Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 2-Fun Money (Race #4)
Race #1: 1-Shadow Sphinx has been ultra-consistent on the Santa Anita turf (6 for 11) and comes off a 15/1 upset win last month for trainer Kristen Mulhall earning the field’s best last-out turf Beyer (92). This 7-year-old gelding moves all the way inside today and projects to sit a favorable ground-saving journey from the rail. The cut back to a mile is a non-issue as the gritty gelding is a 4-time winner at the distance. He only needs clear sailing late to register back-to-back wins. 2-Constitutionaffair cuts back to his preferred distance where he was a game winner two-back. 9-Midnight Jostar is one of a handful in here exiting May 7 event and has the best late kick of the group.
Race #2: 5-Becca Taylor equally effective on grass, synthetic and today’s main track the talented 4-year-old filly who is 7 for 8 lifetime seeks her first graded stakes victory for trainer Steve Miyadi. She’ll likely secure another win at very short odds. 1-Dance to the Music was a sharp wire-to-wire winner off the 7-month freshening and looks like the main threat to top pick. 4-Samurai Charm has already proven she can win off the extended layoff and has trained smartly for return try including a 3-furlong blowout drill here locally on June 1.
Race #3: 2-Bestrella drops back town to level of $25k claim from two-back for trainer Steve Knapp and returns to preferred distance. This jockey/trainer combo are 4 for 17 (24%) with a $3.41 ROI with the 2nd off the claim angle. 6-Cinnte Winnte adds blinkers today and drops in class off the mini-freshening. This barn has good numbers with the equipment change. 3-A New Peace has good tactical speed which should serve her well in this spot and exits same race as top selection.
Race #4: 2-Fun Money makes first start for new barn after showing good speed in Churchill sloppy track debut try just 9 days ago. The 2-year-old filly attracts Hernandez for Southern California unveiling and should be tough to reel in with expected alert break. 3-Lov U Mean It is a logical threat off encouraging debut effort when showing good interest late to grab the show spot. 8-Indict the Tiger is by multiple G1 winner Smiling Tiger who won his debut try by 6 widening lengths. The colt is nicely drawn outside with expected speed based on morning worktab.
Race #5: There are 6 fillies and mares exiting the same May 7 race. One that is not exiting that event is twice beaten favorite in last pair 7-Rhea Moon who deserves another chance for D’Amato barn cutting back to a mile and making 3rd start in the states. The 4-year-old 4-Vivando didn’t have the cleanest path for running during stretch run in last when trapped along the inside and has come back to work sharply twice since that effort for red-hot Sadler barn. 5-Red Tiara showed good speed and faded in debut try at long odds but this filly should be much tighter for second go-around for trainer Michael McCarthy. She should carry her speed further today.
Race #6: Second time starter 8-Cosmo Katie moves outside off decent debut effort when defeating next-out winner Paddle On Polly and should improve immensely in career start number two today for barn that traditionally does better with 2nd time starters. 4-Chicknfingerfriday is by multiple G1 winner I’ll Have Another and this jockey/trainer combo scored with recent first-time starter Tahoma on May 22. 7-Midnight Lightning is the obvious main contender off best last-out debut Beyer (57).
Race #7: 3-Balnikhov adds blinkers today and is the obvious favorite in here for D’Amato off two encouraging grass tries with Beyers of 87 and 88. The 3-year-old gelding drops out of the G2 American Turf Stakes at Churchill and is reunited with Hernandez who just missed when aboard two-back. Graded-stakes placed 2-Cabo Spirit returns to the Santa Anita turf off a neck defeat at Golden Gate and has run very well over the sod here. 4-Beef Winslow makes 2nd start against winners with good positional early zip.
Race #8: This weak $20k Maiden Claiming event for fillies looks like a good spot to try a first-time starter. 3-Lucy’s Way is by G1 winner Boisterous and debuts with Lasix for jockey/trainer combo that have had prior success with debut runners. Beaten favorite 4-Warren’s Show Biz has been knocking on the door at this level with three straight ITM finishes. The 3-year-old filly has already run over par for this reduced class level and cuts back to 6 furlongs. 1-Sweetheart should improve off May 8 grass try moving back to the main track today and taking a significant class drop. She finished 2nd in main track dirt debut try last March.
Race #9: We’ll try for the Michael McCarthy-trained exacta in Saturday’s nightcap. 4-Quintecents has good speed and moves back up into the MDSW ranks off strong (78) Beyer speed figure when making first start on turf. An encouraging May 27 drill indicates he’s in top form while making 2nd start on Lasix. 2-Percolate removes the blinkers and adds Lasix for return try. The 3-year-old colt showed some promise routing on turf in both starts last fall. Beaten favorite 5-One More Bid goes route to sprint; dirt to turf; and adds blinkers today for trainer Ryan Hanson. The gelding’s dirt tries were encouraging.