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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekend Handicapping: Wide open sprint at Laurel today


Today for Weekend Handicapping, I thought we go over to Laurel Park and take a look at the The Barbara Fritchie Handicap (G2), for fillies and mares 3YO and upward.  It’s for a distance of 7 furlongs and a purse of $200,000.  We a strong field of eight and many of them recent winners, good speed and I found four contenders in this feature.  So here we go …

Contenders:

#6 Nicole H ML 6/5

She will be the favorite but not the one to wager on.  This 5YO has won at this level before, taking the Distaff at Aqueduct going 7 panels.  She has won her last two; her speed figures are the best of the field and see no reason not to repeat.  Hushion and Dominquez is a solid pair and this mare has all the ability to take this group.  However, there is some tough company in this field and she might be vulnerable.

#2 Red’s Round Table ML 5/1

This is a big step up for this 4YO but I do like that she has won her last two easily, the last here at Laurel.  In fact, she has won four of five at Laurel lifetime, one of those horses for courses angles.  Her Beyer’s have improved enough to stay with the #6, and while I don’t place a big emphasis on weight breaks, she is getting 6 pounds today.  I also like that she has won eight of ten lifetime and Timothy Keefe is solid with horses that won last time out (28% rate with a $3.53 ROI!)

#1 Aquitana ML 6/1

Here is another filly taking a step up in class today.  She has done well here at Laurel as well, winning three of her three starts.  Her Beyer’s are right up there with this group, and she fared well against Nicole H in the Interbourough at Aqueduct, coming in third.  Her works have been good and her running style fits this race.  One last note, she has done well over off surfaces, and rain is forecasted today.

#5 Lovely Lil ML 6/1

She has won at the G2 level going a mile so today is a cut back in distance play.  Her speed numbers are a bit low for this group, so it will take an all out effort to catch them.  Her running style of going forward might hurt her chances, and that is why I have her in this spot.  I’m thinking Hushion has her in here to set up the #6, so unless it all falls apart, can’t really see her winning but maybe a share.

Outside of these four, the #3 C C’s Pal is an outsider, she has won two in a row, but her speed figures are a touch in consistent.  If the pace crumbles she could squeeze by and win, but there is too much forward contention for that to happen.

Selection:

6 – 2 – 3   

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