Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 5-Ice Cold Gold (Race #5)
Race #1: There’s a good chance we might see a repeat of the June 25 exacta from 9 days ago when 6-Harper’s Gem soundly defeated and rebuffed Soul Prodigy at this same 5 ½ furlong trip. The veteran 7-year-old gelding seeks his 3rd consecutive victory and makes his 3rd start off the mini-freshening. 1-Soul Prodigy had to settle for the runner-up spot behind top choice but did run well enough to merit consideration again. 4-Fly Buddy Fly has not been out in a year after defeating low-level claimers at Golden Gate over the Tapeta. This barn excels with these long layoff types and is 2 for 3 (67%) with a $4.53 ROI with horses returning off >180 Days at Los Al. 2-Highly Distorted has shown little form this current year but takes a substantial class drop today for trainer Mike Puype and does have some good early tactical speed. This barn clicks close to 30% with similar double dip class dropdowns and hot rider stays aboard. The obvious knock is the expected low odds and suspicious drop.
Race #2: 2-Humblebumblefumble holds the experience edge over the rest of the field after racing greenly and somewhat erratically through opening quarter mile of turf debut. The colt adds much needed blinkers today; moves to the main track and drops into Maiden Claimers for trainer Doug O’Neill. 1-Vendaval is one of two Hector Palma-trained geldings debuting in here. This juvenile has an average worktab but is by multiple G2 winner Danzig Candy who is an impressive 5 for 21 (23%) with 2-year-old first time starters. 3-West Bay comes in here off some flashy a.m. drills for conditioner Ryan Hanson and is by multiple G1 winner West Coast.
Race #3: 1-Kelani Kim moves up off the Adam Kitchingman claim and cuts back to a sprint after wire-to-wire score going a mile. The 6-year-old mare defeated Wild Arch in that May 22 race and she came back to win with a (69) Beyer at Los Al when defeating $16k claimers. 3-Marie moves up in class seeking 4th consecutive win. She’s shown the versatility to sit just off the frontrunners and still finish and that running style may suit her best today as she faces steeper waters. 6-Full of Grace has been freshened for this and has some back class. The 6-year-old mare has run well at this 5 ½ furlong trip and should be motoring home late.
Race #4: Of the two Saldana-trained geldings beaten favorite 5-Unbroken Star looks best. He makes first start off the claim for new barn that’s 4 for 17 (24%) at Los Al with new acquisitions. The 7-year-old gelding is a multiple winner at the distance and has decent early tactical foot. A mild upset chance with form reversal. The 9-year-old veteran gelding 4-Full of Luck is nowhere near the horse he once was but continues to grind along gamely and recently defeated a $8k claiming field over at Pleasantan 9 days ago with a (74) Beyer for trainer Jonathan Wong. He’s run well here in the past and merits a long look despite doubling in claiming tag value this afternoon. 6-Frontier Market is making career start number 20 (all 19 thus far have been on grass) but has trained well locally over the dirt and hails from the red-hot Sadler barn. The 9-year-old comes into today off a decent turf win and has never been offered this cheaply.
Race #5: 5-Ice Cold Gold goes turf to dirt for trainer Phil D’Amato and looks to be the likely pacesetter this afternoon. This Frosted filly returns fresh and shows two snappy bullet drills over at Santa Anita in preparation for this. Today’s Best Bet with likely front-running score. 4-Founder’s Day returns to the main track where she’s run as equally well for trainer Bob Hess and shows a nice 3-furlong blowout drill in :35.1 June 24. She’s unproven stretching out this far but is certainly bred to handle a route of ground quite successfully. 6-Ice Queen makes initial dirt start (3rd start off the bench) after only competing on grass and synthetic in all 11 career starts. He’s trained right along locally so might just find today’s surface change very appealing.
Race #6: The Godolphin bred 4-Baladi goes turf to dirt and stretches back out for trainer Michael McCarthy. He’s has trained well over at Arcadia main track surface for a jockey/trainer combo that’s 4 for 7 (57%) with an $8.88 ROI with this surface switch. Upset chance this afternoon. The lightly raced 6-All Four Winds showed speed and faded when attempting to stretch-out in most recent try May 27 after dominating Maiden win sprinting. As the field’s likely pacesetter again, he deserves a chance to rebound making 2nd attempt routing. 1-Papale had a legitimate troubled trip excuse in most recent start when fractious in the gate and breaking a tad sluggishly. He raced wide thereafter and deserves a chance to rebound off that lackluster effort. Two-back the 4-year-old gelding finished a sharp 2nd off the extended layoff with a (79) Beyer.
Race #7: Beaten favorite 1-Quintecents stretches out for the first time today and goes turf to dirt for McCarthy and Hernandez. As mentioned in previous race this a very productive angle for this barn. This 3-year-old gelding is by multiple G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Goldencents and looks to be today’s potential frontrunner. 5-Show Time is the obvious one to defeat in this short field off very encouraging debut effort where he finished 2nd with a (79) Beyer for his hall of fame connections. He stretches out today; has worked very well since that debut and is by win-early sire Into Mischief. 3-Law Abiding was legged up on grass for this on May 29 when finishing a disappointing 6th as tepid betting choice. He should be much tighter this afternoon; is bred to handle dirt and has trained well over at San Luis Rey.
Race #8: Of the three fillies with racing experience 1-Classymademoiselle and Funkhouser come out of the same May 21 race behind undefeated and now stakes winner Absolutely Zero. Classymademoiselle adds blinkers today after well bet debut and galloped out at least on even terms with race winner when showing good late interest. Trainer Peter Miller has 3 of the 7 debuting fillies lined up in here. 7-Candy Caramel draws nicely outside after showing good early zip in morning drills. This 2-year-old filly by G1 winner Candy Ride attracts top rider for unveiling and barn is a strong 4 for 13 (31%) the past 3 years with debut runners. 6-Free and Humble also from the Miller barn is by G1 winner Free Drop Billy who won his Churchill debut at first asking.
Race #9: The Grade 2 Great Lady M Stakes projects to have some swift contested early fractions which should bode well for 5-Ain’t Easy who goes route to sprint for trainer Phil D’Amato who also has last out stakes-winner Elm Drive represented in here. The G2 winning filly through in a clunker when shipped out to Churchill for the G2 Eight Belles but has every right to rebound here returning home to the west coast. She’s worked well since then and was a sharp Maiden winner sprinting from off the pace in debut. Upset chance. The 4-year-old filly 3-Becca Taylor has won 8 of 9 with 1 second place finish and is the obvious heavy favorite on this 4th of July closing race. She comes off a career best (93) Beyer speed figure and has answered everything that’s been asked of her thus far. A lot to ask of 2-Brandon’smylawyer making dirt debut this afternoon against Graded stake types but his downhill grass win was good; he has shown a versatile running style; and could move forward making 2nd start off the extended layoff. He did defeat next-out winner Annie’s Song May 29.