Santa Anita (Monday-5/30/2022)

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 2-Wine and Whiskey (Race #2)

Race #1: First time gelding 1-Queen’s Code returns off a year layoff for trainer Carla Gaines who’s been masterful with these long layoff types winning with last three off 261, 287 and 335 days. A string of sharp a.m. drills adds to the appeal. 7-Lil Nas has been freshened for hot barn and picks up Ortiz in today’s opening Memorial Day 10-race card. This conditioner clicks close to 30% with these extended layoff Maiden Special Weight types. 2-Orth has rattled off three straight ITM finishes on turf with improving Beyer numbers.

Selections: 1-7-2

Race #2: Golden Gate invader 2-Wine and Whiskey has run par or better for this class level on multiple occasions and goes 2nd off the claim for trainer Jonathan Wong this afternoon. The 5-year-old was a beaten favorite 2nd in last behind next-out winner Bottle of Smoke who returned with an 84 Beyer. This lucrative jockey/trainer combo have won 3 of their last 4 starts at Santa Anita. 4-Hail Freedom goes turf to dirt on the stretch-out for trainer Doug O’Neil. 1-Quick Buck needs to improve substantially on the Beyer scale but has speed and the rail draw. He’s likely to work out a good trip with Irad Ortiz in the saddle.

Selections: 2-4-1

Race #3: 3-Gallovie looks for back-to-back wins and holds the grass Beyer edge with two 80 plus numbers earned in last pair of solid efforts when finishing first and second respectively. The mare defeated two next-out winners in that last start on April 30. 2-Dancing Crane has good speed and returns off the layoff for trainer Mark Glatt. The consistent 4-year-old filly sports a 7 for 8 ITM percentage and picks up Ortiz who’s in town to ride in today’s Grade 1 stakes action. 6-Equilove should sit a nice trip behind likely pacesetter Dancing Crane and get first run on that filly. This jockey/trainer combo are 3 for 11 (27%) with first off the claim runners.

Selections: 3-2-4

Race #4: The Gold Cup is the first of three Grade 1 events on today’s Memorial Day card. 2-Royal Ship was a smashing winner off the layoff which should set this 6-year-old gelding up nicely for Hall of Fame jockey/trainer combo. He’s 7 for 16 lifetime and has a versatile running style to adapt to most pace scenarios. 5-Stilleto Boy changed running style tactics and it paid off handsomely with a career best (108) Beyer speed figure with strong wire-to-wire score in the G2 Californian over heavy favorite Express Train. A sharp 5-furlong drill May 23 indicates he remains razor sharp. 4-Defunded has won two straight wins but is still looking for his first graded stakes victory today after earning a career best (100) Beyer coming off the extended layoff for new conditioner. The gelding is unproven at the distance but is potentially today’s pacesetter.

Selections: 2-5-4

Race #5: The Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile Stakes is also the opening leg of the 20 cent Rainbow 6 mandatory payout sequence which could potentially attract close to $5 million dollars. 5-Smooth Like Strait is a hard-hitting 5-year-old with a ton of early zip and extremely consistent form. He’s hit the board in 11 straight races for trainer Michael McCarthy with 7 consecutive triple digit Beyers. He ships back west after missing by a neck in the G1 Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland and makes his 2nd start off the layoff this afternoon. Prat takes over. 2-Count Again also exits the G1 Maker’s Mark Mile off a non-threating 6th place finish. The gelding is expected to rebound in a BIG way today, however, after starting the year with two sharp wins locally. Irad Ortiz gets the mount for trainer Phil D’Amato. The gelding is 4 for 7 at this mile trip. The other D’Amato runner 1-Masteroffoxhounds moves inside; has good positional speed and makes his 3rd start off the layoff today with improving Beyer figures.

