Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 2-Rvalentina (Race 7)
Race #1: Trainer Peter Miller has a pair of juvenile colts in the Sunday opener. 1-Kid Azteca comes off a decent second place finish against similar rivals October 23 and projects to sit a favorable stalking trip with today’s rail draw. His stablemate 4-Castleknock has good early zip and broke his Maiden in strong wire-to-wire fashion going this mile trip over this turf course. Prat takes over. 5-Malibu Coast finished 3rd behind Castleknock in the G3 Zuma Beach in most recent effort but also broke his Maiden here two-back and now makes the all-important 3rd career start for McCarthy.
Race #2: 6-Shady Empire moves up some in class after successfully beating N3L types down at Santa Anita October 28 but comes in with an improving Beyer pattern and makes 3rd start off the positive form cycle. The veteran 7-year-old 1-Italiano drops below $25k claiming purchase price from two-back but returns to his preferred surface for trainer Steve Knapp and drilled a sharp 4 furlongs in :47 flat in preparation for this today. 5-Joe Don Looney adds blinkers; drops in class and is a multiple winner over this racetrack. The 4-year-old gelding projects to be forwardly placed with aggressive gate rider Maldonado taking over.
Race #3: 2-Ready Soul returns off a 9-month freshening for D’Amato with an encouraging work pattern and gets some class relief dropping out of back-to-back Grade 3 events when last seen. He’s reunited with winning rider and this lucrative jockey/trainer combo are 5 for 15 (33%) with a $2.97 ROI with horses returning off >180 days rest on grass. 3-Coast of Roan moves inside on the stretch-out for Mullins and is projected to be on or close to the lead this afternoon. The 6-year-old gelding could get brave if left alone to carve out all the fractions. 5-Hawk of War was a voided claim in most recent effort when coming up just a neck short but was a game winner of 4 of his previous 5 starts in the Midwest before making his southern California debut.
Race #4: 5-Everlys Girl moves back to dirt her preferred surface today where she was a sharp winner two-back at Santa Anita going 6 furlongs with a (73) Beyer. She projects to be perched just behind likely pacesetter Laurel Canyon and hopefully run that one down late while getting first jump on the stone closers. 1-Crimson Rose comes off a troubled trip runner-up finish and fits well in here. 4-Shared Future goes route to sprint and exits a September 22 race at Los Al that’s produced a pair of next-out winners. This 3-year-old filly should be rolling late.
Race #5: Three of the main contenders exit the same October 8 6-furlong grass sprint. 1-Cuban Crisis returned off an 8-month freshening to finish a strong 3rd behind next-out winning filly Phenom who returned to score with an (80) Beyer for D’Amato. This import has been a beaten favorite in 2 of his 3 stateside starts but looks primed to break through this afternoon for trainer Mark Glatt. 9-Real Fire exits the same race as top choice; makes 3rd start off the bench and is reunited with Prat who was aboard for a beaten favorite 2nd place “off the turf” finish two-back. 4-Dream a Dream battled on the lead through some snappy fractions before finally surrendering late. It was an encouraging game performance.
Race #6: Trainer Bob Baffert has another pair of talented juvenile colts lined up in here. 6-Gilmore is by G1 winner Twirling Candy who gets a solid 18% with his 2-year-old first time starter prodigy. This lucrative jockey/trainer combo are 3 for 5 (60%) with a $3.72 ROI with debut runners at DMR. His stablemate 5-Massimo drops out of the Capote Stakes; removes the blinkers today and has run three competitive Beyer figures for this MDSW level. 7-Navy Man is a $475K Keeneland purchase by Bolt d’Oro who should appreciate getting off the rail and was a decent 3rd behind two Baffert runners on October 9 unveiling. The colt earned an encouraging (80) Beyer for that effort. 4-Sully is an expensive $700k Keeneland purchase by Uncle Mo, but the Sheriff’s barn is only 1 for 34 (3%) with first time starters at DMR the past 5 years.
Race #7: 2-Rvalentina makes second start off the claim for Mullins and comes off a sharp runner-up effort October 15 finishing in front of three of the same fillies and mares she faces this afternoon. She should be on or close to the lead in this spot. Recent 19/1 upset Maiden winner 3-Weemissgrammy must be respected off greatly improved (74) turf Beyer after getting trounced in 3 prior main track sprint starts. 4-Classy is still a Maiden facing winners but also improved immensely in career start number two with the move to turf finishing 3rd behind Weemissgrammy. Prat takes over which is an encouraging sign.
Race #8: 3-Fun to Dream has won 3 of 4 for Baffert in impressive fashion and should be on or close to the lead in this stake event that appears (at least on paper) to have come up light on early pace. This daughter of Arrogate has already proven she can handle the sometimes tricky 7 furlongs. The obvious knock is the very short price. 4-Big Novel is multiple stakes placed and has been freshened for trainer John Sadler. 5-Taming the Tigress is the most experienced filly in the race with 6 wins from 16 starts and goes first off the claim off sharp grass win.
Race #9: The Sunday finale is an extremely competitive turf route for juvenile fillies and looks like a spread race to close out the multi-race exotics. 2-La Peer stumbled at the start of most recent try; recovered along the inside and then faced traffic issues in deep stretch when coming up only a ½ length short. She co-tops the field’s best last grass Beyer (69) with 10-Jennifer’s d’Light who exits the same race as top choice after flashing good speed and tiring late. She switches to Velasquez and is likely to move forward off that encouraging effort. 8-Window Shopping is a $700K Keeneland purchase by American Pharoah who comes in with a flashy worktab for trainer Richard Mandella. A mile on grass is a tough task at first asking but this shrewd barn has a respectable 16% with turf debut runners and Hernandez lands here. 3-The Dance Between is the other D’Amato runner who goes two sprints to a route today and comes in off a sharp sub :47 4-furlong drill in preparation for this on November 6. Prat takes over.