The $1,000,000 Rebel Stakes is in the books, and Bob Baffert’s Concert Tour captured the top prize and 50 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. He was clear with ease in the stretch with no urging required to record an easy win. Baffert has some talented runners on his hands as we get closer to Triple Crown season. He’s going to have some important decisions to make in less than two months. It’s a great problem to have when your barn is always stacked. Another showstopper on Saturday that we were able to cash in with was the marvelous filly Swiss Skydiver. The rematch against Harvest Moon was too easy for her, as she appears to be back in top form and ready to roll as a 4-year-old.
We have another big racing day on Sunday at BetOnline, with at least 12 more cards on the docket. It was a very nice day yesterday, going 3 for 3 at Gulfstream Park and 2 for 3 at Santa Anita Park, including the win on Swiss Skydiver. Our first look on Sunday is at Laurel Park in Maryland in the afternoon. Laurel Park has nine races worth a total of $250,000 on the schedule today. Head below for our free Laurel Park picks for March 14, 2021.
Post Time: 12:40 p.m. EST
Distance:5 ½ Furlongs
Six horses will get the afternoon started at Laurel Park with 5 ½ furlongs on the dirt for a $30,000 purse. Appealing Future and Belle Tapisserie on the inside should have a good go at the top prize in this event. Appealing Future is 12 for 39 in his career and is in need of getting back on track.
After recording a hat-trick from August 11 to October 5, Appealing Future has gone 3rd, 4th, 4th in his previous three attempts. In his most recent win on October 5, he beat Baptize the Boy by 4 lengths as a heavy favorite in a $23,000 assignment.
The three wins promoted a class jump, and Appealing Future has been trying to find his previous form since. In Appealing Future’s most recent showing, he finished 4th in a $23,000 event. Back down in class, but his form appeared off still. Appealing Future is going up to a $30,000 race, but the competition doesn’t seem all that much tougher. For a win, though, improvement must be made.
Belle Tapisserie is going for a hat-trick with three straight wins on Sunday. She won with a 1 ¼ length win over Jovis for a $35,700 purse on New Year’s Day, and then returned on January 22 for a 3 ½ length win in a $49,185 event. This certainly looks like a winnable opportunity for Belle Tapisserie in this class.
Post Time: 1:12 p.m. EST
In the second race at Laurel Park, 7 furlongs will be ran for a $34,000 purse on the dirt. Seven horses are expected to participate, with Shackaboom and Targe likely setting the tone in this event. Shackaboom is seeking a hat-trick on Sunday following wins on January 22 and February 26.
Overall, he is off to a great start to his career, going 3 for 5 with wins in three of his previous four outings. In the last two wins, Shackaboom beat Mavilus by 6 ½ lengths in a $19,000 assignment. Shackaboom defeated Beach Banker by 1 length in a $28,000 race. This will be her toughest race yet, so it likely isn’t going to be easy to get the final leg of this hat-trick bid.
Targe has been running in stakes events in her young career at Laurel Park. She participated in the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship on December 5 and $100,000 Anne Arundel County Stakes on December 26. This was after winning a $40,392 event on October 29 by 2 ¼ lengths.
After dropping down from the stakes racing, Targe placed 2nd behind Journeytothemoon by 4 lengths in a $47,586 event. That was a decent effort by Targe, who is moving down to a $34,000 race on Sunday. I can’t see Targe failing to run well in this spot for a $34,000 purse. It looks like a winnable spot.
Post Time: 2:43 p.m. EST
A run for $15,000 will close out our selections at Laurel Park on Sunday afternoon. El Rojo and Pardon the Pun are worth some consideration in this one. El Rojo is 1 for 33 in his career and hasn’t won since August 23, 2019.
He’s gone winless in 19 straight races, though frustratingly came close to winning several of those races. Two races ago El Rojo placed a neck behind Redacted Report for a $17,000 purse on January 22. He came back on February 12 to finish 6th in a $19,650 event.
El Rojo moves down to a $15,000 race, and I think he’s worth at least some consideration to win a $15,000 event. Pardon the Pun has been running with great consistency since the fall. He’s finished top-2 in five straight performances. In his previous two outings, Pardon the Pun placed behind Roof Top Bar by 1 ½ lengths in a $25,218 race.
He turned it into a win in his next and most recent showing on February 25. Pardon the Pun defeated Lifespan by 2 ¾ lengths for a $24,714 victory. He deserved it after coming close for months. Looking in his direction on Sunday looks like a sharp idea.