Santa Anita (Friday-4/21/23) By Dean Keppler


Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 1-Irish Patsy (Race 3)

Race #1: Team O’Neil has a pair of geldings to kick off the first-ever 28-day Santa Anita Hollywood Meet. 1-Franklin One Star is the preferred choice dropping in class today and he should be much tighter making second start off the 9-month layoff. Hernandez climbs aboard and he projects to get a favorable ground-saving stalking trip from the rail. 5-Beaudacious comes off a much-improved 3rd place finish and goes 2nd time blinkers this afternoon. 8-Lansdowne (GB) was a beaten favorite fourth at this level against several of these March 19 and is eligible to move forward making second start off the layoff.

Selections: 1-5-8

Race #2: 4-Hot Rod Mama comes in holding the field’s best last out main track Beyer (52) with an improving pattern. This filly gets in light again with a 7 lb. bug aboard. 6-American Conquest has shown little in four career starts but takes a significant class drop this afternoon for Hernandez and Miller. 2-Del Mar Women goes turf to dirt on the class drop and projects to take these as long as she can on the front end.

Selections: 4-6-2


Race #3: 1-Irish Patsy returns to her preferred surface after main track debacle and makes first start for a tag. This lucrative jockey/trainer combo are 4 for 6 (67%) with a $3.87 ROI with MDSW to MDCLM class droppers. 2-Soul of a Warrior was a sharp second at this level two-back when sprinting on grass. 4-Elegance Code may appreciate today’s turnback to 6 furlongs and class drop but she’s hard to endorse with any kind of confidence based on barn’s 0 for 29 skid with Maiden Special Weight to Maiden Claiming droppers the past 5 years.

Selections: 1-2-4

Race #4: The lightly raced 4-Pequena Tormenta makes first start for the Mullins barn off a 9-month break and has trained extremely well for today’s return to action. A “best of 99” 5-furlong drill in :58.1 on April 16 catches the eye and barn’s go-to pilot Berrios gets the call. 6-Awesome Taylor returns to the main track (her desired surface) and makes the all-important 3rd start off the bench this afternoon. 3-Quicklikeabunny goes turf to dirt and makes second start off the mini-freshening. This 4-year-old filly was a Maiden winner over the main track here sprinting three-back.

Selections: 4-6-3

Race #5: 1-Herecomegeorgieboy returns to turf where he ran back-to-back second place finishes two and three-back at this level. Today’s course setting will likely favor his late closing running style. 4-Stan From Malibu goes two sprints to a route this afternoon; second time blinkers and has an improving Beyer pattern for conditioner Carla Gaines. Stan’s stablemate 7-Chrome to Riches should be set for top try after wide 4th place finish on March 25.

Selections: 1-4-7

Race #6: 3-Con Seal and Kerry goes turf to dirt; removes the blinkers and drops in class this afternoon for trainer Steve Knapp. This 3-year-old filly by multiple G1 winner Gun Runner should appreciate today’s stretch-out. 4-Sweet Halo makes her ninth career start today coming off 5 straight ITM finishes. This short-priced filly is likely to be on the lead today on the stretch-out and class drop. 6-Prestigious appears third best of this weak group of Maiden Claiming fillies.

Selections: 3-5-6

Race #7: 1-Tom and Jazzy a beaten favorite in last pair– was making a solid run up the rail from last on March 19 before getting shut off. He stretches back out for D’Amato and should be a strong factor from the rail. 5-Old Pal was a sharp looking Maiden winner on the stretch-out. 4-Boss Sully makes first start around two turns for trainer Brian Koriner after encouraging 5 ½ furlong Maiden sprint score. The 3-year-old colt by Street Boss owns the field’s best last out grass Beyer (78).

Selections: 1-5-4

Race #8: 4-My Harbor Dream takes a substantial class drop today and most recent (86) Beyer on April 8 stands out amongst this group of mostly older geldings. 6-Midnight Special must negotiate an additional furlong today but finished ahead of several of these with a game winning effort on April 1. 8-Octopus goes first off the claim for trainer Peter Eurton and is a multiple winner at this 6 1/2 furlong trip.

Selections: 4-6-8

Race #9: This looks like a favorable spot to try new shooter 7-Bella Baby who has been training well for conditioner Peter Miller. She’s by Maclean’s Music who gets 15% with his debuting prodigy and attracts Hernandez for unveiling. 6-Miss Lizzy ships in from Turfway Park and makes first start on turf for trainer Doug O’Neill. She adds blinkers, drops in for a first-time tag and gets sharp turf pilot who clicks over 30% with this barn’s Maidens on grass. 8-Mygalsdawnnlori turns back to a sprint and makes first start for a tag today. Improvement likely.

Selections: 7-6-8

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