Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 8-Tastefor the King (Ire) (Race #5)
Race #1: 1-Doc Adams has won two straight over the main track and now switches to turf off the Steve Knapp claim. The gelding’s two prior grass tries were competitive and his breeding on both sides suggest he should be just as good on turf. 3-Big Hand stretches back out making second start off the mini-freshening off a good closing 3rd and returns to the optional $20k 1X level. Recent Maiden winner 6-Fore Flag broke through in career start number 13 defeating a next-out winner in recent victory October 9 and has run well over this Del Mar grass course.
Race #2: 1-Bochombo goes turf to dirt and second off the claim for trainer Ron Ellis who is 5 for 15 (33%) with a $5.59 ROI with this claiming angle. The 3-year-old colt earned a career and field best (91) Beyer figure at Los Al two-back on September 18 finishing second over a pair of next-out winners. 6-Micky From Wexford goes first off the claim for barn that has above average numbers with new acquisitions coming off a solid (86) Beyer. The gelding showed much-improved speed in recent start and gets in light again this afternoon. 4-Joker Boy takes a substantial class plunge today and has run well over this racetrack registering both victories locally to begin career for trainer Brian Koriner.
Race #3: The speed of the speed appears to be 3-Angelcents who goes dirt to turf today and is 4 for 9 going 5 furlongs on grass. This barn scored with Bali Dancer ($24.40) in last Friday’s nightcap and finished second with 8/1 Taming the Tigress last Sunday. 5-Ain’t Easy makes grass debut; adds Lasix and comes off a 4-month freshening for D’Amato while exiting 5 consecutive graded stake races. The filly is by top sire Into Mischief who gets 13% with his grass sprint prodigy. Her recent 4-furlong drill indicates turf success may be in her future. 2-Pammy’s Ready goes route to sprint today and drops out of the G3 Autumn Miss for trainer Peter Miller. This filly has run 3 solid efforts over this turf course and Prat takes over the riding assignment. D’Amato’s other runner 7-That’s Amare is proven off the bench.
Race #4: 1-So It Would Seem moves up off sharp win and Knapp claim with speed on the rail. This filly’s recent (71) Beyer is above par for this class level. 6-Bowl of Cherries is back sprinting and was a strong winner at 7-furlongs two-back over N3L types. 5-Little Rachel was a voided claim in last but has won 2 of 3 of her recent starts from off the pace and owns the field’s best last out dirt Beyer (73). A contested early pace would obviously help her chances.
Race #5: 8-Tastefor the King exits a 6th place finish in bulky Kentucky Downs field on September 11 for breeder/trainer Wesley Ward. This juvenile gelding likely got a lot out of that debut experience and attracts Velasquez for southern California unveiling. He’ll likely show more gate speed today which is typical of this lucrative barn. Beaten favorite 5-Rexford is on the improve for D’Amato and comes off a good third behind recent Maiden winner Ransomware. This colt is the most experienced runner in the field. 9-Seal Team is a juvenile colt by War Front who debuts for Prat and Mandella off solid a.m. drills. This barn is a strong 21% with turf sprint debut runners. 3-Captain Sparrow is by G1 winner Speightstown and has trained well for unveiling. The colt attracts Hernandez for debut, but barn is only 1 for 52 (2%) with first time starters on turf the past 5 years. A legitimate reason for concern. The same holds true for stablemate 7-Zihuatanejo.
Race #6: 6-Blessed Touch is the one to beat off impressive recent wire-to-wire Maiden victory where she earned a (90) Beyer. She’s projected to be the frontrunner again today making her first stakes start this afternoon for trainer Tim Yakteen. 1-Justique goes route to sprint and comes off a beaten 3rd in the G2 Chandelier Stakes on October 8. This $725K Keeneland purchase by triple Crown winner Justify has worked extremely well since that effort including a recent “best of 34” 5-furlongs in :58 flat. 2-Parody is one of two Baffert-trained fillies in here. This gal was a debut winner over the sloppy going at Churchill over a big field October 30 and has trained extremely well since arriving in southern California for new conditioner. Her stablemate 4-Huntingcoco also drops out of the Chandelier where she was well-beaten (nearly 40 lengths) but perhaps can compete going 7 panels after encouraging sprint Maiden win back in September.
Race #7: A handful of these colts and geldings exit the same Maiden Special Weight turf route on October 1. Beaten favorite 3-Quintecents makes 3rd start of the bench today and will likely attract a ton of support again after encountering traffic problems in multiple spots during the stretch run. He’s reunited with Velasquez who was aboard for 2nd place finish two-back over this turf course. He’ll be forwardly placed. Both 1-One More Bid and 7-Dancing Rinka exit the aforementioned October 1 event. Bid co-tops the field’s best last out turf Beyer (83); draws the rail and should be able to save a ton of ground. Rinka adds blinkers; makes 3rd start off the extended layoff and comes in with an improving Beyer pattern. 5-Six Magpies (Ire) makes first start stateside for trainer Neil Drysdale and jockey Flavian Prat after finishing 3rd of 14 in career debut on September 13 while carrying 134 pounds.
Race #8: 4-Big City Lights has won 3 of 4 for trainer Richard Mandella with lone runner-up defeat occurring in most recent start in the E.B. Johnston Stakes behind 5-The Chosen Vron. The colt has been freshened since then; continues to work sharply in the a.m. and can perhaps turn the tables this afternoon with a gate to wire theft. Vron seeks third straight returning to main track today but is 0 for 3 going 7 furlongs. 6-None Above the Law has run equally well on dirt and grass; is reunited with winning rider this afternoon and would be the most likely to benefit from a swiftly contested early pace. The 4-year-old gelding owns the field’s top TimeformUS late pace figure (100).
Race #9: 1-Carpe Fortuna came up just a neck short in game try October 2 when attempting to wire the field. The 4-year-old filly stretches out today; makes 2nd start off the bench and moves all the way to the rail. Berrios should be able to work out a favorable journey. 5-Kitty Kitana (Ire) is reunited with winning rider Prat and drops out of the G3 Autumn Miss stakes where she was a wide closing 3rd. 10-Batyah is drawn outside but has been freshened for trainer Graham Motion who has a win and two seconds so far at the Bing Crosby meet. This filly adds blinkers today; is proven over a route of ground is likely well-meant for her southern California unveiling. 3-Gimme Mo Baby is one of two George Papaprodromou-trained fillies in the nightcap that also come out of the Autumn Miss and get substantially better post draws today. Both fillies broke their Maidens over this turf course three-back.
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