Santa Anita (Saturday-1/21/23) By Dean Keppler


Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 6-Who’s Candy (Race #3)

Race #1: 4-Percolate (Ire) has two wins and a close second in last three turf tries with improving Beyers and owns the field’s best last out grass fig (85). The colt projects to get another favorable stalking trip this afternoon. 5-Foothill has been on a one-year hiatus for Team O’Neill, but a.m. drills have been especially encouraging for today’s return try. 9-Spirit Maker must negotiate the outside post but has run some solid efforts at this level including a trouble trip 3rd in last effort.

Selections: 4-5-9

Race #2: Team O’Neill has three 3-year-olds represented in this Maiden Claiming dirt sprint. Of the trio 3-Goldenspa merits a slim margin for top billing. The colt goes turf to dirt; adds Lasix; drops back in for a tag and his main track try two-back resulted in a strong runner-up finish and (62) Beyer. His stablemate 4-Stop and a Trees also adds Lasix today and comes off back-to-back 2nd place finishes at roughly this level. 5-Pacific States should improve making second start off the bench for the Desormeaux brothers who teamed up to score with Stella Noir ($15.80) last Saturday.

Selections: 3-4-5


Race #3: 6-Who’s Candy is the one to beat off last pair of turf sprint efforts where he ran back-to-back seconds with top turf Beyer numbers. The 4-year-old gelding projects to grab the lead here and have clear sailing home. 1-Really Big News makes first start for new connections in 9 months for good layoff barn and has proven he can fire fresh. 5-Wyfire makes 2nd start off the Glatt claim and mini-freshening with three seconds from 3 starts on the SA turf.

Selections: 6-1-5

Race #4: 1-Rosy Edge takes a sizable class drop off 4-month freshening in career start number three and owns the field’s best last out main track Beyer figure (68). A similar effort would make this filly tough in this suspect spot. 6-Alex’s Girl (by G1 winner Idiot Proof) ran third in debut back in April at this venue and now drops from $50k to $20,000 claiming tag. It’s not ideal circumstances but Hernandez takes over which can be interpreted as a positive sign. 9-Vegas Dream has speed from the outside while coming off a career best Beyer (53) with recent 12/1 second place finish at Los Al.

Selections: 1-6-9

Race #5: 3-Smileforme showed good late kick to draw off in recent synthetic victory up north against slightly cheaper and has run equally well over the main track for trainer Jonathan Wong. Another potential forward move can be anticipated today making second start off the bench. 6-El Diablo Rojo comes off a game evening score at 1,000 yards December 31 and effort two-back was also decent on the Los Al afternoon program where he ran above par for this class level. The 7-year-old veteran gelding 1-King of Speed goes turf to dirt and has never been offered this cheaply in 32 career starts. This barn clicks close to 40% with these types of substantial class droppers. The one-time multiple stakes winner has seen better days but must be respected at this reduced level.

Selections: 3-6-1

Race #6: 2-Roy C has not started since October 2021, but these lucrative connections are no strangers to winning off extended layoffs as this jockey/trainer combo scored with the colt Thirsty John (1/7) off 238 day’s rest. 4-Lottery Pick drops in for a first time tag this afternoon and his grass route efforts have been competitive. The gelding comes off the mini freshening with a solid worktab. A beaten favorite in last pair and three consecutive 2nd place grass finishes on grass at this same level makes 5-The Key Is Unity the one to beat again. He’s tough to trust at short odds, however.

Selections: 2-4-5

Race #7: 1-Big Swede was a solid second when facing this level of winners in most recent start while owning the field’s best last out Beyer figure (72). A similar effort makes him a logical contender again. 3-Sippin n Kissin finished behind top choice in most recent start December 30 as the beaten favorite but certainly merits respect and solid chance to revert that decision switching back to Rispoli. 10-Nolo Contesto is winless since January 2019 but drops in second start off the O’Neill claim and moves back to his preferred 1-mile trip this afternoon. He has 7 second place finishes from 18 career starts.

Selections: 1-3-10

Race #8: The talented mare 7-Tiz an Edventure is an impressive 9 for 17 lifetime while having most of her success in northern California. She’s unproven at this marathon distance but ships in for winning connections and all indications are she can handle the additional real estate. 2-Lady Clementine (GB) was overmatched in the G1 American Oaks in most recent start but drops back down to more appropriate level today and should find herself closer to the front in what appears (at least on paper) to be a pace-less field. 3-Queen Of the Temple finds an easier spot today after respectable efforts against graded stakes types and makes 3rd start off the bench today for trainer Dan Blacker. Hernandez climbs back aboard.

Selections: 7-2-3

Race #9: 6-Warrens World adds Lasix; makes 3rd start off the bench today and comes in with a Beyer pattern going in the right direction. Upset chance. 3-Army Star has won two straight with a double Beyer advantage over this field. 8-Crowning Gold was 2nd behind Army Star in most recent effort December 3 when facing winners for the first time. The colt adds Lasix this afternoon.

Selections: 6-3-8

Race #10: 12-One of These Days (Ire) must negotiate the outside draw but makes first stateside start for D’Amato barn with Hernandez and these connections excel with these import types. First time gelding 1-Dandy Man Shines (Ire) was a beaten favorite in last pair but adds Lasix today; goes route to sprint; and move to the rail having already run close to par for this class level. 4-Fleet Feet adds Lasix and blinkers while cutting back to 6 ½ furlongs.

Selections: 12-1-4

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