Los Alamitos Race Course (Saturday-7/2/22)

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 2-Conch Daddy (Race #7)

Race #1: The improving 4-Tequila Tigre comes off a sharp 2nd May 30 against similar where she earned par for this class level for trainer Steve Knapp. The 3-year-old filly makes her 2nd start off the claim this afternoon for a barn that’s 5 for 14 (36%) with a $4.67 ROI with this claiming maneuver. A snappy “best of 89” 4-furlong :46.4 gate drill since that effort on June 26 adds to the appeal. 7-Lucy L had a legitimate excuse in debut when stumbling and bumping at the start for trainer Tim Yakteen and deserves another chance to make amends while quickly dropping to face Maiden Claimers in start number two. 1-Blazing Bardot showed little in last when moving up to face Maiden Special Weight types after encouraging debut run where she showed good speed and finished 2nd at 37/1. She draws the rail; makes the all-important 3rd career start today and drops back down in class to that competitive $50k level. She might be able to hang on for part of this if allowed to settle through moderate fractions.

Selections: 4-7-1

Race #2: 7-Travel Smart goes turf to dirt and has never been offered this cheaply for owner Gary Barber and trainer Peter Miller. The 3-year-old filly picks up hot rider Vazquez who went 4 for 8 on opening weekend. 1-Shvere Arbeter has shown very little in last pair since March runaway Maiden win at Turf Paradise but gets a complete makeover this afternoon for trainer Ian Kruljac. The 4-year-old filly goes turf to dirt; adds blinkers and takes a significant class drop. The surface change and substantial class plunge are both high percentage angles for this barn, and she’s worked well in the interim. 3-Red Panty Night goes two sprints to a route today and makes the all-important 3rd start off the bench for trainer Kristen Mulhill. The 4-year-old filly projects to be forwardly placed throughout and broke her Maiden over this racetrack last December.

Selections: 7-1-3

Race #3: 6-Midnight Somewhere has yet proven he wants to go this far but has speed; is drawn outside and takes a sizable class drop for trainer Dean Pederson who had a win and second place finish here last week.  It’s hard to gauge whether his nighttime form will translate into success over the afternoon oval, but 2-Runaway Wywy goes first off the claim today and comes off three consecutive runner-up finishes competing under the lights. 3-Project Leader has good early speed; gets in light and takes a substantial class drop for trainer Sergio Morfin who also conditions Runaway Wywy. The 5-year-old gelding certainly has enough positive angles to consider as one of the top contenders in here.

Selections: 6-2-3

Race #4: 2-Disko Tribute makes his 3rd start off the layoff today and owns the field’s best last-out Beyer (60) for trainer Dan Blacker. The gelding picks up top rider and appears set for career best effort. 3-Grazen in the Park is one of two Phil D’Amato trained geldings lined up in here and this 3-year-old goes turf to dirt and drops into Maiden Claimers for the first time. He’s eligible to move forward making his 2nd start off the 8-month layoff. The other D’Amato runner is FTS 1-Stanford North who debuts with Lasix and is by win-early sire Stanford. The gelding gets in light and is likely to show some good speed from the rail. He shows steady a.m. drills over the local footing.

Selections: 2-3-1

Race #5: 1-Slam Dunk Sermon goes first off the claim for a jockey/trainer combo that are 5 for 12 (42%) with new barn purchases and this gelding just missed in last with close 3rd place finish. He’s 5 for 9 at today’s distance and should be able to work out a favorable ground-saving journey from the rail. 5-Box of Chocolates has not been out in 11 months but has run well enough off the bench in prior comeback efforts and takes a substantial class drop for Sadler who has been red-hot at this mini afternoon meet thus far. The 6-year-old’s encouraging a.m. drills indicate he’s fit and ready. 6-Zimba Warrior goes first off the claim for trainer Mike Puype who is 6 for 16 (38%) with a $3.88 ROI the past 3 years with newly acquired purchases. The gelding comes out of a race on May 13 that’s since produced two next-out winners.

Selections: 1-5-6

Race #6: Trainer Jonathan Wong has a pair of entrants in this $12,500 claiming route. The filly 2-Benson stretches out for the first time; is bred to go long and makes her 2nd start off the layoff this afternoon. She’s trained well up at Golden Gate for this and is likely to show more early zip this afternoon on the stretch-out. The other Wong runner is the 8-year-old mare 3-She’s So Pretty who is an impressive 11 for 26 lifetime and comes off a win at Golden Gate. Most of her entire career has been run over the Tapeta surface, but she did break her Maiden over the main track way back in July 2020. She’ll be running on late. 6-Perfect Ice Storm has been sidelined since being re-claimed back in October 2021 for Team Sadler and has run extremely well off similar layoffs in the past. The 6-year-old mare has been working steadily at Santa Anita in preparation for return and is protected claim in here.

Selections: 2-3-6

Race #7: 2-Conch Daddy looks like the most likely winner on Saturday’s card if he can avoid a potential speed duel with 2nd choice Tahoe Secrets. The 3-year-old colt by Nyquist has good early zip; goes turf to dirt and drops into Maiden Claimers for the first time for Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill. 4-Tahoe Secrets removes the blinker today; has improving Beyer speed figures and makes the all-important 3rd career start for trainer Tim Yakteen. This barn is an impressive 4 for 8 (50%) with $4.17 ROI the past 2 years with this equipment change. 1-Gebo could wake up at a big price today going turf to dirt, adding blinkers and dropping in class and cutting back to 5 ½ furlongs.

Selections: 2-4-1

Race #8: 6-Impossible Task has good speed; drops in class and makes his 2nd start off the layoff for trainer John Sadler. This 5-year-old gelding is a multiple winner at a mile and gets in light today with top apprentice Emily Ellingwood. A solid “best of 69” 4-furlong drill in :47 handily since that last try on May 15 indicates this gelding has returned to top form. A serious wire-to-wire threat today. 2-Houndstooth has been knocking on the door in recent starts and should relish the stretch-out to a mile (By Uncle Mo) this afternoon for a barn that’s quite successful with this maneuver. 1-Bud Knight goes first off the claim and moves to the main track on the class hike for shrewd barn that has above average numbers with new acquisitions. The gelding is likely to get lost in the wagering here.

Selections: 6-2-1

Race #9: 1-Shemakescents should be much tighter today making 2nd start off the 8-month layoff and drops into Maiden Claimers for the first time for trainer Phil D’Amato. This filly was a strong 2nd over this strip two-back and looks to be the one to beat from the rail. 8-Miss Baylee is slowly on the improve and makes her 3rd start off the layoff today for trainer Brian Koriner. This filly makes first start over the track she’s trained consistently well over in the a.m. and projects to get a nice stalking trip from the outside. 4-Piazzetta ships in from Golden Gate making 3rd start of the layoff and is also dropping into Maiden Claimers for the first time. She’s likely to be more involved early on with the addition of blinkers.

Selections: 1-8-4

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