Del Mar (Friday-8/4/23) By Dean Keppler

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 2-Beer Can Man (Race 7)

Race #1: In a race with six new shooters, we’re going to lean on the two fillies with prior racing experience. 5-She’s My Niece goes dirt to turf for Team O’Neill after showing some ability over the main track including a second-place finish two-back at Santa Anita. Hard Spun gets an average 14% with his turf sprint runners and this looks like a soft enough spot to potentially breakthrough in start no. 4. 3-Kalifornia K was a non-threatening sixth at Los Al July 8, but attracted enough tote support that afternoon to warrant a chance to improve this afternoon for conditioner Louis Mendez who sports solid overall numbers with second-time starters. 8-Mysticism (By War Front) looks to have some good early zip during a.m. drills for Hall of Famer Richard Mandella.

Selections: 5-3-8

Race #2: 7-Brookys Gal was no match for runaway winner in Pleasanton debut July 7 but did finish second and now drops in for a first-time tag. Trainer Tim McCanna is 12 for 40 (30%) with a $2.65 ROI with MDSW to MDCLM droppers the past 5 years. 5-Unified A.P. is another filly taking a significant class plunge into Maiden Claimers this afternoon off an improved 3rd in start number two. 1-Moments Pleasure (By Clubhouse Ride) has been well-prepped by trainer Craig Lewis for today’s unveiling. These connections are off to a fast start this summer meet.

Selections: 7-5-1

Race #3: This is a tricky allowance route for a robust field of inconsistent geldings that have had their fair share of starts on varied distances and surfaces. The well-traveled road warrior 3-High Heater is back in Southern California off a 16/1 turf upset at Horseshoe Indianapolis June 17. The gelding earned the field’s best last-out grass Beyer (80) for that victory and this lucrative jockey/trainer combo is always dangerous. The speedy 6-Sunrise Journey hasn’t fared as well on grass as the main track but has won the last 3 of 5 starts on dirt and is a serious pace threat again despite removing the blinkers today and stretching out for the first time. Dirt to turf 7-Table for Ten makes the all-important third start off the bench and is a multiple winner going this mile trip. His grass effort two-back at Golden Gate matches up well here.

Selections: 3-6-7

Race #4: The graded stakes placed Maiden 1-Worcester is 0 for 7 but has managed to rack up several close finishes to coincide with his strong Beyers. He’s been an odds-on-beaten favorite in two of his last three starts and comes in here sporting a recent runner-up try at Los Al. The Empire Maker colt has good speed from the rail but loses Hernandez to stablemate 8-Confucius who stretches out in start number two for Baffert. This son of Candy Ride is likely to improve substantially going two turns, and the fact that Hernandez lands here might be telling of his chances. It’s hard to leave either colt off your tickets. 7-Yellow Brick is another colt that has simply run too well to still be stuck in the maiden ranks. He’s hit the board in six of eight starts with four second-place finishes for trainer Richard Mandella. He removes the blinkers today and comes off a two=month mini freshening.

Selections: 1-8-7

Race #5: 5-Cornelia Fort goes first off the claim today, looking to pair up one-mile turf wins. The 3-year-old filly proved successful on the stretch-out and sports the field’s best last-out grass Beyer (78)—a repeat well within reach for new connections. 2-Essential Business returned its new barn with instant dividends with a career-best main track score while making it two straight for the daughter of Practical Joke. She moves back to turf this afternoon, where she’s 0 for 4 but appears to perhaps be a better horse at age 4. 8-Court Snort makes third start off the bench today off an improving Beyer pattern and broke her Maiden over this grass course last August.

Selections: 5-2-8

Race #6: The route experiment for 1-Kangaroo Court in the grade 2 Churchill Pat Day Mile didn’t go well as he backed up badly after six furlongs. Today, the 3-year-old gelding cuts back to 7 furlongs and drops to a more appropriate level for trainer Tim Yakteen. He’s likely to be hustled along from the rail with Hernandez. 4-Bus Buzz has two wins and two seconds from 4 starts and will likely be on or close to the front again for trainer Steve Knapp. He owns the field’s best last-out main track Beyer (93) off a smashing win at Santa Anita May 28. He’s had plenty of time to recover from that effort. Multiple stakes winner 2-Giver Not a Taker is a perfect 2 for 2 over the Del Mar strip for trainer Peter Miller and makes his 3rd start off the bench this afternoon.

Selections: 1-4-2

Race #7: 2-Beer Can Man is a perfect 3 for 3 at Del Mar and 6 for 8 going 5 furlongs. He’s trained extremely well for his first start in 9 weeks for D’Amato. His stablemate 4-Turn On The Jets (Ire) holds a fitness edge over top pick with a recent race June 16 and will be tough in here if he can replicate his performance from two-back when winning the Stormy Liberal over this racetrack. 1-Whatmakessammyrun usually finds 5 furlongs a tad too short but projects to sit a favorable ground-saving trip with the rail draw and will be closing fast.

Selections: 2-4-1

Race #8: 8-Quick Buck drops in class while making his third start of the form cycle for Glatt and Hernandez. The gelding is worth a stab in the wide-open nightcap. 6-Patron d’Oro finished fifth and last when returning off a year layoff July 3 at Los Al and is eligible to move forward off that subpar performance. He posted some strong Beyer figures for this class level in previous starts (2021-22) and would crush this field if able to regain that previous form. Not convinced he can, however. 2-Tahoe Secrets drops in class and makes second start off the bench for trainer Tim Yakteen. Improvement likely. The other Tim Yakteen-trained gelding 1-Book Smart has speed, the rail, and makes his second start off the claim.

Selections: 8-6-2

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