace dilapidated structures slated to be torn down.

The MJC also commits in the framework to making capital improvements to Laurel and Pimlico. Additionally, the horsemen would retain full control over simulcast signals, as provided in federal law.

Tom Bowman, president of the MHBA stated, “As far as I’m concerned, the fact that we can hang our hat that live racing will continue for at least a decade is essential,” he said. “This would give Maryland stability it hasn’t had in a long time.”

If you plan on playing the ponies Saturday, my opinions on Laurel Park’s card is on the next page.

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Thanksgiving-Dinner

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When Thanksgiving and Horse Racing Meet; Thursday Selections at Laurel Park

Posted on 21 November 2012 by Gary Quill

Thanksgiving is the one day set aside for families to reflect on the past year and be thankful for ones health, happiness and prosperity. This year I’m thankful for the invitation to become a contributing member of the Horse Racing Nation (HRN) family. It was through the wonders of social media and this blog which caught the attention of a partner at HRN who recognized the need for a Maryland based blogger/handicapper.

As a kid growing up in northeast Baltimore, Thanksgiving Day was much like any other household in the United States. Wake up by 9:00 am to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, go outside for a quick pickup football game with whoever may show-up, return home in time to watch the early NFL game from Detroit and then…

Well, as I grew older it became apparent to me that my family’s Thanksgiving Day tradition took a small detour from the majority of Americans. That most families dinner commenced around 3:00 pm, give or take an hour. Not so according to the Quill family Thanksgiving tradition. We could watch the Dallas football game until about halftime which was about the time my Pop-Pop Quill and great-uncle Ray would arrive at our house from a day at the track. Priceless!

That was back in the 60’s and early 70’s. I miss those days… and my Pop-Pop and Uncle Ray, who have long passed. And with their passing, so did the Quill family Thanksgiving Day tradition. My Dad and I are still able to enjoy a day at the races from time to time, but never on Thanksgiving Day. The Quill family is now scattered throughout our great country and over the past 20 years I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve been together on Thanksgiving Day. Be thankful if you can spend this Thanksgiving Day with your entire family and think about what tradition is special to you on the fourth Thursday in November.

Laurel Park has its own Thanksgiving Day tradition which they started 25 years ago, in giving away either a pumpkin or apple pie (after the 5th race). First race post for the nine-race card is 11:05 a.m. with the $100,000 Geisha Stakes as the feature. Pies will be available at both Laurel Park and Pimlico. For those who wish to arrive early to handicap the card, free donuts with coffee or cider will also be available from 9:30 to 11:00 am. And if you get a call from home telling you they have burnt the turkey, invite them to meet you at Laurel’s terrace dining room for a traditional Thanksgiving buffet for $24.99.

Friday will be “Guys Day Out” free admission and live race program for Laurel’s nine-race card for all men at Laurel Park and half-priced draft beers. In addition, patrons will have a chance to win tickets to their favorite sporting event including the 2013 Preakness!

The holiday weekend of racing in Maryland concludes on Saturday featuring the $100,000 Gin Talking Stakes for 2 year olds going 7 furlongs on the main oval. First post for Friday and Saturday will be 12:35 pm EST.

If you are playing the ponies today, my opinions on Laurel Park’s card is on the next page. Best of luck and hope you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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MJC honors jockey Pino for win milestone

Posted on 11 November 2012 by WNST Staff

PINO HONORED BY THE MARYLAND JOCKEY CLUB


LAUREL, MD. 11-10-12—The Maryland Jockey Club honored jockey Mario Pino, who moved into the top 10 on the all-time win list earlier this fall, with a winners’ circle presentation Saturday afternoon at Laurel Park.

 

“It’s a great honor and I am very grateful,” Pino said. “Maryland has been great to me, riding here for 30 years, seeing people come and go. I set a goal to be in the top 10 though before I ever won a race I remember reading the Racing Form about a rider who just reached 5,000 and thought how tough that had to be.”

 

On September 18 at Presque Isle Downs, Pino moved into sole possession of 10th place on the all-time win list with a victory aboard Incredibly Smart. The win was number 6,471 for Pino, one more than Hall of Famer Earlie Fires. Pino currently has visited the winners’ circle 6,484 times. His first winner was with Ed’s Desire on Jan. 16, 1979 at Bowie Race Course when he was 17 years old.

