Stan Salter's betting tips and best bets for Friday's race card at Laurel Park:
Race 1, 12:30 p.m.
Selections: No. 5 Dun Won, No. 2 Intrepid Alex, No. 4 New Freedom
Dun Won was fourth to a next time out winner in her last start and was claimed by a barn who is 28 percent first off the claim. Intrepid Alex is a a two-time winner on the Laurel turf and she finished a decent fourth last time out against tougher company. New Freedom comes into this race with a two-race win streak, but is facing a tougher group in this spot.
Race 2, 1 p.m.
Selections: No. 5 Michaels Butterfly, No. 1Neetee Rides Again, No. 6 Backside Affair
Michaels Butterfly is the only two-time winner in the group and she just beat a tougher field last out. Neetee Rides Again came with a wide rally last time out to finish second to my top pick and adds blinkers today. Backside Affair finds a little softer spot than her most recent race where she didn't show much.
Race 3, 1:30 p.m.
Selections: No. 7 First to Fire, No. 8 Airlie's Diamond, No. 6 Avellaneous
First to Fire has been loving the turf so far and she should love the light weight assignment of 108 pounds. Airlie's Diamond has been right there against slightly better, but is still 0-for-12 on the Laurel turf. Avellaneous rallied late last time out to finish second and should be a factor in final strides once again.
Race 4, 2 p.m.
Selections: No. 8 The Pulse, No. 1 It's a Bang, No. 3 Curlin's Kids
The Pulse is a five-time winner on this track who finished third last time out against slightly better competition, and the barn is rolling. It's a Bang's last two races were just okay, but he is capable of better at this level. Curlin's Kid, a Maryland-bred, is 10-for-17 in the money at this track. Welcome home, Kid!
Race 5, 2:30 p.m.
Selections: No. 13 Add Four, No. 5 Path Dependent, No. 2 My Own Lane
Add Four ran well following a nine-month layoff and should improve today as a first-time gelding. The stretch-out to two turns last out woke Path Dependent up and he just missed against slightly better. My Own Lane is getting a huge class relief in this spot for his first start for a new barn.
Race 6, 3 p.m.
Selections: No. 2 Bawlmer Hon, No. 4 Money for Maria, No. 6 Better Way
Bawlmer Hon's maiden win came going two turns, so she should like the added distance vs. this group. Money for Maria ran a decent third last out as the favorite vs. open $12,500 claimers at Penn National. Better Way's first win off the claim last March was very strong, but this is her first start since last April.
Race 7, 3:30 p.m.
Selections: No. 7 Be Counted, No. 9 Optical Illusion, No. 10 Benevolent Prince
Be Counted is making her debut for Graham Motion and has solid turf pedigree on top and bottom, with decent morning workouts. Optical Illusion's barn comes up with nice turf runners and the sire's offspring have been doing well early & on the turf. The money showed up for Benevolent Prince's debut at Keeneland and the breeding suggests turf.
Race 8, 4 p.m.
Selections: No. 4 Southern Equity, No. 10 Cosmopolitan Girl, No. 8 Sarah's Whisper
Southern Equity is trained by a winning outfit who is making the necessary drop to get everybody paid and it's my best bet! Cosmopolitan Girl's drop last time out helped her regain her winning form and she fits this spot well. Sarah's Whisper's speed helped her pull off a 57-1 shocker last out on the Laurel turf.
Race 9, 4:30 p.m.
Selections: No. 5 Lady Terp, No. 2 Emelina, No. 3 Understanding
Lady Terp, a three-time winner at this track, has been knocking on the door at this level all year long and today is her day. Emelina will be in front and will try to lead them all the way with the leading rider Jevian Toledo. Understanding is a late closer who has turned in some solid efforts at this track and she'll be running late once again.
Race 10, 5 p.m.
Selections: No. 3 Resident Scholar, No. 2 Just Trey, No. 6 The Tortoise
Resident Scholar might be the fittest horse in here and can outduel a soft group with the leading rider. Just Trey had decent efforts in his last two starts, but the added ground today is a question mark. The Tortoise showed speed last out going this distance and faded to fourth.
Best bet: Race 8, No. 4 Southern Equity
Day maker: Race 5m No. 13 Add Four