Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 1-Carmen Miranda (Race 5)
Race #1: 7-Fulminate has speed and is drawn outside for trainer Peter Miller on the class drop. This filly is 3 for 6 going 5 furlongs on grass and gets a big jockey upgrade to Prat this afternoon. 6-Flat Out Joy rallied for second at 31/1 with the switch back to grass in most recent effort earning the field’s best last-out turf Beyer (74). 3-R Girl’s Werth It has good positional speed and finished a good third off the mini-freshening for trainer Mike Puype. The 3-year-old filly merits a look in here if she can move forward off that effort.
Race #2: 2-Ice Dancing drops back into the MDSW ranks after back-to-back graded stakes attempts for Mandella where she was hardly disgraced finishing 3rd and 4th respectively behind multiple graded stakes winner And Tell Me Nolies. She projects to be on or close to the lead this afternoon cutting back to a mile. Beaten favorite 5-Doinitthehardway goes two sprints to a route for Baffert; is bred to stretch-out and this lucrative jockey/trainer combo are 4 for 9 (44%) at DMR with horses returning off 61 to 180 days’ rest. 1-Moonlit Mischief adds blinkers and makes the all-important 3rd career start. The equipment change could help this filly with a better break from the rail.
Race #3: This is a tricky and competitive $50k Maiden Claiming grass route for 3-year-old and up colts and geldings. 7-Naismith grinded out some snappy fractions on the front end before tiring late in most recent effort and the blinkers come off today for Mandella. The 4-year-old colt comes in with an improving Beyer pattern and gets tepid vote. 1-The Key Is Unity is a logical threat again coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes at this level. 2-Amerta Code goes turf to dirt with the addition of blinkers today and makes the always dangerous class drop from MDSW to Maiden Claimers for top barn. This 3-year-old gelding is by Honor Code who gets somewhat average 13% with his grass route prodigy. 5-Piroli moves back to grass; makes first start for a tag today and 3rd start off the layoff. This barn is a solid 8 for 27 (30%) with MDSW to MDCL dropdowns. I’ll probably use all 4 on multi-race exotic tickets.
Race #4: First time gelding 3-Stay in the Game makes second start for a tag today and exits October 15 race that’s produced a pair of next-out winners. The speedy 4-King Zog has 3 runner-up finishes from 5 career starts and has been beaten favorite in 3 of his last 4 for trainer Steve Miyadi. Veteran rider Kent Desormeaux takes over while looking for his first win of the meet since his sabbatical. 7-Chickinfingerfriday goes turf to dirt on the cutback for O’Neill’s assistant Mora while making his first start for a tag. He may sit the perfect stalking trip this afternoon. Trainer Doug O’Neil is serving a 30-day suspension for a positive drug infraction for starter Worse Read Sanchez back in May at Golden Gate.
Race #5: 1-Carmen Miranda showed good early zip when finishing 2nd at this level back in September and co-tops the field’s best last-out turf Beyer (79). This filly is reunited with Prat and this lucrative jockey/trainer combo are 3 for 6 (50%) at DMR with horses returning off 180 days plus on grass. 3-La Deuxieme Etoile stretches back out to a mile today which was the distance of her Maiden victory two-back and ran on well for 3rd in last when making first start against winners. The filly has continued to improve with each start since last January. Recent Maiden winner 6-Don’t Ju Forget stretches back out today after posting a solid turf figure in last that’s above par for this class level. She’s a logical fit making first start against winners.
Race #6: 2-Holden the Lute is reunited with winning rider from two-back where he earned a strong (94) Beyer against cheaper going this mile trip and was a good second against similar in last. The 5-year-old gelding has 3 solid drills since his last start. 4-Breakfast Ride has good early zip and was a back-to-back winner over this course two and three-back for trainer John Sadler. A strong wire-to-wire threat today but must avoid a pace tussle with It’s My House. 5-Order and Law gets some well-needed class relief this afternoon and should get a lively pace to potentially close into. This 7-time winner has run well over the Del Mar main track.
Race #7: 1-The Grey Wizard (Ire) ships west for trainer Graham Motion and was a runner-up in a Grade 3 in New York two-back going this marathon trip. The gelding has trained well over the local sod and should be able to save a ton of ground with the rail draw. 7-Dicey Mo Chara (GB) likes this turf course and comes in with two back-to-back strong Grade 2 grass efforts and Beyers (98,97) making him the one to beat in the G2 Hollywood Turf Cup Stakes. Trainer Phil D’Amato has a pair of 4-year-old geldings lined up in here. 6-Prince Abama (Ire) is unproven going this far but has two wins over the DMR turf course and is projected to be forwardly placed. 2-Cash Equity (Fr) should improve making 2nd start since July.
Race #8: Trainer Bob Baffert has a pair of juvenile colts in this Maiden Special Weight dirt route. 1-Reincarnate is the logical choice off three consecutive runner-up finishes and recent (80) Beyer earned over the main track finishing behind stablemate Fort Bragg. The $775K Keeneland purchase by multiple G1 winner Good Magic moves inside today and should break through in career start number 4 today. 2-Odonata finished behind top pick in last. 4-Riverside comes in with an improving Beyer pattern and switches to Prat. 8-Eastbound goes turf to dirt making second start off the mini-freshening. He was a closing 3rd in debut over the main track back in August.
Race #9: 1-Ruby Ray returns off an 8-month freshening and drops back in for a tag today for Team O’Neill connections. If she can repeat that last (75) turf Beyer earned back in March, she’ll be tough to overhaul in the Friday nightcap. Beaten favorite 5-Tiergarten makes 2nd start for a tag on the stretch-out. Class dropping 8-Saddle Up Jessie makes 2nd start off the extended layoff on the stretch-out and this barn has above average numbers with MDSW to MDCLM dropdowns. Prat takes over.