Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 2-Slow Down Andy (Race #6)
Race #1: 8-Packs a Wahlop was well bet in Gulfstream sloppy debut June 3 when finishing an even disappointing fourth and now heads west and moves to turf for career start number two. This 2-year-old colt has enough grass pedigree to compete here and is likely to move forward this afternoon. 2-Kid Azteca adds blinkers and moves back to grass dropping out of a small stake at Pleasanton for career start number three for trainer Peter Miller. This juvenile colt is by Sharp Azteca who is 2 for 5 with turf sprint starters. 4-Gas Me Up had an excusable troubled trip in debut when off slow and wide and this son of Hard Spun (who gets 15% with grass starters) can improve for trainer Peter Eurton.
Race #2: 2-Alleva looks for back-to-back wins today as the 6-year-old gelding goes out for new conditioner Jonathan Wong this afternoon off recent $10,000 claim June 26. He adds blinkers for new barn that clicks close to 30% with new acquisitions and they scored with first off the claim gelding Eleniak last Saturday. 10-Gray Magician goes route to sprint and second off the claim for trainer Mark Glatt who is 4 for 11 (36%) with $3.96 ROI the past 2 years with this claiming angle. This 6-year-old gelding has never been offered this cheaply in 23 career starts and owns the field’s best last out dirt Beyer (71). 11-Cajun Treasure is wheeled back on short rest for trainer Peter Miller who is 7 for 21 (33%) with horses going route to sprint on dirt at Del Mar off this type of quick turnaround.
Race #3: Likely pacesetter 7-Give Me the Lute is a 5-furlong grass specialist with 4 wins and two seconds from 8 starts and comes off a game wire-to-wire score at Golden Gate in the Albany Stakes over two next-out winners. That was his first start in 8 months for trainer Andy Mathis who is off to a quick start this current meet. 2-Air Force Red has won 3 of 4 turf sprints for trainer Leonard Powell and goes from 6 ½ to 5 furlongs this afternoon. He defeated next-out stakes winning gelding Irideo (Arg) in most recent start June 12 who came back to fire a (95) Beyer. The Argentinian bred 6-Dubai Key is 2 for 2 on American soil with back-to-back sprint synthetic victories at Gulfstream Park and was a stakes winner in Chile on grass. This barn scored with Florida invader Perfectible Lady last Sunday.
Race #4: 9-Tequila Tigre is on the improve and comes in with the field’s best last out Beyer (62) off back-to-back runner-up finishes for trainer Steve Knapp. The 3-year-old filly lands in a weak field that she should be able to handle. 3-Tiger Spice is by multiple Grade 1 winner Smiling Tiger and comes in here with some decent a.m. drills for a lucrative jockey/trainer combo that are 4 for 11 (36%) with a $5.51 ROI at Del Mar. She debuts with Lasix off a decent worktab. 1-Miss Baylee moves inside and is a logical fit here off recent 2nd place finish and career best Beyer. The 4-year-old filly has steadily improved since moving back to the main track the first week of March 2021.
Race #5: 1-Dancing Crane moves back to grass her preferred surface where she was a winner and runner-up at the start of this year. She’s run par or better for this level on numerous occasions and could be tough to reel in here with an alert break. This 4-year-old filly loses Hernandez this afternoon but picks up top turf pilot Rispoli who has been dominant over this grass course thus far. Hernandez lands on first off the claim 4-Invincibella (GB) who makes her first start for trainer Bill Spawr. This mare is reunited with her winning rider today and should appreciate cutting back to 5 furlongs. 7-Miss Carousel is a multiple winner over this track and distance and makes her 2nd start off the bench today for trainer Ed Freeman. This gal will be flying late.
Race #6: 2-Slow Down Andy removes the blinkers today and cuts back in distance off a beaten favorite runner-up effort in the Los Alamitos Derby. This talented colt by Nyquist makes his second start off the bench today for trainer Doug O’Neill and should be a handful with a likely move forward. 9-Big City Lights was unfortunately sidelined with a knee chip injury after two smashing runaway winning performances last May and June and now returns for new conditioner Richard Mandella off a string of solid drills for his long-awaited return. The 3-year-old colt must negotiate a tricky 7 furlongs for return, however, and could perhaps be a tad short on conditioning. 4-Smugglers Run moves back to dirt and has trained extremely well off the mini-freshening.
Race #7: The key to this $40K 1x optional claiming turf marathon may be who decides to take the initiative and grab the early lead in what appears to be (at least on paper) a paceless affair. 6-Kingmax (Ire) adds Lasix for U.S. unveiling and is graded stakes placed over at Ascot for new conditioner Jack Sisterson who is 2 for 5 (40%) with foreign shipper new acquisitions. The 3-year-old colt meets older but has trained well locally. 7-Avenue has improved with each start of 2022 and comes in off a decent 3rd place try in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano. Recent Maiden winner 5-Flintmore is one of two D’Amato trained geldings in here and could get brave if sent for the lead in this spot.
Race #8: 6-One More Bid goes turf to dirt for trainer Ryan Hanson and has been training lights our over the Del Mar main track in recent weeks. The 3-year-old gelding gets his 4th different jockey for career start number 5. 3-American Refugee is a $475K Keeneland purchase by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah who is one of three Baffert 3-year-olds in the nightcap. This firster shows a long and productive set of a.m. drills for today’s unveiling. 11-Famous Star removes the blinkers today after setting unrealistic fractions on the front end in most recent start and understandably tiring to finish a well-beaten fourth. The colt’s efforts two and three-back were sharp, however, and he projects to get a favorable stalking journey with outside post and new pilot Juan Hernandez.