Horse Racing
Horse Racing|Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash.

FREE Friday Laurel Horse Racing pick: RT and SmartCap look at the 8th race at Laurel


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On Friday, Dec. 20, we’re going to sunny Laurel, Maryland for the 8th race. It’ll be in the high 30’s and a bright day.

Today’s eighth race is a $35K Allowance Optional claiming race for three-year olds and up going seven furlongs.

On September 27th, #7 – Fort Fortitude was running for the first time off the claim for trainer Jamie Ness. He went off at 7/1 and I recommended him here at Bettors Insider. He won going away and looked spectacular doing it. In his next out, I recommended him again and he won going away at 5/1. On Oct. 31, I recommended him once more, he was moved up in class, went off as the favorite, faltered at the gate and couldn’t get momentum to get back in the race. In his next, and last race, he dropped back to an AOC and got drummed by thirteen lengths.

Now, looking at the money aspect of it, Fort Fortitude was claimed for $40K on Sept. 5. Since that time, he has collected $50,390. If you take out 20% for the jockey and trainers’ portion of the purses, that’ll bring it down to $40,312. If this was your horse, you’d have food, housing, insurance and other expenses which I would not know their entirety. So, in hard costs, this horse has been a financial loser and now he’s dropped to a $35K AOC and is unprotected – the only entrant with that status in this race.

You have to ask yourself, “is this class drop a move to either eke out a small profit/get back to par money-wise, or a move to unload him – a proverbial Hail Mary? I’d suggest the latter.

Most importantly, I believe he has gone off form given his last two awful outings. So, I am going with SmartCaps’ best last #5 – Hanalei’s Houdini (5/2). This 3-year-old colt has been rounding into form and watch for him to lay near the lace and scoot off in the stretch.

SmartCap's Laurel Race 8.
SmartCap's Laurel Race 8. RT


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SmartCap is an algorithm-based system that helps the horse player identify key contenders in a race.

Developed by a math prodigy from West Point, you will receive a graph like the one below, per race, when you order SmartCap.

The figures along the left represent each entrants’ best last race, with the top number being the speed and the bottom number is its class. In this example, #10 comes out clearly ahead in class and speed which gives him an edge. Why is that number important? It identifies the horse that is in shape and like human sports competitions, the person(s) in the best shape has the advantage.

The graph on the right represents a horses’ overall rating. When you look at this graph, you will notice on the top far left, the track and race number. This is from Penn National, race two. To the right of this is this races’ class rating and its money – money being the separator for class. So, in this example, we have a $5K race and the class rating is 73. The 73 is the rating set by Equibase. At Penn 2 for this, you have a horse who raced a 62.9 overall versus a 106.2 overall. Now, #7 has a slightly better speed rating yet has been racing against lesser competition. The #10 has the best last, close speed rating, and by far best class, it would be a play. It won going away.

If you are unfamiliar with Equibase, they are the most reliable source for PP’s in the industry. Additionally, one reason why you may see us posting picks to the same tracks is Equibase installed their own GPS technology at Mahoning Valley, Penn National and is the official timer at Golden Gate, Laurel, Woodbine and Pimlico.


  • You must consult your PP’s regardless of what this graph tells you – especially in routes because this is where jockey skill makes the paramount difference. You can have the best horse in a certain race and if the jockey cannot work out a solid trip, it’s done.

  • Steer clear from an off track. Always check the weather before placing your order.

  • We are only providing you with a tool to identify potential horses in a race. You are directly responsible for your own wagering.

  • Pick your spots. It is a losing proposition to bet every race.

  • We rarely handicap maiden races and two-year-old races can be daunting – again, consult your pp’s before indulging.

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A sample SmartCap race chart.
A sample SmartCap race chart. RT
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