Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 2-Sonic Brees (Race #2)
Race #1: 1-The Key Is Unity came up just a head short at this $50k claiming tag level going a bit shorter in most recent start earning par for this class. The 3-year-old gelding makes 3rd start off the mini-freshening with improving Beyer pattern for trainer Bill Spawr. A 3-furlong sharpening drill adds to the appeal. 5-Baldoro drops back down in for a tag coming off a 4-month layoff and this colt has been holding his own against better in prior starts. 4-Attenzione drops from MDSW to Maiden Claimers and this barn is 3 for 12 (25%) with a $4.02 ROI on grass with this maneuver.
Race #2: 2-Sonic Brees moves up off game victory and now goes first off the claim for trainer Hector Palma. This conditioner is a solid 5 for 16 (31%) with a $2.84 ROI with new acquisitions at Santa Anita. The 4-year-old came back to work a strong “best of 37” 4-furlongs in :47 flat October 21 indicating he remains razor sharp. 5-Butkus cuts back from 7 to 6 furlongs making 2nd start off the claim today. This conditioner clicks over 30% with this claiming angle. 6-Catbernay has run well over this strip and projects to get a favorable stalking trip with today’s outside draw. This barn has done well here this autumn meet thus far with limited starts.
Race #3: This is a tricky N2L claiming turf sprint with most of these fillies and mares with suspect turf form and coming off layoffs. A definite spread race for those partaking in horizontal exotics. 7-R Girl’s Werth It makes second start in southern California this afternoon after competing at Gulfstream over this past winter and spring. The filly flashed speed from the inside at DMR before settling along the rail and awaiting running room which never materialized. She’s been absent for 2 months but appears appropriately placed. 5-Unwritten Code stumbled badly in lone grass try so deserves another chance attempting that surface again this afternoon making her first start back since April. The filly his bred to handle turf; has good positional speed and returns at a career low claiming purchase price. 2-Eyes of Gold has been freshened since Maiden win at Emerald Downs back in May and makes turf debut today for trainer Jeff Metz. This 3-year-old filly is sired by Coast Guard who is a strong 4 for 14 (28%) with grass sprint prodigy.
Race #4: 3-Adam’s Creed makes initial main track try in start number three for trainer Tim Yakteen who is a strong 6 for 14 (43%) with a $2.43 ROI with the turf to dirt surface change at SA. He’s sired by G1 winner Jimmy Creed who gets 18% with dirt sprint offspring. 1-Tecumseh Caroline goes turf to dirt and makes 3rd start off the extended layoff for trainer Phil D’Amato. Her lone dirt try two-back was a decent third beaten less than 2 lengths. 5-Doris Mae was an even 4th in lone start at DMR over the summer. Carla Gaines takes over training duties today and has 4 wins from last 7 starts with horses returning off 180 days plus. Hernandez was aboard a pair of those winners. The filly adds Lasix and has trained well for return .A beaten favorite in last pair 4-A Little Bit Crazy goes turf to dirt and route to sprint which are all positive angles for the Wong barn.
Race #5: 1-Bravestone has speed and the rail and broke her Maiden going a mile over this turf course back in March. The gelding lands in a field that appears void of any serious speed, and he might shake free here with alert break at a price. 4-Halfbarberbingie removes the blinkers today; drops in class and is another who broke his Maiden here at today’s mile trip. The 4-year-old colt is reunited with winning rider. 3-If Id Told You comes off nearly a 3-month freshening for Mandella and has a pair of runner-up finishes over this grass course last February and March that were above par for this class level. The gelding should be rallying strongly through the lane.
Race #6: 8-Funkhouser was a recent runaway Maiden winner at DMR and now goes first off the claim for trainer Peter Miller. This shrewd barn is 9 for 26 (35%) with a $2.65 ROI the past two years at SA with new acquisitions. The filly has speed and is drawn outside. 3-Smiling Princess makes first start at Santa Anita but has won two straight and owns the field’s best last-out Beyer (57). The other Miller trained juvenile filly 5-Bizzy Gal moves up to face winners off September 22 Los Al maiden victory and that race has produced a pair of next-out winners.
Race #7: 4-Ensleys Dream goes dirt to turf this afternoon and was a game winner over this grass course May 23. The 4-year-old filly comes off a good runner-up finish at Los Al and projects to be on or close to the front today. 3-Queen Molotov didn’t show much in lone grass try here last January but that was some time ago and this filly appears to have improved and matured since then. She comes off the mini freshening for barn that’s had good success at Golden Gate but has yet to hit the board in 10 starts here. Some mixed feelings on this gal’s chances but a contender nonetheless based on last (78) grass Beyer. 1-True Patriot has been freshened since Maiden grass win over the summer for trainer Carla Gaines and has trained very well for her return against winners. The filly may trip out nicely from the rail.
Race #8: Beaten favorite 4-Granada Flavor has a pair of close runner-up finishes at this level going a mile and appears the one to beat again from off the pace. Recent Maiden winner 5-Maynard improved with the return to the main track and has come back to drill a sub :48 4-furlongs since that winning effort. 8-Mongolian Ford returns off a six-month layoff at the bottom $16k claiming tag level immediately sending red flags regarding soundness and overall physical condition. The gelding has good speed; successfully handled layoffs in the past and would crush these if right. The barn did win with recent returnee Mongolian Panther on 10/22.
Race #9: 8-Speed Lane comes off a solid 3rd at 22/1 when finishing ahead of Gillian Elizabeth in most recent start and now makes 2nd start off the bench for Cerin on the stretch-out while switching to Rispoli. The filly might be poised for the mild upset. 1-Annaghlasa (Ire) has speed and the rail and comes off an extended 7-month layoff for D’Amato. This 4-year-old filly broke her Maiden over this turf course going a mile three-back and then just missed by a nose when making first start against winners in her follow-up try. She should return running. D’Amato’s other filly 4-Buzz of New York (Ire) makes 3rd start off the layoff with improving Beyer pattern including holding the field’s best last out speed figure. A logical fit again in the Friday nightcap. 5-Gillian Elizabeth could rebound stretching back out after beaten favorite downhill 5th place finish. She was a sharp winner with an (88) Beyer two-back going a mile at DMR.