 

“I just tried to go to work every day and be as consistent as possible. When that happens, you get an opportunity to ride good horses and win races,” said Pino, who has eleven 200-win seasons and had at least 150 victories 28 times. “I love to ride and love to cross the finish line first.”

 

Consistency helped Pino establish a record for most victories on the Maryland circuit with 4,958 winners at Pimlico Race Course, Laurel Park, Bowie, Timonium and Marlboro. Though he rode in the shadows of champion riders Kent Desormeaux, Edgar Prado and Ramon Dominguez, the 51-year-old ranked in the top five of the state standings for 25 straight years from 1979 to 2003.

 

“When I first started here it was Bill Passmore (3,531 wins), Vince Bracciale (3,545) and Chuck Baltazar (2,912),” added Pino. “Riding with the likes of Prado and Desormeaux, I think I learned from them to become a better rider. I wanted to be leading rider but as time went on I realized these guys were Hall of Famers. To be second to them was no disgrace.”

 

Pino, who was inducted into the Maryland State Athletic Hall of Fame Thursday evening, became the 15th jockey in North America to win 6,000 races when he rode Pass Play, a horse trained by his brother Mike, to victory at Laurel Park on Nov. 7, 2007.

 

“I don’t get very emotional but I did at the Hall of Fame ceremony and when I won 6,000 almost five years ago to the day,” the 51-year-old said. “I want to thank all the trainers who let me ride their horses. They helped me raise my family here and to be able to sustain a career for this long by trusting me.”

 

Pino plans on taking the winter off but expects to ride next year at Presque Isle Downs, where he finished third in the 2012 standings with nearly 100 victories.

 

“I’m not going to retire but I may never ride again here at Laurel Park or at Pimlico,” said Pino, whose horses have earned more than $119 million, 34th in the all-time standings. “I am going to take the winter off and go back there to ride in May. I’m going to miss the post parade, the riders in the room and the fans here. These are the best fans in the world.”

 

Nine of the 10 riders ahead of Pino, including all-time leader Russell Baze (11,765 wins & counting), are members of Racing’s Hall of Fame. Other immortals to reach the milestone include Laffit Pincay (9,530), Bill Shoemaker (8,833), Pat Day (8,803) and Chris McCarron (7,141).

 

“I look at those names and to be in this select company is surreal,” Pino said. “These are the best jocks to ever ride. To be in the sentence is a dream come true. Maybe one day I’ll be considered.”

 

ADDITIONAL MARIO MILESTONES

  • one of the principle players in the 2007 Triple Crown as the rider for Hard Spun with an exciting second place finish in the Kentucky Derby and a respectable third in the Preakness Stakes. The duo completed a fantastic campaign with a game second place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
  • became the 18th rider in history to win 5,000 races and did it on his 41st birthday (September 8, 2002), riding Outdone to victory on the grass at Delaware Park
  • ranked in the top 10 nationally in victories for four consecutive years beginning in 1999
  • top rider in Maryland in 1999 (247 wins) and 2002 (227 victories)
  • tied with Edgar Prado for second on Maryland Million Day with 16 victories
  • earned the first G1 score with Wildcat Bettie B in the 2006 Prioress at Belmont Park
  • has three victories in the G2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap (1992, 1995 & 1999)
  • won a career-best seven races at Colonial Downs on July 7, 2002
  • rode six winners in Maryland on May 11, 2002 (Pimlico) and October 25, 2003 (Laurel Park)
  • runner-up for the 1979 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey

·        finalist for the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award given to the jockey whose career and personal character reflect positively on the sport in 2003, 2007 and 2008

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Saturday’s Laurel Park Fall Festival Serves Up 6 Stakes including a Dash of Excitement

Posted on 26 October 2012 by Gary Quill

On Saturday Laurel Park is holding its Fall Festival of Racing featured by the DeFrancis Dash and five $150,000 stakes races on the turf… the Laurel Futurity for 2-year-olds, the Selima Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, the Laurel Dash, the Lady Baltimore Stakes for fillies and mares and the 1-1/2 mile Laurel Turf Cup.

Introduced in 1990, the De Francis Dash is one of the elite six-furlong sprints in the country with four of the 20 winners-Housebuster (1991), Cherokee Run (1994), Smoke Glacken (1997) and Thor’s Echo (2006)-earning Eclipse Award honors for champion sprinter.

The first 4,000 fans receive a complimentary Laurel Park sports cap. Post time for the 11-race card will be 12:35 p.m.

