Santa Anita (Friday-2/17/23) By Dean Keppler

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 3-Gallovie (GB) (Race #3)

Race #1: 4-Point and Shoot managed to finish 2nd and in front of a handful of the same runners on January 27 when rallying for the place spot despite some lackluster internal fractions and slight hop at the start. Desormeaux climbs back aboard for trainer Ian Kruljac who has done extremely well this meet from limited starts. 5-Love Our Family has surrendered the lead in last pair of efforts going this mile trip but switches to leading rider Hernandez this afternoon. 8-Palacsinta broke well on February 5 debut but was shuffled back to last and never recovered to make any kind of impact.  She stretches out for start number two and could move forward this afternoon. Her sire multiple grade 1 winner Flintshire (GB) excelled going long on grass.

Selections: 4-5-8

Race #2: The lightly raced 6-Lasting Love takes a substantial class drop for career start number three and makes first start around two turns for trainer Simon Callaghan who excels with stretch-out runners. She earned a solid (73) Beyer for career debut win at Los Al two-back and is bred to handle today’s distance being by G1 winner Cupid who gets 15% with his dirt route runners. The Big class plunge is a concern, however. 2-Sweet Heidelberg goes turf to dirt and drops from a $32k tag to $16,000 purchase price for the Papaprodromou barn. This filly’s main track efforts two and three-back were above par for this class level which resulted a Maiden win over this track and runner-up finish at DMR. 1-Lucy L goes two sprints to a route today for trainer Tim Yakteen who has solid numbers (9 for 28/32%) with stretch-out runners on dirt. This 4-year-old filly makes second start at this reduced $16k claiming N2L level and can improve here at a price.

Selections: 6-2-1


Race #3: 3-Gallovie (GB) comes off a 10-week freshening after scoring back-to-back turf wins both sprinting and routing and now makes second start off the Ron Ellis claim. This 7-year-old mare has trained very well for today’s sprint return effort and has posted turf Beyers above par in 2 of her last 3 starts. 6-Del Mar Drama finished a disappointing 6th in most recent effort February 5 off the Miller claim but now drops in class; adds blinkers and moves back to turf. The sample is small but barn 3 for 8 (38%) with dirt to turn 2nd off the claim runners. Hernandez climbs aboard. 7-Kitten’s Kid has not been seen since October when earning a career best turf Beyer (75) with sharp come-from-behind win at this claiming tag level.

Selections: 3-6-7

Race #4: 7-Tiz Tok comes off back-to-back 5th place finishes against much tougher MDSW types for Team O’Neill and should appreciate the class drop into Maiden Claimers this afternoon. The 66 and 79 earned in both main track starts are superior to the rest of this field. 4-Do It for Dave moves back to the main track after a tough turf trip in most recent start. The colt was rank early; steadied briefly and then made a decent middle move into contention before flattening out late to finish 4th. He goes 2nd time Lasix today and drops in fort a first-time tag. 2-Extra Innings goes two sprints to a route for career start number three and is bred to handle two turns for trainer Craig Lewis. This gelding by multiple G1 winner California Chrome shows a sharp 5-furlong bullet drill February 9 in preparation for this and should be on or close to the front today on the stretch-out.

Selections: 7-4-2

Race #5: 6-Minister Shane returned off a similar extended layoff for trainer Carla Gaines to break Maiden back in March of last year and projects to perhaps get a comparable set-up from off the pace today in what’s projected to be some swift early fractions. The gelding has trained extremely well for today’s return effort and should fire fresh. 2-Who’s Candy has good early zip and comes off three consecutive runner-up turf sprint finishes. He now makes first start off the claim for trainer Steve Knapp. An obvious threat again. 3-In Vronsky Style returns off the mini-freshening for D’Amato and this 6-year-old gelding has hit the board in all 5 career SA grass starts.

Selections: 6-2-3

Race #6: 2-Sonic Brees comes in with an improving Beyer pattern and drops back into a level where he’s had prior success. He had a legitimate excuse in most recent start January 27 when stumbling and hopping out of the gate from the inside rail draw. 3-Saville Row has been trounced by nearly 60 lengths in last two starts but moves back to dirt today and shows up for a career low claiming tag. This lucrative jockey/trainer combo are 5 for 10 (50%) with a $2.48 ROI with dirt sprint runners at SA. 4-Joker Boy adds blinkers off the claim this afternoon and does have some back class and figures to compete here for new connections. This barn is 0 for 12, however, with first off the claim runners at Santa Anita. Nonetheless it’s worth noting he also hopped at the start in most recent try and was away last.

Selections: 2-3-4

Race #7: 1-Clooney showed little in turf debut three-back but now tries grass again for Sadler barn off the claim coming off a career best runner-up beaten favorite 2nd. The gelding adds blinkers today; moves to the rail and finished behind repeat winner Post Facto on January 8. 4-Zihuatanejo adds Lasix and drops in for a tag in career start number three. 3-Zio Jo tipped off the rail and rallied in-between horses late to come up just short when making first start for a tag when finishing 4th and deserves another chance facing similar. The colt is reunited with Hernandez.

Selections: 1-4-3

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