Santa Anita (Friday-5/12/23) By Dean Keppler


Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 5-Rosy Edge (Race 5)

Race #1: The Friday afternoon card starts off with a competitive group of Maiden colts and geldings routing on the turf with a handful of different directions one handicapper might go. 1-Adventuresome stretches out for second career start for trainer Peter Miller off a better than looks 5th place effort on April 22 and is eligible to move forward off that try. This barn has solid numbers overall with second-time starters and this gelding could find himself on the lead in here. 9-Precision Strike has improved with each subsequent start since March and has three solid drills since that last runner-up finish on April 9. 3-Classically makes the all-important third start off the bench today for D’Amato with improving Beyer figures and Hernandez is back aboard.

Selections: 1-9-3

Race #2: 3-Established is a standout on paper despite not racing since mid-February and starting below February 12 $16k claiming purchase price for conditioner Mark Glatt. The 6-year-old gelding is 6 for 20 lifetime; has good positional speed and has run par or better for this class level in his last several starts. He’s never been off the board in all 5 career efforts over this racetrack. The gelding should handle these rather easily if physically right.  5-Mighty Matt is very inconsistent but occasionally puts in winning efforts such as the one two-back when missing by a nose and his recent “best of 78”4-furlong bullet drill in :47 flat on May 7 indicates another strong try might be forthcoming this afternoon. 6-Cajun Treasure showed speed and tired against better here two-back and has been competitive against this level of claimers in the past. The veteran gelding could find himself in a favorable stalking trip with outside draw.

Selections: 3-5-6


Race #3: 5-She’s My Niece is by G1 winner Hard Spun and comes in with some encouraging a.m. drills for Team O’Neill who clicks over 20% with dirt sprint first time starters at Santa Anita. 3-Smokem Z is by Smokem who has yet to drop a winner, but this juvenile comes in with some snappy works on the resume and all indications are she’s quick from the gate. 4-Mr. Chivas (By Stay Thirsty) debuts for trainer Steve Knapp who sent out winning half-brother Going Mobile on April 30 who (a solid 4 ½ length winner) and finished 2nd with the colt Mici’s Express at 7/1 on that same afternoon.

Selections: 5-3-4

Race #4: 4-Rip City should establish a quick early lead against this slow starting bunch and looks like a strong gate-to-wire threat for trainer Doug O’Neil. The gelding makes his second start off the mini-freshening today and shows up for a career low $25k claiming tag. 1-Weegee has run par or better for this class level in last 5 starts and now makes his second start off the mini-freshening for trainer Jeff Mullins while moving to the rail. He’s reunited with his winning rider today and drops in for a tag. His stablemate 3-Moody Jim also takes a significant class plunge today and is a multiple winner over the track and distance. The 7-year-old hasn’t shown much speed as of late, however, which is somewhat of a concern.

Selections: 4-1-3

Race #5: 5-Rosy Edge is a reclaim by trainer Leonard Powell and was flattered after finishing second to Kiss My Kat on March 27 who came back to win again last Sunday. She removes the blinkers today and goes two sprints to a route. Her sire First Samurai gets 16% with his dirt route runners so the additional distance should be well within her wheelhouse. 3-Midnight Silence is the most logical threat to top choice off recent 2nd place finish at this level going a mile. 4-Jacqueline Cochran finished behind Midnight Silence in the most recent start April 21 and makes second start at this bottom level claiming tag.

Selections: 5-3-4

Race #6: 6-Get the Gold stretches out for his second career start for conditioner Kristen Mulhall and should move forward this afternoon after breaking from the rail in sprint grass debut. This colt is by Passion for Gold who was a G1 winner routing on grass overseas. 3-Silver N Black makes first start in Southern California after being claimed by Bob Hess last February at Gulfstream. The colt has already proven he can route successfully on grass and barn reaches out to go-to veteran pilot Kent Desormeaux who has won the last 3 of 5 starts for this conditioner. 1-Silent Heat finished an even 4th after a slow troubled start on April 21 and the (61) turf Beyer earned that afternoon certainly fits well against this suspect group.

Selections: 6-3-1

Race #7: 3-Doinitthehardway was a disappointing odds-on beaten favorite in the Sunland Park Oaks on March 27 but now returns to Southern California where she was a runaway Maiden winner two-back with an (86) Beyer. This Baffert filly by Street Sense has worked well since that subpar effort; cuts back in distance today and should be tough to beat with Hernandez back aboard. 2-Getthemoney adds blinkers; goes 2nd time Lasix and makes second start off the bench this afternoon for trainer Brian Koriner after a tardy start in March 27 return try. This lightly raced filly co-tops the field’s best last out main track Beyer (75) and should be a handful with any normal second off the layoff improvement. 1-Blessed Touch ran well in lone try going 7 furlongs and has been freshened since 3rd place finish in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel March 5 when finishing behind undefeated multiple graded stakes winning filly Faiza who also hails from the Team Baffert barn.

Selections: 3-2-1

Race #8: 1-Bella Baby adds blinkers off encouraging debut try on April 21 when finishing 3rd beaten only two lengths and is eligible to move forward off that strong effort. Hernandez stays aboard. 4-Mygalsdawnnlori sprung to life on the class drop and cutback in last effort April 21 and is an obvious threat returning to this $50k claiming tag level again. 3-Ava’s Storm flashed good speed before settling for second in strong debut effort 10 weeks ago for Sadler and this patient barn typically does well with these type of returnees. The 4-year-old filly earned a (66) Beyer that afternoon which is close to par for this class level. She’s the projected frontrunner again with an alert break.

Selections: 1-4-3

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