FACT: The average purse for the 11 race card at Laurel Park on Saturday is $127,270 with an average field of 10 horses. In comparsion, Saturday is Closing Day at Keeneland. They have a 10 race card with a mere $54,500 average purse also averaging a field of 10. It’s amazing what 7% of the slots revenue has done for Maryland racing. And you wonder WHY a vote FOR Question 7 is so important to the economic health of one of Maryalnd’s leading industries?!

Recapping this brilliant performance at Laurel Park from Saturday, October 20th had 6 winners from 11 races (1 Top Selections; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $2.60 (2nd race), $5.60 (4th), $4.40 (6th), $16.20 (7th), $4.00 (8th), and $11.40 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (7 2-1-2) was sent-off the 7-2, got the early lead but was lightly pressed along the way, gave up that lead in mid-stretch but dug in gamely to salvage 3rd paying $4.00 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (7 3-0-0) didn’t get close to the 20-1 M/L odds, but in a wide open betting race where the post time favorite went off 7-2 followed by a handful at 9-2, the longshot pick rated beautifully in mid-pack early, swung widest of all turning for home, hit the lead at the 1/8th pole and continued to widen her margin through the Finish. She won by 4½ lengths and returned $11.40 to WIN, $6.20 to PLACE and $4.60 to SHOW.

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for Cloudy skies, but just a 10% chance of precipitation. So the MAIN TRACK should be FAST and TURF courses FIRM. Selections for the Laurel Park, Saturday, Oct. 27th are posted below. 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 – $10,000 Maiden Claiming for 2 y.o. – 5½ furlongs
#7 – Snowball Fight (7-2)
#1 – Bump Draft (9-2)
#6 – Never Counted Out (6-1)

2nd race – $5,000 Claiming for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile
#4 – Lisette (5-1)
#6 – Latin Coast —- SCRATCHED
#2 – Andra (9-2)
#3 – Fredericka La Rose (5-2)

3rd race – $40,000 Allowance N2X for 3 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs on Turf
#7 – High Bar (10-1)
#4 – Dogwoods Lance (7-2)
#12 – Came Back (8-1)

4th race – $40,000 Allowance N1X for 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#3 – Avenged (5-1)
#6 – Brave Romeo (1-1)
#2 – Hard Line (7-2)

5th race – $150,000 Selima Stakes for 2 y.o. fillies – 5½ furlongs on Turf
#5 – Touring Hong Kong (10-1) $$$ LONGSHOT $$$
#3 – Heading to Toga —- SCRATCHED
#1 – Doubled —- SCRATCHED
#2 – Discreet Marq (5-2)
#7 – Hold Our Destiny (12-1)

6th race – $150,000 Laurel Futurity for 2 y.o.– 5½ furlongs on Turf
#3 – Hamp (4-1)
#11 – Lunar Rock (12-1)
#5 – Coach A.J. (6-1)

7th race – $150,000 Lady Baltimore Stakes for F&M 3 y.o. & up – 1 1/16 on Turf
#6 – Embarr (10-1)
#14 – Prize Catch —- SCRATCHED
#3 – Clare Skies Ahead (12-1)
#1 – Laughing (7-2)

8th race – $150,000 Laurel Dash Stakes for 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs on Turf
#5 – Jazzy Idea (6-1) *** BEST BET ***
#4 – Super Chunky (20-1)
#8 – Greek Warrior (20-1)

9th race – $150,000 Laurel Turf Cup for 3 y.o. and up – 1½ mile on Turf
#3 – Freud’s Honour (5-1)
#4 – Game Ball (15-1)
#13 – Concealed Identity (20-1)

10th race –$350,000 Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash for 3 y.o. & up – 6f.
#6 – Sean Avery (5-2)
#11 – Alsvid (10-1)
#3 – Il Villano (10-1)

11th race –$25,000 Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. and up – 5½ furlongs on Turf
#8 – Honour Your Dreams (7-2)
#5 – Fear Nothing (3-1)
#7 – d’Oro Dancer (10-1)

GOOD LUCK!

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Saturday Selections at Laurel Park; Preakness Tickets on Sale – Discounts on Infield

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Saturday Selections at Laurel Park; Preakness Tickets on Sale – Discounts on Infield

Posted on 19 October 2012 by Gary Quill

Earlier this week tickets for 2013 Preakness day went on sale. For those who purchased reserved seating in advance this past year, ticket renewals will be mailed out on Monday, October 22nd. The 138th running of the Preakness® Stakes will take place May 18, 2013 at famed Pimlico Race Course.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the Preakness ticket office (410-542-9400 or 877-206-8042) or by logging onto www.ticketfly.com. Ticketfly replaces Ticketmaster as the ticket sales and distribution company.

