Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 7-Major Nyquist (Race #5)
Race #1: 4-Island Life flashed excellent speed through snappy fractions before surrendering in the late stages just 13 days ago when beaten only a ½ length. She merits a serious wire-to-wire win threat today with similar effort and avoiding a prolonged duel with 5-Babe’s Got Appeal. Babe is another speedster seeking her third straight win this afternoon. The 4-year-old filly moves up in class for new barn in excellent form. 6-Ana Lisa would likely be the beneficiary of a pace meltdown if the top two lock horns and potentially come back to the field. The 7-year-old mare owns the field’s best last-out Beyer speed figure (66) with runner-up 13/1 finish going this trip. She’ll be motoring late.
Race #2: 2-Love Me Jimmy returns as a first-time gelding after continuing to plummet down the claiming ladder after several disappointing efforts this year on turf and Tapeta. This gelding has speed; has never been offered this cheaply and looms a likely wire-to-wire winner returning to dirt if there’s still some run left in the tank. 5-Elusive Virtue drops in class; is a 3-time winner at the distance and this hot jockey/trainer combo scored with longshots Shortman ($19.20) and Stay Golden ($26.40) on July 4. Beaten favorite 4-Shane Zain is another class dropper that’s won in the afternoon setting before and was a sharp wire-to-wire winner two-back under the lights.
Race #3: 4-Liberalism is the probable pacesetter and comes off a pair of runner-up finishes against much better. The 5-year-old mare is 0 for 8 at the distance but gets in light again with apprentice Emily Ellingwood and should be tough to reel in at today’s reduced level. 2-Lovely Colleen ships down from northern California for top barn making her dirt debut and has certainly faced much better stock in prior efforts. The 3-year-old filly puts blinkers back on today; has worked extremely well since last June 4 try; and appears to be main threat to top pick for trainer Jonathan Wong who has done well at this mini-Thoroughbred afternoon meet (8-2-3-1). 1-She Loves Karaoke did not show much interest in two prior afternoon starts but takes a substantial class drop today and could come to life with rail draw and hot rider.
Race #4: Trainer Steve Knapp may be 0 for 24 with debut runners but firster 7-Macho Sam (by multiple G1 winner Mucho Macho Man) meets a soft field and has trained well enough in the a.m. for unveiling. The gelding is nicely drawn outside; debuts with Lasix and attracts meet’s hot rider. 1-Mr Freebie wanted no part of going a mile in most recent start June 25 but cuts back to a sprint this afternoon and has run some competitive races at Turf Paradise three and four-back that fit well here against this suspect group. 2-Arickaree is 0 for 14 and finished a well-beaten 3rd in most recent local start June 26. The 5-year-old gelding could be closer today, however, shedding 7 lbs. with apprentice jock taking over the irons.
Race #5: 7-Major Nyquist goes turf to dirt and adds blinkers for career start number two. The well-bred juvenile colt finished ahead of next-out winner President Z in his initial start and now moves to the main track where he’s expected to show considerable improvement. Trainer Doug O’Neill scored with Humblebumblefumble July 4 making the same maneuver (2nd start going turf to dirt) and this colt posted a flashy “best of 86” 4-furlong drill July 2 with today’s new equipment in place. An expected alert break will make him tough to reel in with favorable outside draw. 5-Happy Tears is by G1 win-early sire Into Mischief and has trained sharply in the a.m. for trainer Michael McCarthy including two eye-catching 4-furlong drills that were best of 70 and 76 on the morning worktab. This conditioner revealed debut runaway winning filly Procrastination on July 4 who scored by 8 widening lengths with a (74) Beyer. 6-Crowning Gold is on the improve with escalating Beyer figures after decent runner-up finish last month over at Santa Anita and now makes the all-important 3rd career start for trainer Brian Koriner. This jockey/trainer combo scored with 10/1 gelding Finally Here last week.
Race #6: 2-Priano is a speedy lightly raced 4-year-old colt by multiple G1 winner Tiznow that’s won 2 of 3 starts for trainer Mark Glatt. He makes 2nd start off the mini-freshening today and will be forwardly placed if not on the lead again. Cedillo has been onboard for both wins including Maiden score over this racetrack. 4-Disco Ball is extremely consistent and comes in here as the one to beat for trainer Brian Koriner posting some of the better Beyer speed figures in this field that have been par or better for this class level. He only has one win in 10 starts, however, with most of his efforts filling out the underneath vertical exotics. That makes this 5-year-old a tad shaky on the win end at short odds. 7-Albizu has not been out in 8 months but has proven he can run well off the bench with win at Santa Anita last April. This 4-year-old has trained well for return for Kristen Mulhall and has shown a versatile running style that bodes well here.
Race #7: If 1-Keep Your Coil can string together back-to-back sharp efforts she’ll be tough to overhaul in this nonwinners of two lifetime claiming sprint. The filly just missed by a head against slightly better with a (79) Beyer going 6 furlongs 12 days ago and now shortens up to 5 panels. 6-Shout It Out is only 1 for 21 but consistently hits the board for claiming giant Jonathan Wong and projects to get a nice stalking trip with outside draw. She was a wide 3rd at Pleasanton just 6 days ago and this barn clicks close to 30% with these types of quick turnarounds. 3-Talkative Gal had more of a bobble than stumble (as indicated in the chart call) in last start when finishing a disappointing 5th while scrubbed on quite heavily to keep up while coming up totally flat. The 3-year-old filly takes a substantial class drop this afternoon and makes her 3rd start off the layoff. If she can revert to her effort two-back, she’ll be tough against this reduced level. At a likely short price, however, we’ll be trying to beat her in this spot with the assumption that today’s class plunge is perhaps a fire sale before upcoming Del Mar.
Race #8: 1-Jamming Eddy moves back to dirt after being solidly overmatched in the All American at Golden Gate and now makes 3rd start off the mini-freshening for trainer Quinn Howey. This 6-year-old gelding will likely be sent from the rail today with Baze onboard and looms a solid upset chance if he can somehow work out a favorable trip. He did finish first under the wire locally but was Dq’d to 5th back in December earning a strong (84) Beyer. A similar effort makes him a contender today. 9-Handsome Cat has not been seen since May of last year, but this barn excels with these layoff types going 2 for 3 locally and 14 for 37 (38%) with a $3.33 ROI overall with horse returning off >180 days the past 2 years. The gelding is 3 for 5 at 6 furlongs. 5-Crash Corrigan goes turf to dirt; puts blinkers back on today; and returns to local surface where he’s had previous success for trainer Lorenzo Ruiz.