Los Alamitos (Sunday-9/17/23) By Dean Keppler

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 5-American Admiral (Race 9)

Race #1: 3-Class Clown never got on track when breaking a step slow on debut from the rail Aug. 24 when attracting solid tote support. The 3-year-old filly by Practical Joke figures to move up immensely in second career start. 6-Sorbet is by multiple grade winner Nyquist who gets 11% with his 3-year-old & up debuting prodigy. This filly debuts for Sadler off an encouraging work tab, but this barn is only 1 for 20 (5%) the past 5 years with Los Al firsters. 2-Moonlight Mischief has been idle for 10 months but returns with Lasix and has been working steadily towards today’s return.

Selections: 3-6-2

Race #2: 3-Acquired Class has never tried the main track, but his breeding suggests he should handle it for trainer Peter Miller. This gelding comes off a troubled trip fifth Aug. 31 when encountering traffic issues late. He cuts back to a sprint on the surface change and drops from $40k to a $25k tag. 6-Colonel Vargo was a sharp winner two-back against similar. 1-Strength of Autism has been freshened and takes a sizable class drop for the first Los Al start.

Selections: 3-6-1

Race #3: 1-Big Rainbow makes the second start at this $50k maiden claiming level and this filly’s recent Beyer figures are superior to the rest of this suspect group. At 6-5 morning line odds, however, she’s no slam-dunk. 4-Dorie Miller adds blinkers and is slowly improving for trainer Steve Miyadi. The filly makes the all-important third career start this afternoon. 6-Pura Vida (by Clubhouse Ride) arrives on the scene with modest works for trainer Crag Lewis. This barn is only 2 for 56 (4%) in the past 5 years with debut runners.

Selections: 1-4-6

Race #4: Turf to dirt 1On Purpose hasn’t been out in five months for trainer Vladimir Cerin, but she’s proven she can fire fresh, and her recent drills have been super sharp at DMR. 6-Shared Future should appreciate moving back to the main track for trainer Steve Knapp and both local starts over this course have been decent. The filly drops in for a career-low claiming tag and lures Vazquez. 2-Professor’s Pride drops down to the $32k claiming level (the price she was acquired for three-back) and this filly projects to be forwardly placed again this afternoon.

Selections: 1-6-2

Race #5: 1-Brutto has lost his way in recent starts and was a well-beaten seventh Aug. 18 at Del Mar. Nonetheless, the 5-year-old gelding spirals down to this bottom-level $6,250 claimer and figures to be aggressively sent from the rail with Valdivia. If he has any spark left, he should easily handle this inferior group. The speedy 6-Big Cheddar will be winging on the front-end and had back-to-back runner-up finishes when last seen during the afternoon program. Vazquez takes over. Recent claim 4-Around the Dial has run well during under the lights in the last three starts and has proven he can handle the bigger afternoon layout as well.

Selections: 1-6-4

Race #6: Beaten favorite 2-L L L Cool didn’t lift a leg in a disappointing DMR effort Aug. 11, but just missed when last seen here two-back when flashing good speed and falling a head short. The 4-year-old gelding makes his third start off the bench and figures to be tough if he can run back to that solid (68) Beyer. 3-Confucius was a troubled trip fifth when he dropped down into this bottom-level $20k level Sept. 4 and deserves another chance to redeem himself with a cleaner journey. The Baffert gelding is tough to toss off any horizontal or vertical tickets. The 0 for 11 7- Donttestyoiurluck owns the field’s best last-out Beyer with a second-place finish Sept. 1.

Selections: 2-3-7

Race #7: 6-Resilent was likely prepping for this when trying grass Aug. 27 coming off a seven-month break and should be much tighter and involved in this trip. The gelding posted four strong main track figures prior to last month’s return effort. Dirt to turf 5-Ambivalent hasn’t run nearly as fast figure-wise over the main track in comparison to his grass efforts. Still, he makes his third start off the layoff today and figures to be motoring home from the back of the pack for Team O’Neill. Class dropping 1Kingdom Heart has speed and the rail and figures to be in front at the head of the stretch for Cerin. The colt was trounced in both 6 ½-furlong tries, however, beaten a combined 40 lengths.

Selections: 6-5-1

Race #8: The lightly raced 6-Thirsty flashed good speed and tired to finish a well-beaten sixth when making his first start in seven months for trainer Peter Miller. The 3-year-old gelding figures to improve substantially off that comeback effort. A beaten odds-on favorite in the last try on the evening card 8-Tangledupingrey makes the second start off the claim this afternoon and was a decent runner-up two-back over this bigger afternoon course. 4Relaxed Artist drops another notch and owns the field’s best last-out main track Beyer after stumbling slightly at the start in last try Sept. 3. The gelding will likely improve in his second overall start on dirt.

Selections: 6-8-4

Race #9: 5-American Admiral was overmatched in the grade 2 San Diego Handicap July 29 but should find this softer stakes spot much more conducive. His winning effort two-back in an allowance event going a mile at Santa Anita was especially strong (98 Beyer). According to conditioner Tim Yakteen, he’s training lights-out in the a.m. 2-Arham is a logical choice and likely to challenge for favoritism off a strong N2x win Aug. 26. while registering the field’s best last-out main track Beyer. The lone stakes winner in the field 6Handy Dandy makes the first start off the Hess claim and was a smashing allowance winner when last seen on dirt over this course three-back.

Selections: 5-2-6

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