Los Alamitos Race Course (Sunday-7/10/22)

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 5-Tom Bombadil (Race #7)

Race #1: In a race that appears (at least on paper) to have come up light on early speed 7-River Tiber should be forwardly placed with today’s outside draw and significant class drop. The 4-year-old gelding has shown little form as of late but makes his 2nd start off the layoff today and did show some decent early gas before tiring in most recent try June 11. 6-Being Blessed stretches out this afternoon making his first start on the daytime racing card but comes in with decent form and doesn’t meet many world beaters in today’s opening N2L sprint. 2-Wink and a Dream showed little in lone afternoon try but makes 3rd start off the mini-freshening today and comes in with back-to-back ITM finishes going 1,000 yards.

Selections: 7-6-2

Race #2: The mile distance is a question mark but 3-Hit the Seam showed good zip through some honest fractions before tiring to finish 2nd at Pleasanton just 6 days go for trainer Jonathan Wong. This barn does well with runners returning quickly and this gelding appears to be the speed of the speed.  2-Going Away Party moves way up off the Pleasanton claim for trainer Reid France who is a solid 11 for 37 (30%) with new barn purchases. The 7-year-old gelding is at least experienced going today’s 1 mile distance. 5-Unbroken Star did very little as our top pick last week but drops in class today making 2nd start off the claim. If he can revert to his April effort three-back, he’d be the likely winner in here.

Selections: 3-2-5

Race #3: 1-Beignet finished a good second when dropped down to this $20k Maiden Claiming level in most recent start and should be tough adding blinkers today and moving to the rail for trainer Paddy Gallagher. 2-No People comes out of the same race as top choice when finishing 4th but improved with the stretch-out and her Beyer numbers are at least going in the right direction. 4-Classic California was a non-threatening 8th in turf sprint debut some 7 weeks ago and now moves to the main track and drops into Maiden Claimers for trainer Peter Miller. The 3-year-old filly by G1 winner Boisterous can move forward off that dull effort with immediate class relief and a race under her belt.

Selections: 1-2-4

Race #4: 6-Thirsty Thoughts didn’t show all that much in debut effort just 6 days ago and now makes first start for new barn that’s 3 for 8 (38%) with 2nd time starters. This 2-year-old filly by multiple G1 winner Stay Thirsty does hold the experience edge over most of these which traditionally goes a long way in these Maiden Claiming events. Of the pair of Doug O’Neill trained fillies we’ll lean on 4-We Want Another who is by Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another and has been training steadily over at San Luis Rey. Jockey Mario Gutierrez has won with the last pair of Maiden Claiming firsters he’s ridden for these connections. The other O’Neill filly 5-Forrest Acclamation has also trained over at San Luis Rey like her stablemate off a similar work pattern. She’s by multiple G1 winner Acclamation.  

Selections: 6-4-5

Race #5: This is the beginning leg of the traditional $2 Pick six which offers a closing day mandatory payout this afternoon. 3-Vendaval is wheeled back on 6 days rest for trainer Hector Palma off encouraging debut effort at this level when flashing good early speed and finishing 3rd beaten only 2 lengths. This 2-year-old gelding is by win-early sire Danzing Candy that’s getting 22% with his juvenile debuting offspring. He should appreciate getting off the rail. 7-Santiago’s Cat was a non-threatening 4th in June 25 debut here but removes the blinkers today and drops in class for start number two. Jockey Tyler Baze takes over and is 4 for 10 (40%) with a $2.52 ROI riding for this barn the past 2 years at Los Al. 4-Early Release is by win-early sire Stanford who is clicking at a strong 23% with his 2-year-old juvenile prodigy. This gelding has trained well enough for his unveiling and hails from the Jonathan Wong barn that clicked with 9/1 debuting longshot Ten Rings back on July 3.

