Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 3-Spooky Lady (Race #7)
Race #1: Sunday is closing day for the afternoon Los Alamitos Thoroughbred meet and there’s a $56K Pick 6 carryover and mandatory payout. The Pick 6 begins in race number six. Live Racing returns to Santa Anita this upcoming Friday, September 30.
Recent Maiden winner 2-It’s Saul Right finished behind Smokin Amelia when they matched up here over the summer but could very well reverse that decision today based on her last pair of efforts. 1-Smokin Amelia adds blinkers back on this afternoon after non-threatening 7th in DMR debut. The filly broke her Maiden over this course two-back over top pick. 4-Smiling Princess was a smashing Maiden winner here last week for barn that’s been red-hot during this mini afternoon Thoroughbred meet.
Race #2: Beaten favorite Florida invader 3-Cajun Brother makes initial start at Los Al coming off good runner-up finish at DMR. The 5-year-old gelding projects to sit a favorable pocket trip behind likely pacesetter 4-Sunrise Journey. 1-Slam Dunk Sermon has been claimed in 4 consecutive races and makes first start today for trainer Robertino Diodoro. This gelding is 10 for 26 lifetime and was a sharp winner here two-back. Hernandez climbs aboard. Sunrise cuts back from 7 panels to 6 furlongs and will attempt to take these as far as he can on the engine with Vazquez. The 12-time winner was a strong wire-to-wire victor at DMR two-back going this trip earning a (90) Beyer.
Race #3: 2-Memes takes a substantial class drop from $40k to $20,000 Maiden Claimers for trainer Bill Spawr and should be aggressively sent with Maldonado climbing aboard. 6-Big Brother attracted decent tote support in last turf try when finishing 4th at Golden Gate and makes 2nd start off the layoff today. His sire Mr. Big gets 17% with his dirt route runners. 1-Armaveer has been competitive at this level in recent starts and comes off a career best Beyer (59).
Race #4: 1-Lord of Light is by multiple G1 winner Lord Nelson (21% with dirt route runners) and comes off an even 6th place DMR debut finish. The 2-year-old colt earned the field’s best dirt Beyer and should be a handful with any normal second-out improvement on the stretch-out. 4-Ice Storm (By Frosted) trailed throughout in DMR turf debut against straight MDSW types but could improve quickly on the class drop and switch to dirt in start number two. This barn has above average numbers with 2nd time starters. 6-Macnamara looks best of the trainer Jeff Engler pair off non-threatning 7th place finish against tougher here last Saturday. The colt adds blinkers and quickly drops in for a tag looking for immediate form reversal.
Race #5: 3-Andros is a $580K Keeneland purchase by Uncle Mo who debuts for Baffert off barn’s typical swift morning drills. Hernandez had won last 5 of 6 mounts for this lucrative barn at Los Al as of this writing. The obvious knock is the likely short price. 2-Conch Daddy moves back up to face MDSW types off a solid runner-up finish against cheaper back in July. This barn is 2 for 4 (50%) with a $4.30 ROI with new acquisitions at Los Al. This colt has trained well for his return. 6-Krahenbuhl is by multiple G1 winner Shackleford and comes in with some snappy a.m. drills debuting with Lasix for trainer Luis Mendez. The colt attracts Maldonado for his debut try but barn is 0 for 13, however, with first time starters at Los Al.
Race #6: If today’s contested early pace comes to fruition as projected things should set-up nicely for 4-Bud Knight who goes turf to dirt and owns the field’s best late pace TimeformUS pace figure. The gelding is only 2 for 29 lifetime and winless on dirt but this might be the right spot today and the price will be generous. 5-Prayer of Jabez comes off sharp win against cheaper but earned a decent figure for that score and now goes out for new barn that’s a solid 7 for 30 (23%) with a $3.06 ROI with new purchases. 10-Lovesick Blues shortens up off good runner-up finish in last and earned the field’s best last out dirt Beyer (83) (which is directly on par for this class level). He was a decent 3rd against better three-back over this strip.
Race #7: Beaten favorite 3-Spooky Lady makes the all-important 3rd career start for trainer Bob Baffert and drops in for a tag for the first time. This lucrative jockey/trainer combo are 3 for 3 (100%) with a $5.27 ROI with MDSW to MDCLM class droppers. The Day’s Best Bet based on these solid stats. 6-American Lily is by multiple G1 winner Bayern who broke his Maiden at first asking and is 13 for 56 (23%) with 3-year-old and up FTS prodigy. He debuts for trainer Peter Miller who is 3 for 8 (38%) with a $3.04 ROI with MDCLM debut runners at Los Al. 5-Wishing On a Star goes turf to dirt on the cutback; adds blinkers and makes initial start for a tag for McCarthy. Improvement likely. 1-Katerini goes turf to dirt but shows up for a first-time tag after 11-month layoff which is never a great sign.
Race #8: 6-Sippin N Kissen didn’t break alertly in lone try over this course and despite 0 for 15 skid fits well against this suspect group making 2nd start at the $20k claiming level. He finished directly behind a pair of next out winners in “key” race on August 11. 3-Chris Fix is 0 for 11 but comes off solid runner-up finish at DMR at this same level where he earned the field’s best last out Beyer (64). 1-Mourvedre goes two sprints to a route on the class drop for trainer David Hofmans and moves all the way inside this afternoon. Improvement likely.
Race #9: The 7-year-old gelding 8-Captain N. Barron is a 10-time winner; has good positional speed to coincide with outside draw and comes off a nice evening wire-to-wire win against cheaper. 6-Crosskirk showed little in lone afternoon start here back in July but moves goes turf to dirt today and takes a sizable class plunge for Saldana. 2-Equipo A opened a quick lead here last Friday before surrendering late and settling for second.
Race #10: The $75K CapoteB Stakes has the potential for a very chalky Bob Baffert exacta. 1-Massimo a $575K Fasig-Tipton purchase by Uncle Mo has run back-to-back (78) Beyers in two career starts for Baffert which is superior numbers to anything his rivals are yet to produce. This Maiden will likely notch first stakes victory today from the rail with Hernandez. Massimo’s stablemate 3-Hard to Figure removes the blinkers today and shows three sharp drills since non-threatening 3rd on August 26. This equipment change is a productive move for this barn. 4-Man Chils blinkers off today and broke his Maiden in wire-to-wire fashion on July 3 debut.
Race #11: 8-Half Right has speed; draws outside and is 2 for 2 here during the afternoon card. 1-El Tigre Terrible is winless since July 2020 but drops to career low claiming tag and is eligible to move forward today making second start off the bench. 5-Black Storm is a multiple winner over the track and distance and recent success includes a 29/1 upset at DMR two-back against slightly better.