Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 2-Everlys Girl (Race #6)
Race #1: 3-Ko Samui beat a robust field of Maidens for trainer Phil D’Amato and that potential “key” race from February 13 has already produced a pair of next-out winners. 4-La’och Aloysius is still a Maiden and finished behind Stotland on Feb 19 but has run competitive grass numbers and projects to sit a nice forwardly placed trip. 1-Stotland another recent Maiden winner overcame a troubled trip to score and fits well again making first start against winners.
Race #2: 6-Big Bell beaten favorite runner-up try when dropping in class and switched to main track for trainer Tim Yakteen. This 4-year-old filly deserves another chance to break through Maiden ranks at this reduced level for barn that’s 11 for 32 (34%) with runners making their 2nd start off 45 to 180 Days rest. 4-Mo Connelly has a similar pattern to top choice. This filly was also a beaten favorite in last against this level and makes 2nd start off the bench. She’s now run better than par for this class level multiple times. 7-Team Concept adds blinkers; stretches out and need not improve much off February 12 unveiling to factor today.
Race #3: 4-Barnfield is wheeled back off 2 weeks rest and drops into claimers and adds blinkers for career start number two. This barn has positive numbers with all these angles. 7-Flint Stroll drops into Maiden Claimers for the first time off mini-freshening and D’Amato is 4 for 11 (36%) with a $3.98 ROI with this maneuver at Santa Anita. 3-Tiz Tact Toe makes career start number 10 but has run competitive grass numbers for this level; has speed and has been freshened for this.
Race #4: 6-Swirling comes out of that same race as Tiz A Master and makes first start for barn that has good success with newly acquired purchases. The veteran mare is drawn outside and projects to sit a nice stalking trip. 5-Tiz A Master is a reclaim by trainer Vladimir Cerin off two recent sharp tries against softer. The 6-year-old mare is a 3-time winner at this distance and track. 1-Mucha Woman should benefit shortening back up to 6 panels. This jockey/trainer combined to win with 18/1 filly Beachgrass last week.
Race #5: 1-Carpe Bellum makes the all-important 3rd career start and drops into Maiden Claimers for the first time for trainer Brian Koriner. The 3-year-old gelding adds blinkers and should appreciate stretching out. Upset chance. Beaten favorite 4-Hollywoodhellraisr makes 2nd start against Maiden Claimers; has run par or better for this level multiple times, and this barn is a strong 10 for 26 (38%) with 2nd off the layoff MDCLM runners. 7-World Cruiser makes third start off the bench and is a first-time gelding.
Race #6: 2-Everlys Girl has finished far back in 3rd in both local starts but adds blinkers today for today’s try and this barn is 5 for 17 (29%) with the equipment change at Santa Anita in MDSW events. Hall of fame rider Mike Smith is back onboard. 4-Bold Choice beaten favorite in last 3 starts and moves back to the main track. This filly’s 3 runner-up finishes on dirt were par or better for this level. 5-Feeling Flush was no match for runaway winner All Dialed In on January 30 but that was her first start in over a year. She’s trained smartly since then and showed improved speed off the freshening.
Race #7: 2-St Helena goes two routes to a sprint and makes 3rd start off the layoff. Today’s cut back in distance should propel her back into the winner’s circle. 3-Roses Are Blue drops in class; has good early zip and deserves another chance trying grass. 6-Pistachio Princess cuts back to a sprint and goes first off the claim for trainer Steve Miyadi. The sample is small, but the barn is 0 for 8 with recent claims sprinting on turf. A stat worth considering before accepting too short of a price.
Race #8: It’s never a good sign when a horse starts for $30k less than claiming purchase nearly a year later but 1-Awesome Charge hails from the Sadler barn that excels with long layoff types and this Oaklawn shipper has trained sharply in the a.m. 3-Conundrum was plucked for $20k off extended layoff and was off slowly before making up ground late to round out the trifecta. Any normal 2nd off the layoff improvement makes him a factor with these. 5-Speed Boat ran par for this level on February 4 when earning a (65) Beyer when finishing 3rd. The 4-year-old gelding cuts his claiming price tag in half and this conditioner traditionally does well with 2nd time starters.
Race #9: 6-Highland Ghost is by multiple G1 winning sire Shaman Ghost who is (7-2-3-0) with turf sprint runners according to DRF Formulator. The colt comes off a nice wire-to-wire win at Golden Gate over the synthetic and could be overlooked as the likely pacesetter in Friday’s nightcap. Upset potential. 1-Smugglers Run moves up in class today but owns the field’s best last out turf Beyer (86) and defeated next-out winner Moose Mitchell in that sharp score. This lightly-raced gelding is now 2 for 3 lifetime for trainer Richard Baltas. 2-Echosmith adds blinkers and Lasix and makes 3rd U.S. start for Wong. The 3-year-old gelding cuts back to a sprint and hot apprentice takes over.