Stan Salter's betting tips and analysis for Saturday's race card at Laurel Park:
Race 1, 1:10 p.m. post time
Selections: No. 9 Drive At Nite, No. 3 Fight for Freedom, *
Drive At Nite had a bad post position for three straight races and didn't run well at all, however. Trainer Damon Dilodovico gave him a brief freshening and we have seen an improvement his last two races when he ran second at this level. Top rider Jevian Toledo should be able to stay in the clear and have a clear running lane when they turn for home. Fight for Freedom has run well against better and gets a class relief today.
*Third choice was a late scratch.
Race 2, 1:41 p.m.
Selections: No. 3 No Dozing, No. 7 O Dionysus, No. 2 Two Charley's
No Dozing went off at 4-1 in his debut at Delaware against MSW Company and lived up to his billing when he won by two lengths and earned a 73 Beyer Speed Figure, despite getting loose in the post parade before the race. Trainer Arnaud Delacour gets top rider Trevor
McCarthy to ride this well-bred 2-year-old son of Union Rags today, and the barn is 24 percent with runners who won their last race. O Dionysus overcame a wide journey to win his debut impressively for strong connections. Two Charley's are always better than just one Charley, but he must overcome his inside post.
Race 3, 2:11 p.m.
Selections: No. 10 Dixie Knight, No. 3 Sunset Arch, No. 11 Runaway Dude
This race is for amateur riders, which is why the weights are higher than normal. Dixie Knight has paired up a couple of decent similar Beyer's in his last two races, which were both going long on the turf. Trainer Hamilton Smith has him in a winning spot today. Sunset Arch ran a decent number two back, and could get back to that kind of effort today if we have a firm turf course. Runaway Dude has speed
and tries the turf for the first time today.
Race 4, 2:41 p.m.
Selections: No. 7 Game Winning Shot, No. 2 He's My Grand, No. 5 Maryland's Best
Game Winning Shot has been right there in his last two races at similar levels for trainer Mark Reid. Today he gets a rider upgrade to Trevor McCarthy and will be one of the main threats in a race that came up a bit soft. He's My Grand makes his debut today following a bullet workout from the gate here at Laurel Park on Sept. 7. Maryland's Best had a rough trip in his debut against better and gets a class relief today.
Race 5, 3:11 p.m.
Selections: No. 7 Greatbullsoffire, No. 6 Undulated, *
Greatbullsoffire looks like he's the real deal so far after winning his first two races for trainer Hamilton Smith. His debut win was on the turf here at Laurel against a tough MSW group, and the show horse in that
race came back to win. They tried stakes company last out at Delaware on the dirt, and this 2-year-old son of Bullsbay went off as the favorite and won by over two lengths in impressive fashion. Even better, the place horse from that race came back to win, making both wins very strong accomplishments for this promising colt. Jockey Jevian Toledo has an outside post and controlling speed, which might be all he needs to win this historic race that has been won by the likes of Secretariat, Tapit and Barbaro. Undulated was literally running over top of horses to win his debut on the turf here at Laurel on Aug. 7. Sky's the limit for this good-looking son of Curlin.
*Third choice was a late scratch.
Race 6, 3:41 p.m.
Selections: No. 8 Fly, No. 4 Harlands Thunder, No. 1 Zero Zee
Fly had to break from the rail in her debut sprinting on the turf here at Laurel on Aug. 5, but it was no problem for this 2-year-old daughter of Brilliant Speed, as she rallied and won impressively against a tough MSW field. Trainer Phil Schoenthal has been having a nice year, especially with 2-year-olds, and it looks like he has a nice filly here. Jevian Toledo was aboard for the win, and is back up today for a barn he wins at 24 percent with. Harlands Thunder is one of four horses Hall of Fame Trainer Bill Mott has in today here at Laurel, and he gets Edgar Prado to ride. She was a decent third last out against stakes company at Monmouth. Zero Zee was an impressive debut winner at Saratoga, but must navigate a trip breaking from the rail.
Race 7, 4:14 p.m.