Selections: 3-7-4

Race #6: 1-Liar Liar moves up to face winners off impressive Maiden Claiming score on June 26 and looks to be the probable pacesetter again with today’s rail draw. A repeat win is likely. 4-Flying Charlie comes off a wide 3rd place finish against slightly cheaper just 9 days ago. The 5-year-old gelding earned the field’s best last-out Beyer (64) and merits respect on that fact alone in this weak field. 2-Kimmer has shown little of late but removes the blinkers today and takes a sizable class drop for trainer Genaro Vallejo who had two longshot winners here on July 4.

Selections: 1-4-2

Race #7: In a race that’s projected to favor frontrunners first off the claim 5-Tom Bombadil looks like a serious wire-to-wire threat and is today’s Best Bet on the stretch-out. The 4-year-old gelding makes his first start for the Ron Ellis barn and comes off a strong runner-up effort where he earned a career and field best (80) Beyer speed figure. He’s bred to handle the additional distance. The last pair of subpar efforts clouds the form of 8-Bravestone. The gelding’s Maiden breaking grass effort and runner up finish three and four-back were solid and he’s since returned to fire a 3-furlong blowout drill July 3. He deserves another chance to make amends after tardy break in last try May 27 and overmatched turf try two-back. 9-Funkenstein goes second off the claim off troubled wide trip June 25.

Selections: 5-8-9

Race #8: 2-Hardly Mischievous was last seen 8 months ago at Del Mar when finishing a troubled trip 6th on the turf. The 3-year-old filly by multiple G1 winner Tonalist has since worked extremely well for today’s second career start and picks up hot rider for new barn. 1-Wishing On a Star makes dirt debut in second start off the extended layoff for trainer Michael McCarthy. This barn is a solid 11 for 44 (25%) with a $4.51 ROI with today’s turf to dirt surface switch the past 2 years. This filly is by multiple G1 winner Liam’s Map so she should find routing on dirt a compatible combination. 5-Spooky Lady is a $400K Keeneland purchase by Breeders’ Cup Classic champion Ghostzapper making her 2nd start for trainer Bob Baffert. This barn is a strong 11 for 30 (37%) with 2nd time starters at Los Al and this filly attracted decent tote support when finishing an even 4th in June 18 debut when off a step slow. She’ll likely appreciate moving off the rail.

Selections: 2-1-5

Race #9: The speedy 5-Catbernay finished an even 5th here in most recent try June 26 but was a sharp wire-to-wire winner under the lights as the odds-on choice two-back. The 4-year-old gelding has never been offered this cheaply and looms a likely gate-to-wire winner at this reduced level for a barn that’s been ultra-consistent at this oval this meet. 2-Edinburgh Express pressed the pace and tired in most recent try at Pleasanton but drops today from $16,000 to $12k claimers and should be forwardly placed again for winning barn. 3-Star Entry moves up off win but is now 2 for 2 over this strip for trainer Jorge Periban. The 3-year-old colt has posted back-to-back Beyers of 69 and 64 which is certainly fast enough to handle this group again.  Having said that… I don’t think she’s fast enough to wrestle the lead away from our top choice.

Selections: 5-2-3

Race #10: The closing leg of the mandatory Pick Six and Sunday’s nightcap is a very competitive and tricky optional $20k N1X claiming sprint with a mixed combination of runners coming off layoffs, varied surfaces, distances, and racing ovals. It looks like a spread race. Likely pacesetter 7-Sweet California removes the blinkers today and drops in class off tiring effort up at Golden Gate over the Tapeta surface. She was a sharp wire-to-wire winner two-back at Santa Anita going 5 ½ furlongs and goes out for new conditioner Carla Gaines today. 6-Pawnee has not been out since disappointing turf try last August but has proven she can fire fresh as evidenced by her dominating Maiden win last February. 3-Vella owns the field’s best last out dirt Beyer (65) off recent 2nd place finish at Santa Anita against similar back on June 10. This 6-year-old mare is no slam dunk, however, having to negotiate a trip from off the pace this afternoon.

Selections: 7-6-3

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