.20 Cent Rainbow Pick 6: 2,5 With 3,5,6,9 With 1,2,4,8 With ALL With 6,7 With 1,3,6 = $230.40

Selections: 5-2-1

Race #6: 5-Tequila Tigre makes career start number three and goes first off the claim for trainer Steve Knapp who is a strong 5 for 18 (28%) with a $4.13 ROI the past 3 years with new acquisitions. A confident hike in class and sharp gate drill May 21 adds to the appeal. 6-Miss Baylee is the potential frontrunner in here and deserves another chance making her 2nd start off the extended layoff at this reduced class level. The 4-year-old filly battled intensely amongst a group of runners through a taxing opening quarter mile in a difficult spot and ran on gamely in the stretch to hold on to 3rd three weeks ago. Improvement likely. Beaten favorite 3-Warren’s Queen Bee has two good runner-up tries recently at this level with improving Beyers that are right within range of the speed figure par for this level. She appears to be the one to beat again but is certainly no slam-dunk.

Selections: 5-6-3

Race #7: 8-Sunny Morning makes career start number 11 this afternoon but has been competitive against better in a couple near misses from off the pace for Gallagher. The 4-year-old filly is reunited with Rispoli who just missed by a neck on this gal two-back. She shows two sharp recent gate drills since last start and pilot is 3 for 6 (50%) with a $3.30 ROI with MDSW to MDCLM droppers for these connections. 2-Isola Mia removes the blinkers today and drops into Claimers for the first time for trainer Michael McCarthy. These are both productive angles for this barn and this filly gets key rider change today to Hernandez who is 3 for 5 with this barn’s MDSW to MDCLM dropdowns. 1-Roxbury returns off an 8-month hiatus for new conditioner Phil D’Amato and drops in for a $100k claiming tag with the addition of Lasix. The filly was a non-threatening 7th in Del Mar turf debut but deserves consideration starting for this shrewd turf outfit.

Selections: 8-2-1

Race #8: 3-Still On the Books debuts for Reddam Racing and Team O’Neil. This lucrative jockey/trainer combo are 7 for 20 (35%) with a $3.91 ROI with debut runners at Santa Anita the past 2 years. The colt is by multiple G1 winner Practical Joke who won his Saratoga debut. 6-Famous Star holds the experience edge with two local starts—one on grass and latest over the main track. The 3-year-old colt by Frosted will attract plenty of well-deserved support off (79) dirt Beyer speed figure earned in last start, and the Sadler barn has heated up in recent days. 1-Recall and Reload is by G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Tapizar and has worked swiftly in the a.m. for initial unveiling for trainer Sean McCarthy. The colt draws the rail and gets Lasix for debut. Another to consider is 2nd time starter 4-Anaheim who showed brief speed in debut before tiring. The $385k colt by Twirling Candy gets key rider change to Hernandez who has two wins and 1 second from 4 starts with this barn’s second career starters.

Selections: 3-6-1

Race #9: The allowance turf sprint back on March 5 has turned into a strong “key” race with 5 horses returning to win from that event. Three of those horses are entered here today including 6-Cali Bay. The 4-year-old gelding adds blinkers today; has good positional speed and shows improving Beyer numbers for trainer Phil D’Amato. 7-Cane Creek Road returns to the downhill course after showing speed and fading in most recent start. She adds blinkers today and is another coming out of the March 5 key race. 2-Newmark is the expected front runner again this afternoon after securing back-to-back wins. Kitchingman claimed him for $50k two-back and this gelding owns the field’s best last-out turf Beyer (87).

Selections: 6-7-2

Race #10: Grade 1 winner 1-Going to Vegas is one of two Phil D’Amato-trained runners represented in today’s Grade 1 Gamely Stakes. This 5-year-old mare was a beaten favorite 2nd in last pair of starts but moves all the way inside to the rail today and should be able to work out a favorable trip with Irad Ortiz in town from the east coast to ride. She was 5th in this race last year but is 2 for 3 at the distance. 6-Going Global is 5 for 5 at Santa Anita and 3 for 3 at the distance for D’Amato. This Grade 1 winner prepped nicely for this in the G2 Royal Heroine with a sharp win and she’s reunited with Prat who returns to Southern California to ride this talented filly. 3-Ocean Road showed a tremendous late kick to win a 1X allowance event at Keeneland earning an eye-catching (129) late Timeform pace figure. This 4-year-old filly steps up to face proven graded stake filly and mare types today but is eligible to move forward making her 2nd start off the layoff for trainer Brendan Walsh. She was a troubled trip 6th at long odds in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf in initial U.S. start last November.

Selections: 1-6-3

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