Handicapping Laurel’s Late Pick 5 on Feb. 20
With six stakes being offered, Laurel Park features its biggest day of the winter meet on Saturday. Four stakes are part of the Late Pick 5, including the Barbara Fritchie (G3) and General George (G3), and wet conditions appear likely.
Here is a look at the sequence:
Nellie Morse S. -- Race 5 (2:37 p.m. ET)
The 1 1/16-mile Nellie Morse S. has attracted nine fillies and mares, and #1 Landing Zone should be prominent from her inside post. The four-year-old filly brings improving form for Claudio Gonzalez, recording a pair of respectable stakes effort over the track, and I like her chances on the front end. #9 Lucky Stride is also very dangerous. She broke through with her first U.S. stakes win in the Jan. 16 Wayward Lass S. at Tampa Bay, scoring 2 1/4 lengths as the favorite, and has back form on wet tracks.
Wide Country S. – Race 6 (3:12 p.m. ET)
Nine sophomore fillies are set for the seven-furlong test, and #2 Salt Plage will make her stakes debut for Linda Rice. A comfortable maiden scorer, she continued to move forward when crushing entry-level allowance foes at Parx last time, and the Quality Road filly packs a late punch in a speed-laden field. #5 Street Lute has shown good speed winning her last two stakes attempts, but the Maryland-bred is versatile enough to sit just off it and win. Tough to dismiss the hard-knocking favorite.
Barbara Fritchie S. (G3) – Race 7 (3:46 p.m. ET)
#8 Hello Beautiful received a perfect draw on the far outside. The four-year-old was left all alone on the front end when taking the six-furlong What A Summer S. last month, but she showed a preference for a target when concluding last season with a pair of impressive stakes tallies at today’s seven-furlong distance. With speed to her inside in the Barbara Fritchie, Hello Beautiful looks poised to make it eight-for-eight at Laurel.
General George S. (G3) – Race 8 (4:19 p.m. ET)
#3 Lebda can add value to the ticket in his third start off the freshening for Gonzalez. Listed at 8-1, the four-year-old exits a front-running third in the six-furlong Fire Plug S., registering career-best BRIS E1 (104) and E2 (112) numbers contesting hot fractions over a drying-out Laurel track. Lebda should relish the stretch out to seven furlongs. Fire Plug runner-up #6 Share the Ride also will be added.
Race 9 (4:53 p.m. ET)
#1 Imagine Hongkong is my top choice, but I will spread in an interesting maiden special weight with #2 Forth, #3 Flat Cat, #4 Hemp, and #6 Pharoah’s Fury.
Late Pick 5 wager
1,9 with 2,5 with 8 with 3,6 with 1,2,3,4,6 = $20