Dan's Double: Stakes Picks at Laurel Park

Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing

When it comes to making money when handicapping races and betting on horse racing, it’s all about picking winners. Dan Tordjman, America’s Best Racing’s New York correspondent, is one of the brightest young minds in the game.

Each Week, Tordjman – DanonymousMan to those who follow him on Twitter – will provide readers with his two best bets of the weekend and strategies for how to bet them. Tordjman will keep track of his return on investment (ROI) throughout the year and, as a bonus, he will also provide picks for a selection of the key races on the Triple Crown trail and the road to the Breeders’ Cup. Dan was able to manage a positive ROI for his plays in 2016. Come back every week and be sure to follow Tordjman on Twitter.

Come back every week and be sure to follow Tordjman on Twitter.

Saturday, Feb. 18

Laurel Park, Race 7, $75,000 Miracle Wood Stakes, 3:30 p.m. ET

#4 O Dionysus (8-5): Forgive the short-priced favorite here and I’ll give you a longshot later on in the card (just scroll down). But this one looks like a lock, if company lines and trip analysis reveal anything about O Dionysus. Since adding blinkers two races ago, he’s been much improved, despite the fact that he didn’t win either of those races.

Two races ago, he was neck-and-neck with eventual Holy Bull Stakes winner (and Kentucky Derby hopeful) Irish War Cry. Coming out of that race, I thought it reflected poorly on Irish War Cry that he had to battle so hard to beat O Dionysus but after Irish War Cry’s effort in the Holy Bull, my opinion of O Dionysus certainly grew. Last out, O Dionysus suffered through a brutal trip, in which he was boxed in and running up on heels through the early-to-mid stages of the race. Once he had some running room, he accelerated but ultimately got turned back by #7 High Roller — who again appears to be the main threat here. 

Strategy on $10 Budget

$2 exacta 4 with 2,3,5,6,7 ($10)

Strategy on $25 Budget

$2 exacta 4 with 2,3,5,6,7 ($10)

$1 trifecta 4,7 over 4,6,7 over 2,4,5,6,7 ($12)

$1 trifecta 6 over 4 over 2,5,7 ($3)

Strategy on $50 Budget

$2 exacta 4 with 2,3,5,6,7 ($10)

$5 exacta box 4,6 ($10)

$1 trifecta 4 over 2,6,7 over ALL ($18)

$.50 trifecta box 2,4,6,7 ($12)

Laurel Park, Race 9, $300,000 Barbara Fritchie Stakes, 4:30 p.m. ET

#2 Rowd E Allie (20-1): This might be a little bit of a reach but we’re going to take a shot with an improving mare with some speed. Apart from Wonder Gal, who’s drawn to the far outside, Rowd E Allie appears to be the main speed here. She might lack for class but if she breaks cleanly from the rail, her recent early foot indicates she should be able to open up early.

Trainer Kelly Breen can definitely move a horse up in class like this, off of a little break. Breen doesn’t ship into Laurel often but he’s hit the board in 40 percent of races over the past five years at the track, winning 9 of 41 — including the Dave’s Friend Stakes with Bern Identity. There’s no doubt Rowd E Allie might be up against it, making this huge class jump, but you should at least get a fun ride for your money.

Realistically, you’ll have to use both Kiaran McLaughlin entries (#6 Takrees and last year’s Fritchie runner-up #7 Clothes Fall Off). #3 By the Moon has a ton of class and #1 High Ridge Road is 3-for-3 at Laurel — so let’s find a way to sprinkle them in with our longshot play.

Strategy on $10 Budget

$2 win, place and show on #2 Rowd E Allie ($6)

$1 exacta 2,6 with 2,3,6

Strategy on $25 Budget

$1 exacta 2,3,6 with 1,2,3,5,6,7 ($15)

$5 win and show on #2 Rowd E Allie ($10)

Strategy on $50 Budget

$1 exacta 1,2,3,6 with 1,2,3,5,6,7 ($20)

$.50 trifecta 2,6 over 1,2,6,7 over ALL ($18)

$4 win, place and show on #2 Rowd E Allie ($12)

YTD Top Picks: 1/13

ROI for All Bets: -$287.05

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