Selections: No. 4 Onus, No. 8 Robillard, No. 3 Ginger N Rye
Onus is a very talented Stuart S. Janney III homebred daughter of Blame who is undefeated in three starts here at Laurel Park for Hall of Fame Trainer Shug McGaughey III. In her Allowance win here at Laurel on Aug. 14, 2015, she won by a country mile and set the track record. She followed that win up by winning the Grade 3 Commonwealth Oaks here at Laurel against a tough field. She can go to the front and win or sit a stalking trip and get the job done for Forest Boyce today, who was aboard for the three wins here last summer. Her last two races were against graded stakes company at Saratoga, and she ran respectable
in both of those races in my opinion. Robillard had a monster win against upper-level allowance company two back up at Belmont Park. Not sure what happened last out in a restricted stake at Saratoga, but it would be no surprise to see her get back to her top form for strong connections in this spot today. Ginger N Rye was a game second in both the Dahlia at Laurel last April, and the All Brandy at Pimlico last June. She is a promising Sagamore Farm homebred who has two
wins on the turf here at Laurel.
Race 8, 4:48 p.m.
Selections: No. 8 Four Inch Heels, No. 6 Southern Girl, No. 3 Theophilia
Four Inch Heels has won seven times from 14 starts and five of those wins have come since trainer John Servis claimed this 4-year-old daughter of Afleet Alex. Two of her wins have come at the specialty distance of seven furlongs, which is the distance of this race today. Jockey Alex Cintron might be able to get the absolute best trip of the day on this filly stalking from the outside. Southern Girl is by Tapit and has won three of four races for strong connections. There is no telling
how good this promising fi lly might be. Theophilia should improve today in her second start off a layoff for strong connections.
Race 9, 5:18 p.m.
Selections: No. 1 Renown (GB), No. 4 Generous Kitten, No. 6 Motivational
Renown loves these long distance races and trainer Elizabeth Voss excels at getting these kind of horses ready for these kind of races. The win two back against stakes company at Delaware was going the same
distance as today's mile and a half contest, and the win was flattered even more when the place horse came back to win an upper-level allowance race at Saratoga. Generous Kitten had two sharp wins to
start this year off and has tried Grade 3 Company in his last two races. He fits this spot today well for strong connections. Motivational was a strong third last April at Keeneland going this mile and a half distance.
Race 10, 5:50 p.m.
Selections: No. 5 Ben's Cat, No. 10 Spring to the Sky, No. 3 Sallal (GB)
The four-time Maryland-bred Champion Horse of the Year Ben's Cat will be trying to win this race for the third time is his historic career. He has also been second and third in two other runnings of this race during his illustrious career. He is trained by Hall of Fame trainer King T. Leatherbury, who also bred and owns this now 10-year-old. His $2,637,282 in lifetime earnings is less than $20,000 shy of passing
the great Broad Brush on the all-time money-won list for Maryland-breds, and today he is seeking his 33rd lifetime win. Yes, he has lost his last three races, however. During his 58-race career that has lasted seven years, he has never lost more than three races in a row, so don't rule out this old war horse yet. Spring to the Sky won this race last year and is the main threat to upset Ben's Cat with his early speed, which might be the controlling speed from the outside. Sallal was very impressive in his U.S. debut and looks to be very promising for trainer Graham Motion.
Race 11, 6:23 p.m.
Selections: No. 1 Star Black, No. 11 Lovely Elle, No. 10 Heavenly
Perfect Star Black is a four-time winner on the grass here at Laurel and she returned to her winning ways last out for trainer Jay Bernardini and jockey Yomar Ortiz. I think there is just enough early speed in here to set it up nicely for this mare to make a late rally and get up in time. Lovely Elle had to break from the rail last out, but still ran a decent third. I like her post better today with Trevor McCarthy aboard for Allen Iwinski. Heavenly Perfect had a rough trip last out as the favorite and should improve today.
Best bet: Race 7, No. 4 Onus (8-5)
Day maker: Race 6, No. 8 Fly (9-2)