Saturday Stakes Spot Plays for Laurel Park
A trio of black-type events will highlight a fine afternoon of racing at Laurel Park.
Race 6 – Smart Halo S.
If #4 Ms. Tart takes to the main oval in her initial try on the dirt, then the bay will be very tough in this dash. This Todd Beattie trainee has displayed a strong turn of foot on both the lawn and synthetic, and she is worth taking a chance on against this cast with Jaime Rodriguez taking the reins.
#6 Miss Justify rolled home to an impressive win on debut and looks like a good one. The $200,000 daughter of Justify gives the impression of a filly with a bright future for conditioner Susan Cooney.
Race 7 – James F. Lewis III S.
The six-furlong dash for two-year-old boys attracted a solid field of eight. #4 Bolt of Aurum overcame both the rail and a slow break to win in going-away fashion at Monmouth at first asking, prior to finishing unplaced while going long over a muddy, sealed course at Delaware Park last time out. The $300,000 juvenile purchase cuts back to a dash and the May foal will relish the distance change with Jevian Toledo taking the reins. I expect the colt to be tracking the tempo in midpack before running them down in the lane.
#3 Buccherino is the inside pace of the race and will add blinkers off of a victory for Alfredo Velazquez. The $75,000 purchase has to improve to topple this field, but he might be up to the task if the equipment change moves him forward.
Race 8 – Thirty Eight Go Go S.
A total of 10 fillies and mares will go 1 1/16 miles in the final stakes race on the card. #9 Champagne Toast was third in the affair in 2022 and I expect her to go better on this occasion. The five-year-old daughter of Congrats has shown nice improvement in each of her races since joining the Lacey Gaudet barn, and the Maryland-bred mare had a good prep for this when a closing third in a local allowance race most recently, as well. Carol Cedeno will be in the stirrups and will be rallying the bay from well off the early tempo at a nice price.