A total of six stakes are on tap during a fine Saturday card at Laurel Park.
Race 3 — Geisha S.
The first of the stakes six-pack will feature fillies and mares traveling a mile on the main strip. #2 Gale will be popular at the windows, and I can’t find any reason not to commence my wagers with the daughter of Tonalist. The $450,000 purchase was a smashing, 13-length allowance winner on the course two prior, and she went favored in the Comely (G3) at Aqueduct off that effort in her sophomore finale. The Jonathan Thomas pupil will be taking command of the race early on with Sheldon Russell in the controls.
Race 4 — Fire Plug S.
In a race with an abundance of speed, the best closers in the field are #2 Laki and #1 Wendell Fong. The early tempo figures to be wildly contested, and this duo can comprise the exacta with their late rallies.
Race 5 — Jennings S.
Maryland-bred runners will travel a one-turn mile in a competitive field of nine. Lacey Gaudet’s #8 Oxide lacks the credentials of many of his foes, but the Golden Lad gelding has shown marked improvement since adding blinkers two back and rates a chance against this group. Chestnut shows two consecutive game tallies on the course, and he was also a sharp winner at the distance at Churchill Downs in September.
Race 6 — What A Summer S.
A strong field of fillies and mares have assembled for the 6-furlong dash. I can’t go against #3 Hello Beautiful and her 6-for-6 mark at Laurel Park for Brittany Russell.
But I will also use #1 Club Car at a decent price for Ben Colebrook. Malibu Moon mare has a fine rail post, the right running style, and will also benefit from having a start over the surface.
Race 7 — Xtra Heat S.
A cast of eight 3-year-old fillies will go postward in the affair. #3 Street Lute is a neck shy of being 6-for-6 for Robb, and she looks imposing in this spot. I will play an exacta with her and #6 Plane Drunk, who is much better than her last race would suggest. The Phil Schoenthal pupil is a two-time stakes vixen who can be very dangerous when she clears early on. She will be sent hard from the break on Saturday.
Race 8 — Spectacular Bid S.
Sophomores will travel seven-eighths on the dirt in this contest. I really like #7 Shackqueenking on the cut back in trip for Gary Capuano. Chestnut colt has been first or second in each of his four career outings to date, and I think 7 furlongs will be ideal for the son of Shackleford.