Santa Anita (Saturday-03/12/22)

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 7-Award Winner (Race #9)

Race #1: 4-Barristan The Bold moves up off win and is wheeled back off only 6 days’ rest. The 6-year-old gelding should get a similar favorable pace setup again this afternoon. 10-Psycho Dar ships back in from Golden Gate and is a three-time winner over this track and distance. The veteran is drawn outside but has the right running style if today’s quick pace materializes as expected. 5-Never Have I Ever will be amongst the scramble of runners looking for the lead and is 8 for 19 at today’s 5 furlongs.

Selections: 4-10-5

Race #2: 5-Work to Live goes turf to dirt; 2nd time Lasix, removes the blinkers today and drops back to face Maiden Claimers making career start number three. 1-Soul of a Warrior has been freshened and drops into Claimers for the first time off two disappointing efforts at Del Mar last summer. The filly has some decent a.m. drills for return and barn is 3 for 9 (33%) with $4.84 ROI with MDSW to MDCLM dropdowns. 3-Lovely Lola looks best of rest.

Selections: 5-1-3

Race #3: 6-Carroll Girl is one of three Richard Baltas Maiden fillies signed on for this turf route and looks like the most likely winner of the trio. She owns the field’s best last-out turf Beyer (82) and this lucrative jockey/trainer combo are 8 for 20 (40%) with a $4.24 ROI with 2nd off the bench runners on grass at Santa Anita. 4-Phenom is the expected frontrunner again and could get brave if allowed to sail along at a moderate clip. 5-Sunny Morning back-to-back 2nd place finishes at this level on turf makes her an obvious threat again today.

Selections: 6-4-5

Race #4: Trainer Brittany Vanden Berg is 0 for 3 with locally claimed acquisitions but in her defense they’ve all hit the board. 1-Fight On goes turf to dirt and makes his 2nd start off the layoff. The barn is 8 for 15 (53%) with a positive ROI overall with 1st off the claim runners on dirt. 5-Escape Route moves back to his preferred surface where he sports some of the fastest Beyer numbers of this short field.  3-Brutto removes the blinkers; cuts back to a sprint and has been freshened for Baffert barn. The 4-year-old colt might be quickest to the lead in here.

Selections: 1-5-3

Race #5: 2-Harbored Memories runs well fresh and has trained smartly in the a.m for 2022 debut for trainer Mike Pupye. The 4-year-old colt is 2 for 2 at today’s tricky distance. 4-Border Town drops in class and comes out of a race that’s produced two next-out winners.  1-Vantastic has yet to run par for this level but is ultra-consistent and should sit a favorable ground-saving trip. The 6-year-old gelding is a multiple winner over this track, distance and surface.

Selections: 2-4-1

Race #6: The speedy 4-Mongolian Ford comes off a good 2nd place finish where he earned the field’s best last-out dirt Beyer (89). A serious wire-to-wire threat in here. 3-Street Ruckus goes turf to dirt and has handled the main track fine in the past. 1-Bud Knight usually settles for 2nd place money but draws well and will be rallying down the lane.

Selections: 4-3-1

Race #7: Class dropping 5-Travel Smart removes the blinkers today and adds Lasix for trainer Ruben Alvarado who is having an excellent meet. The barn has good numbers with 2nd off the layoff runners and this filly projects to get a lively pace to close into. Recent Maiden winner 9-Midnight’s Girl has speed; is drawn outside and although she didn’t show much in lone turf try she’s by G1 winner Midnight Storm who exceled on grass going long. 1-She’s So Shiny ambitiously placed in G3 Sweet Life when finishing a tiring 7th but drops down today to realistic level and broke Maiden at this trip two-back.

Selections: 5-9-1

Race #8: 5-Busy Paynter has good early foot and goes first off the claim for trainer Kristen Mulhall who clicks close to 25% with newly acquired purchases at Santa Anita. 1-A New Peace goes turf to dirt; route to sprint and takes a sizable class plunge this afternoon. The 6-year-old mare shows a nice 4-furlong drill in preparation for this. 2-Li’l Grazen makes 1st start for new barn and has competitive Beyer numbers for this class level.

Selections: 5-1-2

Race #9: 7-Award Winner has good tactical early foot; runs well fresh, and projects to sit a nice trip off D’Amato pacesetter 6-Acclimate. 1-Say The Word is back to his preferred distance after a pair of tardy beginnings and should work out a nice ground-saving journey from the rail. The veteran 7-year-old gelding will need to run down his stablemate. 6-Acclimate is 0 for 5 at this trip but will be on the engine once again and could get brave with modest fractions.

Selections: 7-1-6

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