Laurel Park Stakes Spot Plays for July 16

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

July 15th, 2022

A total of four stakes races will lead a big card at Laurel Park on Saturday.

Race 7 – Prince George’s County S.

Turf test at nine furlongs for the boys seems logical to me with #5 Beacon Hill (9-5) as my top selection. The Michael Matz trainee is lightly raced with room for improvement, and the consistently good son of Blame also has a tactical edge on the major players in the cast, as well. The dark bay gelding was a sharp allowance winner in his lone prior try and could lead throughout if sent early by Victor Carrasco.

Race 8 – Alma North S.

Compact field of five fillies and mares will jaunt 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt in this affair. The fantastic #3 Chub Wagon (7-5) sports a superb 12-11-1-0 lifetime mark, with her lone setback coming over a sloppy surface for Guadalupe Preciado. The five-year-old daughter of Hey Chub can win from on or off the pace, and the mare figures to improve while making her second run of 2022, as well. The classy bay will have Silvestre Gonzalez up.

Race 9 – Big Dreyfus S.

A solid field of 10 fillies and mares will vie in the 1 1/8-mile turf endeavor. Shug McGaughey’s #3 In A Hurry (9-2) ran into a formidable top duo in the Gallorette S. (G3) at Pimlico on Preakness Day and will appreciate the class relief on this occasion. A close second in the Dahlia S. on this course two prior, the Blame mare is versatile and consistent, and she comes in with a bullet half-mile move over the Belmont sod, too. I expect the five-year-old to always be in range under the guidance of Forest Boyce.

Race 10 – Frank J. De Francis Memorial S.

I acknowledge that 2020 Nashua S. (G3) winner #2 Pickin' Time (8-1) will have to run his best race to upend the formidable pair of favorites in the dash, but he is still worth a play, especially in the vertical exotics. The Kelly Breen pupil makes his second run of the season, and the four-year-old colt has been training in swift fashion in advance of his return to Laurel, where he capped 2021 with a stakes win while debuting on the surface. The dark bay will benefit from the abundance of pace signed on with Charlie Marquez in the stirrups.