Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 6-A Broken Breeze (Race #4)
Race #1: 1-Atomic Drop has speed and the rail for D’Amato and returns to the turf this afternoon after a two-month freshening. This 5-year-old gelding is by multiple G1 winner Mucho Macho Man who gets 15% with his turf route runners and he’s shown some prior success over grass including a runner-up finish back over the summer while sprinting at DMR. His recent a.m. drills have been sharp. The lightly raced 6-Tom’s X S has shown ability in both starts for trainer James Cassidy and stretches out for the first time this afternoon while facing winners and switching back to grass. This gelding is bred to go long on turf as his sire G1 winner Tom’s Tribute is 9 for 45 (20%) with his turf route prodigy. 7-Mischievous Path comes off a wide troubled trip at this level and switches to Hernandez who has 31 wins this meet and is clicking close to 30%. 2-Mobou is sure to attract plenty of tote support off back-to-back runner-up finishes over turf back in the fall at this level but might be worth trying to beat. Sadler is only 2 for 31 (6%) the past 3 years with turf runners routing and returning off 61-180 day’s rest.
Race #2: 4-Tennesse Mom has flashed good early zip in both starts for Team O’Neill and now drops in for a first time tag this afternoon while going blinkers off. This is a productive move for this barn and Maldonado lands here. 1-Wirly Girl gets the complete makeover today for trainer Mike Puype. The 3-year-old filly goes turf to dirt; removes the blinkers; cuts back to a sprint and makes first start for a tag. She’s by multiple G1 winner Practical Joke who gets 18% with his dirt sprint runners and this lucrative jockey/trainer combo are 2 for 2 with MDSW to Maiden Claiming droppers. 3-Liberal Lady lost all chance in debut when breaking slowly and quickly spotting the field about 4 lengths. She rushed up into contention 3-wide past the half mile marker, but tired and flattened out late in the stretch drive. Prat sticks and improvement is likely with better start.
Race #3: 2-Habeas has shown little in both local starts for trainer John Sadler but goes dirt to turf today; adds blinkers and drops in for a tag. The sample is small, but barn is 3 for 8 (38%) with a $4.83 ROI with MDSW to MDCLM dropdowns adding this equipment change. 7-Bluegrass Lute has little grass pedigree but must be respected off substantial class drop and the addition of Lasix today for the Desormeaux brothers. This barn has won with this maneuver before. 6-Lasmuigh (GB) was a disappointing beaten favorite in first stateside start for D’Amato when never lifting a foot on December 31 when a well-beaten 10th. It was his first start in 4 months so there’s reason to believe he’ll move forward off that try today adding Lasix and dropping in for a tag.
Race #4: It’s hard to deviate past the January 15 finish that featured the top three choices listed here. 6-A Broken Breeze steps up slightly off sharp win against $10k claimers going this mile trip and appears well-spotted to string together back-to-back victories. Her recent (67) Beyer is on par for this class level. 3-Sacred Beauty finished second behind top choice in most recent effort when 2 lengths behind but was never getting to the winner who widened his win margin past the wire. 5-Shvere Arbeter got an early lead against top pair in the after mentioned event but got swallowed up late while tiring to finish third. A similar fate and scenario are likely this afternoon.
Race #5: 5-Seismic Spirit (Ire) makes his southern California unveiling for new conditioner Peter Miller off nearly a 4-month freshening. This lightly raced 3-year-old gelding adds Lasix/blinkers and makes first start for a tag. He’s by Belardo (Ire) who was a grade 1 winner overseas and attracts Hernandez this afternoon. 6-Eddie Crosswire finished a non-threating 8th in Los Al main track debut back in December but switches to turf today; adds Lasix and drops in for a tag in career start number two. The Sadler barn is a strong 6 for 17 (35%) with a $2.75 ROI the past 5 years with second time starts dropping from MDSW to Maiden Claimers. The colt is bred to relish the surface change. 7-Raji makes the all-important 3rd career start off the freshening for Team O’Neill and deserves a strong look adding Lasix; moving to grass; and dropping in for a first time tag. His sire multiple G1 winner Ransom the Moon has done well with his sprint turf runners. A sharp 5-furlong drill February 5 also hints at readiness.
Race #6: 2-Kant Beat the Rock cuts back to 6 furlongs and takes a sizable class drop today for trainer Mike Puype. This barn is 8 for 22 (36%) with a $2.72 ROI with 50% claiming dropdowns with dirt sprinters. 1-Fireman Dan just missed by a neck at this level in most recent start at 8/1 earning above par for this class and co-toping the best last out Beyer (74). The 1 for 17 record is a concern, however.5-Crypto Munny been freshened for good layoff barn and was a strong Maiden winner over this track two-back.
Race #7: The key to this event may lie in who is aggressively sent to the front as it appears (at least on paper) to be light on early zip. 1-Maglev (Ire) has a win and two seconds at SA since arriving from overseas for trainer Mark Glatt and sports the field’s best last out turf Beyer (90). The colt goes 2nd time Lasix today and makes his second start off the extended layoff this afternoon. He should be along in time despite lack of natural speed. 3-Code Duello moves up in class after launching a bid and win from well off the pace in most recent start while looking helplessly beat at the top of the stretch. The 5-year-old gelding has since returned to work well and shown good versatility adjusting to various pace scenarios. Today’s frontrunner? 5-Fayathaan (Ire) is the unknown making his first U.S start this afternoon off a 4-month freshening. He adds Lasix today and was a winner when last seen racing at Chantilly over the synthetic footing.
Race #8: 5-La Deuxieme Etoile cuts back to 6 furlongs and is wheeled back off a week’s rest after flashing good speed going a mile for Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill. A beaten favorite second in last 4-Feeling Grazeful makes second start off the bench this afternoon and should be a handful with any normal second off the bench improvement. 1-Glorious Spring has been runner-up at this level in three consecutive races for trainer Dan Blacker after breaking Maiden last September. The filly switches to Dettori this afternoon. A beaten favorite second in last
Race #9: 7-Give Me the Lute stretches out this afternoon and drops from a $50k tag to $20,000 for trainer Peter Miller. The 7-year-old gelding has never been offered this cheaply and is reunited with winning pilot. 1-Mambo Cool was a fast closing third behind a next-out winner when last seen at this level back in September. This gelding usually fires fresh for D’Amato. 3-Foothill finished a good third (beaten a length) off a year layoff in most recent start and now drops back down to an optional $20k 1x for his second start back. This gelding may be 0 for 10 going a mile on grass, but Dettori and O’Neill are 3 for 9 (33%) with a $5 ROI when teamed up at this current meet.