Los Alamitos (Sunday-12/18/22)

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 4-Mighty Matt (Race 7)

Race #1: 1-Coalinga Hills has not been seen since late September when finishing 3rd at this level over this course but the veteran 9-year-old has run extremely well off the bench in the past. She’s a 4-time winner over the track and distance and has worked well in the a.m. for her return. 2-Hot On the Trail goes first off the claim today after an excusable 4th place finish under the lights November 26 when bobbling and off a step slow. This gal makes second attempt at this reduced level after facing much better quality in recent months. 4-Your Royal Coil appears to be the commanding speed in here this afternoon making second start off the claim for top barn.

Selections: 1-2-4

Race #2: 7-Reckoning Day is 2 for 2 here during the afternoon program coming off a beaten favorite 6th at SA back in October. The 4-year-old gelding makes first start for new connections off the claim today and attracts Vazquez. 1-June Gloom is wheeled back off a week’s rest for new barn and cuts back to a sprint today where he’s had most of his success. Trainer Steve Knapp is 6 for 26 (23%) with new barn purchases at Los Al. 4-Cajun Treasure is consistent and comes off a good second during the evening card behind repeat winning gelding Dutton who took a $30k stake December 4.

Selections: 7-1-4


Race #3: 2-Distorted Math debuts for Team Baffert off a series of bullet works and this lucrative jockey/trainer combo are 8 for 15 (53%) overall when teamed up over the Los Al course. This colt debuts with Lasix and is by Distorted Humor who gets a respectable 15% with his 3-year-old debuting prodigy. Beaten favorite 1-Thales removes the blinkers today and makes the all-important 3rd career start this afternoon for trainer Peter Miller. The gelding should be much tighter today making his second start off the extended layoff. The “other” Baffert 6-Sense of Dominance has been trounced in all three career starts but like his stablemate has trained extremely well over the local course the last six weeks and appears ready to fire a much-improved effort.

Selections: 2-1-6

Race #4: 4-Lasting Love is by G1 winner Cupid and debuts for trainer Simon Callaghan who is an impressive 5 for 11 (45%) with a $2.80 ROI at Los Al with debut runners. The filly attracts Hernandez for her unveiling. 6-Nearest N Dearest goes turf to dirt making the all-important 3rd career start. Trainer Steve Miyadi has had great success here at Los Al over the years with debut runners as well going 5 for 20 (25%) with a lofty $5.66 ROI. He has a pair of filly 3-year-old first time starters lined up in here which include 2-Big Newton and 7-Cat Bandit. Neither would be a surprise.

Selections: 4-6-2

Race #5: 7-Whistler’s Style goes turf to dirt on the class drop and has had success here breaking her Maiden back in December 2021. 2-Starship Defiant jumps up to the $40k level off the Hess claim coming off a runaway win against cheaper back in October. She was scratched Saturday for this tougher spot. Her stablemate 5-Founder’s Day returns to the main track off back-to-back grass efforts and was a sharp winner here July 4 going this mile trip.

Selections: 7-2-5

Race #6: 3-Nolongerahobby is wheeled back on 9 days rest coming off an 8/1 upset game score going this 5 ½ furlong trip. 4-Outright goes two routes to a sprint this afternoon and owns the field’s best last-out main track Beyer (77). 6-Horn of Plenty goes turf to dirt and was a winner over this track three-back in lone afternoon start. This lucrative jockey/trainer combo are winning at an impressive 36% clip at Los Al.

Selections: 3-4-6

Race #7: 4-Mighty Matt goes route to sprint today and takes a serious class plunge from $16k claiming tag to $8,000. Trainer Jorge Periban is an impressive 5 for 7 (71%) with a lofty $10.03 ROI with 50% class drops at Los Al. The speedy 5-Swamp’n Ain’t Ez has had success on both the day and night Los Al programs and figures to take these as far as he can this afternoon on the front end. 7-Harper’s Gem steps up slightly in class today but comes off a game nose win on the evening card November 27 and did have a nice win during the afternoon platform at this trip back in June.

Selections: 4-5-7

Race #8: 6-Rain Diva has been freshened off of impressive wire-to-wire score back in September and has trained extremely well for her return. This 5-year-old mare may be tough to reel in late. 3-Talkative Girl is wheeled back on 8 days rest off an impressive victory here December 10 where she earned the field’s best last-out main track Beyer (76). 2-Flay Out Joy returns to her preferred surface today and was a sharp runner-up here three-back behind a repeat next-out winner.

Selections: 6-3-2

Race #9: If a fast early pace comes to fruition as projected by TimeformUS, things could set-up nicely for 6-Prodigal Sun who cuts back to a sprint today and should be flying home late with Desormeaux. The gelding has lost 16 straight but, in his defense, that’s been against better quality foes and for the most part not so friendly pace scenarios. 1-Sawasdee looks for back-to-back wins off the claim and last pair of Beyer figures (81,80) have been swift and close to par for this class level. The ultra-consistent 7-Disko Tribute ships back in from Golden Gate and broke his Maiden here back on July 2.

Selections: 6-1-7

Race #10: Recent Maiden winner 4-Belly Up goes two sprints to a route today off sharp Maiden score and is bred to handle a route of ground. A strong sub :48 4-furlong drill December 10 indicates he might be ready for this stiff class test. 2-Geezer seeks fourth straight win as the streaking gelding makes initial stakes start for trainer Hector Palma. His Beyers have increased with each subsequent start and are best in this field. However, he’s never been this far, and his sire is 0 for 13 with route runners. 1-Giver Not a Taker looks to rebound off a beaten favorite second in the Golden State Juvenile Stake back in October at SA and has trained very well for his return. Prat takes over.

Selections: 4-2-1

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