2022 Laurel Futurity Cheatsheet
By TwinSpires Editorial Team, Sponsored Content

By Vance Hanson (TwinSpires.com)

1. QUINCY CAFE (12-1) – Earned his maiden win via disqualification when last seen at the end of July, and had shown gradual improvement sprinting up to that point; this half-brother to recent Test (G1) winner Chi Town Lady figures to enjoy the surface switch, being by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Mendelssohn, a 13% turf debut sire; added ground doesn’t figure to hurt today either.

2. DATAMAN (6-1) – Class drop and added distance seemed to have helped this gray score second out at Colonial, and he was subsequently flattered when returning rival Otago graduated next out at Pimlico; dam has also reared French Group 2 winner Alignement and the multiple turf stakes-winning Alda, so there’s a family history of success in black type events; things to like.

3. DANDY HANDYMAN (5-1) – Rallied well from 11 lengths down to graduate in a photo on debut at Colonial last month for a barn better known for its work with jumpers, and posted a solid 90 Brisnet Late Pace rating in the process; backers won’t get 22-1 again here, but price should still be fair in a competitive field; dam a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Maram, so things to like from a pedigree perspective, too.

4. FIRE BARON (7-2) – Showed notable improvement second out at Kentucky Downs for Maker, who tends to point for that meet, but still fell several lengths short against maiden foes; has shown a tendency thus far to breaking a tad slow, a potential problem in a seemingly competitive field; a lukewarm early choice on the ML among the intended turf starters, but would demand a better price given his maiden status.

5. FUN LOVIN CRIMINAL (8-1) – The first of four entered here for the main track only, he won for fun by a dozen lengths second out when dropping into a $40,000 maiden claimer at Monmouth; even if this gets rained off, he’d have much ground to make up on the likes of Quincy Café, who finished well ahead of him first out.

6. CONGRUENT (5-1) – Outrun in latest facing winners for the first time at Delaware in his debut outside Florida; things to like pedigree-wise as he moves to the turf as Tapit has had numerous top-level turf performers and G2-winning dam has produced turf stakes winner Oceans Map; however, would have preferred to see a stronger prep leading into this; leaning elsewhere, especially if the ML price holds.

7. HENDRICKSON (6-1) – A no-show in his debut on turf at Monmouth, he improved dramatically with blinkers at Presque Isle, showing more tactical foot and scoring by 2 1/2 lengths while beating a pair of next-out winners; although Nyquist only a 9% first turf sire, his get includes turf graded winners include Gretzky the Great and Slow Down Andy; however, this colt’s dam was a dirt sprint specialist; mixed signals.

8. OTAGO (15-1) – A Speightstown half-brother to multiple G3 turf winner Mom’s On Strike, he rebounded from a debut third to Dataman to score wire-to-wire in an off-the-turf Pimlico maiden contested in the slop; met little resistance walking on the front end that day, and obviously will have to step things up a bit here while attempting to cut into the margin between himself and Dataman.

9. WE DON’T NEED ROADS (12-1) – Tried twice to run on the turf at Delaware to no avail, but showed main track prowess when narrowly missing first out and then winning by three lengths in the follow-up; pedigree geared toward dirt, so deserving of a look if this gets rained off.

10. FREEDOM ROAD (3-1) – An upset winner first out, he was similarly long odds for the one-mile Sapling S. but made little impact in a 10-length defeat; dam was a multiple stakes winner on this circuit, thus he’s bred to a be a useful runner, but ML price on this MTO entry seems low, given he’ll need to improve significantly off his stakes debut.

11. SPLENDOR BEAUTY (7-2) – Among the MTO entries that graduated at Monmouth, he might deserve the most respect as he beat open maidens over a distance of ground and didn’t necessarily have the most ideal pace setup either; was a bit of a surprise that day at 11-1, and this obviously will be a sterner test if he winds up starting.

12. FREE SOUL (12-1) – Perked up when switched to the grass at Colonial in early August, but was no match when beaten 11 lengths into third over the same course in the Kitten’s Joy S.; seemingly needs to kick his game up a notch or two here, especially facing more lightly-raced rivals who have relatively more room for improvement.

13. ROAN BURGUNDY (4-1) – Cleverly-named colt won sprinting first out at a short price against four rivals, and now must stretch that speed over a distance of ground and on an unfamiliar surface; sire gets turf debut winners at a 12% rate, while female family hasn’t yielded much in the way of black type earners in recent generations.