Los Alamitos (Saturday-9/23/23) By Dean Keppler

 Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 3-High Press (Race 5)

Race #1: 5-Pens Street comes off a decent runner-up finish going this mile trip Sept. 1 where she earned the field’s best last-out main track Beyer. The 5-year-old mare goes second off the claim for Sanchez who is 11 for 51 (22%) the past 4 years with this claiming angle. 1-A Broken Breeze has been freshened since a beaten-favorite third-place finish at Santa Anita against slightly better April 22. Her winning effort from three-back would be good enough to oust these. Vazquez takes over the riding assignment. Turf to dirt 2-Bandeena hasn’t hit the board in nine straight starts but adds blinkers today, makes a second start off the claim for Miyadi, and drops from $25k to an $8,000 claiming tag.

Selections: 5-1-2

Race #2: 4-Crimson Rose returns to the main track (which she’s handled successfully) on the turnback off seven consecutive grass tries while making the first start off the claim for conditioner Vann Belvoir. The sample is small but barn is a sharp 3 for 8 (38%) with a $3.88 ROI with new barn acquisitions at Los Al. 1-Lasting Love is wheeled back on short rest after flashing speed and tiring against better Sept. 16. 5-Bengal Tiger goes turf to dirt with the addition of blinkers and is today’s likely front-runner. This 5-year-old mare is 3 for 8 going this 5 ½-furlong trip and could get brave if allowed to settle and coast along with pedestrian fractions.

Selections: 4-1-5

Race #3: A beaten short-priced favorite in the last start 5-Established goes first off the claim for Team O’Neill. This top barn is 3 for 8 (38%) with a positive ROI with new acquisitions sprinting at Los Al. 6-Paco’s Pico is still looking for an appropriate competitive level since arriving from Florida and now goes out for the Sadler Barn off Sept. 9 claim. This barn has a stellar record this mini meet going 2-2-1 from 5 starts. The veteran 7-year-old gelding 1-Oil Can Knight is a 9-time winner and makes his third start off the form cycle this afternoon for trainer Salvador Naranjo. He’s had some success over this afternoon course.

Selections: 5-6-1

Race #4: 8-Habeas was a beaten favorite third in last start during the evening program Sept. 9 and now stretches back out to six furlongs making his second start off the claim. His two Beyers (68,67) from two and three back match up well against this suspect group. A beaten favorite in five of his last six starts 2-King Zog is difficult to endorse on the win end with much confidence. Having said that, he takes a sizable class drop this afternoon returning off an eight-month freshening and this barn has excellent stats with returnees. 5-South Coast Route was trounced in his lone start over this strip, but that was against MDSW types. The gelding has hit the board in the last two tries at this level at DMR and he makes the all-important third start off the bench this afternoon.

Selections: 8-2-5

Race #5: Florida invader 3-High Press makes his second start in southern California and first start off the claim while coming off a decent runner-up finish at Del Mar Aug. 6. That race has since produced three next-out winners. The gelding appears well-spotted here cutting back to 5 ½ furlongs. 6Perfect D just missed by a short nose over this strip eight days ago. The 5-year-old gelding owns the field’s best last-out main track Beyer. The ultra-consistent 5-Whisky My God (Arg) returns to the bigger afternoon course off a strong runner-up finish under the lights Sept. 2.

Selections: 3-6-5

Race #6: In a race that appears to be short on early speed 3-Signora Minister could find herself alone on the lead going two sprints to a route for trainer Ruben Alvarado. Her sire Valiant Minister is 4-1-4 (22%) from 18 starts with dirt route runners.6-Indy’s Star comes off a career-best winning effort (81 Beyer) Sept. 15 and is fully capable of handling today’s stretch-out to a mile. A big threat right back if she doesn’t regress off that top try. Turf to dirt 2-She’s a Bit Sassy lit up the board over this course three-back when scoring a 35-1 upset victory.

Selections: 3-6-2

Race #7: 2-Cathedral Light has been a popular commodity at the claiming box the last two months and returns to the afternoon layout where he’s had decent success. The 3-year-old colt gets a big rider lift to Vazquez. Class dropping 7-Golf Drama removes the blinkers today for trainer Jeff Bonde who has had modest success with this equipment change. 3-Warrens World returns off a five-month freshening at a drastically reduced claiming price. He was a closing third in his lone start over this strip last December.

Selections: 2-7-3

Race #8: 7-Rifey hasn’t shown much in the last two starts, but both tries over this layout have been super sharp including a runner-up placement three-back when sandwiched in-between two next-out winners. The 5-year-old gelding goes turf to dirt this afternoon and is a strong late threat from off the pace. 3-So I’m Told is wheeled back off eight days after sharp gate-to-wire score. The 4-year-old gelding makes the third start of the form cycle, so another forward move is certainly within reach. 5-Tom Horn is a logical short-price favorite in this spot having won three straight (on both grass and dirt) and broke his maiden over this strip three-back.

Selections: 7-3-5

Race #9: The multiple graded stakes placed 6-Ganadora exits a third-place finish in the grade 2 Yellow Ribbon and makes her second start off the bench for Team Baffert. She was an 8-length runaway winner of this event last year with a (91) Beyer and is tough to pick against despite short odds. 2-Trouville was a well-beaten third in this race last year but comes into this year’s edition in super sharp form off an improving Beyer pattern. The 6-year-old mare was a game-winner going this mile trip at Del Mar Aug. 31. The speedy 4-Yuki (Chi) comes off a strong runner-up try in the Tranquility Lake Sept. 4 when winging through some taxing early fractions.  She’ll attempt to bottom out this field.

Selections: 6-2-4

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