Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 5-Shedaresthedevil (Race #9)
Race #1: 7-Still On the Books move back to the main track after a failed turf attempt but his dirt efforts two and three-back were competitive for this level including hitting Beyer par (72) with a 2nd place runner-up finish July 9. Today’s class plunge should propel him into the winner’s circle. 4-Multi Platinum showed brief tactical early foot before tiring badly in June 19 debut and now is hastily dropped in for a tag for team Baffert. This is a maneuver that’s rarely seen from this lucrative barn, but the colt did return to fire two sharp 5-furlong drills since then. 1-Ninja Warrior showed little in both Churchill starts but gets the complete makeover this afternoon adding blinkers; dropping in class; cutting back in distance and going turf to dirt.
Race #2: 6-Newpark has good speed; drops in class and broke his Maiden over this turf course going 5 furlongs. The gelding simply went too fast too early in most recent start carving out taxing fractions that understandably took its toll late. Prior to that effort, he had two strong back-to-back wire-to-wire wins for trainer Adam Kitchingman. 9-Chaos Theory has been plagued by layoff lines but has met much tougher in prior starts and is an immediate threat at this reduced level with hot turf rider climbing back onboard. The 7-year-old gelding is a 5-furlong distance specialist (6 for 12) and he likes this turf course (2 for 3). 2-Encroachment delivered immediate dividends with sharp win off the claim. She earned the field’s best last-out grass Beyer (87) in doing so and has had good prior success here breaking Maiden back in November 2021.
Race #3: 3-Taming the Tigress goes turf to dirt and has been freshened for this for trainer Peter Miller who has above average numbers with this surface change. This 4-year-old filly is a multiple winner over the track and distance and this jockey/trainer combo scored with the filly V Bucks last Sunday. 8-Smitten by Kitten figures to attract solid support in here off back-to-back runner-up finishes for trainer Mark Glatt. The 4-year-old filly earned some of the highest main track Beyers in the field with those pair of efforts and anything resembling either of those tries would make her tough in here. 6-Lexington Humor is one of two Jonathan Wong-trained fillies in here going turf to dirt. This gal is lightly raced; adds blinkers and has trained very well locally.
Race #4: 5-Cinnte Winnte was perhaps claimed June 4 with this meet in mind by trainer Ryan Hanson coming off a respectable 3rd place finish. The 5-year-old removes the blinkers today and ran very well over this turf course in 2021. Trainer Mike Maker has yet to get on track here as of this writing but 7-Madeira Wine ships in from Gulfstream where she’s held her own against South Florida’s best mid-level turf claimers and this gal attracts meet’s leading rider for this spot. 2-Joymaker has speed; moves inside and has run some competitive turf figures up at Golden Gate.
Race #5: 3-Mister Iceman is by win-early sire Girvin (4 for 12) and finished second best to a Baffert firster in July 24 unveiling. The juvenile colt is now wheeled back rather quickly for trainer Peter Miller and holds the experience edge over several of these runners. Another swift working Baffert juvenile is 6-Carmel Road who comes in here off barn’s typical fast a.m. drills. He’s a $650K Keeneland purchase by multiple Grade 1 winner Quality Road. Churchill shipper 7-Eakly ran ok to be second in his debut try June 23 at long odds in a productive race that’s produced 1 next-out winner and a couple others that have returned to run well. He’s another with prior racing experience which usually provides these juvenile runners with a leg up.
Race #6: 3-Grazen Touch ran very well coming off an extended layoff when flashing good tactical early zip and finishing in front of Airkita June 11 while earning the field’s best last-out turf Beyer (56). This filly goes 2nd time Lasix and should appreciate the cut back to 5 furlongs. 1-Margot is by He Be Fire N Ice who gets 16% with his 3-year-old debut runners and this barn has had some decent success with turf sprint runners at Del Mar over the years. Sadler is a solid 6 for 27 (22%) with a $3.33 ROI. 10-Airkita must negotiate post 10 again for career start number two but ran on well enough beaten less than 3 lengths in unveiling for trainer Phil D’Amato to be considered a threat with any normal 2nd out improvement. Top turf pilot sticks here.
Race #7: 8-Carnivore was claimed for $40,000 and now drops down to $16k for a jockey/trainer combo that are 4 for 14 (29%) with new acquisitions. This 3-year-old gelding ships east in sharp form and is supposed to handle this inferior bunch. Likely pacesetter 6-Economical was overmatched in most recent start but now drops back down to a more realistic level and defeated a next-out winner two back who came back to win with a (75) Beyer. 3-Primer Dimer drops in class; goes turf to dirt and broke his Maiden over this track going a mile last November.
Race #8: If the projected swift early pace does in fact materialize that should set things up nicely for 6-Street Shadow who has been somewhat pace compromised in recent starts at Lone Star and Turf Paradise. This barn finished a close-up third at long odds with similar recent shipper. 4-Deise Delight stretches back out making 2nd start off the layoff today for trainer Doug O’Neill and has trained smartly locally since that last 3rd place finish. A move forward would make her dangerous in here. Recent Maiden winner 5-Sweet and Cheeky moves up to face winners off career best grass Beyer and is bred to go long making the two-sprints-to-a-route maneuver for trainer Mark Glatt.
Race #9: Multiple Grade 1 winner 5-Shedaresthedevil is 10 for 20 lifetime for trainer Brad Cox and took this event last year in impressive fashion sitting just off the pacesetters. She comes into this year’s event in top form coming off an impressive win in the Grade 2 Fleur De Lis at Churchill earning a field’s best last-out 97 Beyer speed figure. Her regular rider is already on-site spending the meet at Del Mar. 3-Desert Dawn stumbled badly at the start losing all chance as the heavy favorite in the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks but has returned to drill a “best of 91” 5-furlongs in :59 flat July 31 indicating she’s rebounded nicely for trainer Phil D’Amato. 4-Private Mission has good tactical early foot and makes 2nd start off the layoff today for Team Baffert coming off a nice score in the Grade 2 Santa Maria.
Race #10: 2-Carmelita’s Man has been freshened off rallying win in the Crystal Water Stakes May 28 at Santa Anita and has run well over this turf course in prior efforts. The 5-year-old gelding owns the field’s best last-out grass Beyer (86) and has 2 sharp recent drills over the track. 7-Jimmy Blue Jeans has good tactical early zip which should serve him well in this spot and has shown his affinity for this grass course with win here last summer. 10-The Chosen Vron makes turf debut and stretches out this afternoon but has the pedigree to likely successfully make the surface switch and there’s no denying the geldings’ ability having won 5 of 7 including a pair of grade 3 events.
Race #11: Beaten favorite 4-Always Litt stumbled and was off slowly in most recent start at Pleasanton spotting the field about 3 lengths. The gelding gathered himself and showed some momentum approaching the half mile marker and then made an ok belated stretch run. He drops in for a tag today and picks up Hernandez. 7-Dutch Bus has been knocking on the door in recent starts running par or better for this class level and now gets key rider change to Florent Geroux dropping back down into the Maiden Claiming ranks. 2-Rusty B Cause has trained well enough for unveiling and this jockey/trainer combo had a first-time starter winner here last summer.