The partnership with Ticketfly, an end-to-end ticketing and marketing platform will help Preakness to streamline operations and build community. Preakness officials switched to Ticketfly for its innovative technology, including a socially-charged purchase experience that will help Preakness to more effectively reach and engage online audiences. For attendees, Ticketfly makes buying tickets convenient, quick and easy. Seating information and ticket reservation forms for Preakness 138 can be found at http://www.preakness.com/tickets. Just as in 2012, there will be three tiers of pricing, based on calendar days, for Infield and MUG Club tickets…

Until Dec 31, 2012: $40 General Infield; $60 MUG Club
Jan 1-May 11, 2013: $50 General Infield; $70 MUG Club
Preakness Week/Day Of: $60 General Infield; $80 MUG Club

Click here to view the 2013 Preakness promo video. It’s pretty cool.

Recapping this brilliant performance at Laurel Park from Saturday, October 13th had 6 winners from 11 races (2 Top Selections; pay-offs shown in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $2.60 (4th race), $8.40 (5th), $5.80 (6th), $7.20 (7th), $8.80 (8th), and $11.00 (11th).

The BEST BET of the Day (6 2-1-1) was sent-off the 3-1 second betting choice, dueled for the lead throughout the first 5/8 mile but tired badly in the stretch to finish last (6th).

The LONGSHOT PICK (6 2-0-0) turned into a no play as Nokaze was a scratch.

For Saturday races the weather forecast calls for sunny skies, with just a 10% chance of precipitation so there should be a FAST MAIN TRACK and FIRM TURF. Selections for the Laurel Park, Saturday, Oct. 20th are posted below. 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 – $16,000 Maiden Claiming for 2 y.o. fillies – 7 furlongs
#4 – Shirts and Shoes (5-2)
#8 – The Tea Cups (10-1)
#2 – Bucaramanga (5-1)

2nd race – $15,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. OR 4 y.o. and up NW3L – 5½ furlongs
#3 – Spanish Officer (7-5)
#5 – Itsnottheright (1-1)
#6 – Sun Song (5-1)

3rd race – $25,000 Maiden Claiming for fillies and mares 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile on Turf
#10 – Well Traveled (5-2)
#5 – Malibu Fever (20-1)
#9 – Lady Olivia (3-1)

4th race –$8,000 Maiden Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile
#4 – Light of Truth (6-1)
#6 – Joribe (2-1)
#2 – Elexagente (9-2)

5th race – $25,000 Claiming for fillies 3 y.o. OR F&M 4 y.o. and up NW3L – 5½ furlongs on Turf
#2 – Pyrite Storm (5-1) *** BEST BET ***
#1 – Simple Exchange (2-1)
#4 – Jungle Juice (10-1)

6th race – $5,000 Claiming for 3 y.o. and up – 1 mile
#11 – Code Blue (3-1)
#1 – I Know Why (5-2)
#6 – Issues and Answers (6-1)

7th race – $40,000 Allowance N2X for 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/8 miles on Turf
#1 – Selection Sunday (4-1)
#10 – Averil’s Ring (12-1)
#6 – Lelaps (3-1)

8th race – $5,000 Claiming for fillies 3 y.o. OR F&M 4 y.o. and up NW3L – 1 mile
#4 – Tinderbox (4-1)
#6 – Cee’s Fast (5-1)
#5 – Shanfield (4-1)

9th race – $25,500 Alw Opt Claiming N2X for 3 y.o. and up – 5½f on Turf
#9 – Queen Chatanika (20-1) $$$ LONGSHOT $$$
#3 – Perfect Measure (8-1)
#11 – Heir Stream (2-1)

10th race – $25,000 Allowance N2X for F&M 3 y.o. and up – 1 1/16 mile on Turf
#1 – Table Three Ten (7-2)
#13 – Parting Words (8-1)
#6 – Zapparition (8-1)

11th race – $5,000 Claiming NW2L for 3 y.o. and up – 6 furlongs
#9 – Etarag (5-1)
#5 – No Conflict (4-1)
#1 – Bell’s Prince (4-1)

GOOD LUCK!

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