We have a full slate of horse racing on Sunday with seven racecourses on the schedule today. The Malibu Stakes is in the books at Santa Anita Park, and Charlatan emerged victorious despite a lengthy layoff. Bob Baffert had Charlatan ready to rock and roll, and rates a threat to all going forward into 2021. I didn’t really know what to think of Charlatan coming off any injury and layoff, but the Malibu Stakes proved that he is going to be a favorite for races to come in future races.
A bigger stakes race is most definitely in Charlatan’s sights in 2021. Baffert also had Mucho Gusto running at Santa Anita Park. Mucho Gusto was the favorite, but didn’t run like it in the San Antonio. Mucho Gusto finished 4th, while Kiss Today Goodbye pulled off the upset. I’m sure Baffert is just happy to see Charlatan back in form right after a layoff. Authentic retires and Baffert gets a strong Charlatan back shortly thereafter.
It was an up and down 2020 for Baffert, but he’s going to finish off the year on a high note. As far as today is concerned, we’re back at Laurel Park after a profitable day on Saturday. We had three horses, with two winning and another getting scratched. A 2-0-1 day is more than acceptable on the racetrack. Head below for our free Laurel Park picks for December 27, 2020.
Post Time: 2:53 p.m. EST
Race 6 will be our first selection at Laurel Park on Sunday afternoon. We’re looking at a $15,000 event, which consists of a mile of racing on the dirt track. Simmard Shenanigan and Introspection should have a strong race and chance in the stretch. Simmard Shenanigan is 3 for 32 in his career and in good form right now.
She won on November 14 over Thunderturtle by 4 ¼ lengths in a $15,450 event. Nice effort there, and Simmard Shenanigan came back in her next outing for another solid run. She placed 2nd behind Ragtime Suzy in another $15,450 event. Simmard Shenanigan was well off the pace of the winner, though, having finished 5 lengths behind.
Introspection is 3 for 17 in her career and in terrific form as well. After winning on November 29, Introspection followed up for another win December 13. The first win of those two was over Thea’s Theme by 3 ¼ lengths for a $16,650 purse. Then Introspection returned on December 13 to beat In Class by 3 ¾ lengths in a $18,795 purse. Introspection drops slightly in class for this race, and should benefit further.
Post Time: 3:23 p.m. EST
Distance:6 ½ Furlongs
Race 7 features 11 horses vying for a $27,000 purse covering 6 ½ furlongs. Rocks That I Got and Originaly From Dot should have a nice run in this event. Rocks That I Got made her debut on May 16 at Churchill Downs. She finished 11th for a $79,000 purse. That was much too tough, and as a big undergoing going into the gate, Rocks That I Got wasn’t expected to go very far. Rocks That I Got went on a lengthy layoff following that performance on May 16.
She has been in fine form in the morning, with times of 49.20, 48.80, and 49 seconds. Her original owners took a big loss after purchasing her at auction for $250,000. She was re-sold for $25,000 a year later from 2018 to 2019. That’s a big miss, but ownership in horse racing is a big gamble. That said, Rocks That I got might be a steal at $25,000, and should run a strong event in this one.
Originaly From Dot was a $9,000 purchase in 2018 and finally made her debut recently. She was impressive as a first-time runner to place 2nd behind Bound for Broadway in a $32,427 event. Originaly From Dot lost by a nose in a nice debut for the rookie. She was expected to run well, as one of the favorites in Race 7. Originaly From Dot is down in class and should reap the benefits on Sunday afternoon.
Post Time: 4:23 p.m. EST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
The final race at Laurel Park on Sunday features a $33,000 purse covering 5 ½ furlongs on the dirt. Ashara and Bourbon Wildcat should be in the mix in the stretch run in this one. Ashara is making the fourth race of her career on Sunday. She has finished 7th, 2nd, 2nd, so after getting the opening jitters out of the way, Ashara has been running well for the most part.
On September 19, Ashara placed 2nd behind Hot Choice by 1 length as an underdog in a $48,213 event. That was incredibly encouraging in that class. Ashara returned on Halloween for another race to score place money in a $27,000 event at Charles Town. Disappointing considering the class drop and running as a favorite.
Bourbon Wildcat has finished in the top-3 in all four races in her career so far. She placed 2nd in two outings, including her most recent on December 6 behind Adhwaa by a nose for a $38,478 purse. That race could have gone in either direction, with Bourbon Wildcat leading from the gate to the top of the stretch. Bourbon Wildcat drops in class and should get this assignment done.