Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 7-Silver Surfer (GB) (Race 7)
Race #1: 1-Dendera goes first off the claim for trainer Leonard Powell after just missing when last seen at DMR back in early December. This filly moves up in class today but has the rail; attracts Hernandez and appears well spotted. The lightly raced 3-Runninwiththeboyz has won two straight since switching to grass for Mullins and is bred to handle the additional yardage. 7-Control Function finished an even 4th in first southern California start and can improve off that effort making 2nd start off the bench today.
Race #2: 1-Big Bell steps up to face winners off recent Maiden victory and has trained well since that score for Tim Yakteen. The 5-year-old mare appears well-placed for first crack against winners. 7-Parco cuts back to a sprint today after a series of route efforts and gets in light again with good positional speed. Bell’s stablemate 2-Adam’s Creed goes turf to dirt today and takes a substantial class drop. The filly was a main track Maiden winner two-back.
Race #3: The veteran 8-year-old 4-Southern Horse (Arg) has been freshened for new barn while making his first start since June. Hernandez climbs back aboard today having won two of his last three mounts when guiding this gelding. A potential “all” Hernandez early pick three well within reach. 5-Jetovator returns off a 4-month break today for trainer Peter Eurton and was overmatched when last seen in the California Flag back in October. He was a game 10/1 winner two-back against better, however, earning a strong (90) grass Beyer with Maldonado aboard. 2-Exceed Speed Limit drops in for a tag this afternoon and is reunited with winning rider.
Race #4: 2-Crypto Ride cuts back from 1 1/16 of a mile to 6 ½ furlongs this afternoon; adds Lasix and drops out of back-to-back minor stake events. The consistent 6-Crowning Gold has good gate speed and comes off a recent second place finish at this level where he earned a career best (65) Beyer speed figure over a trio of these same runners. 8-Goldenspa steps up off recent Maiden score.
Race #5: 5-Constant Conflict switched back to turf off the claim in most recent start and earned a career and field’s best last out (80) Beyer with sharp runner-up effort. 6-Relaxed Artist (Ire) has been freshened for good layoff barn. 7-Missed Call was a beaten favorite in last at this level but now makes 3rd start off the form cycle and Hernandez retains the mount.
Race #6: 10-Oil Can Knight was a convincing 1,000-yard winner against better at Los Al back on January 21 and now moves back to the SA course where he’s a proven 5 for 11. The gelding has a versatile running style which should serve him well in this spot and Maldonado has been aboard for multiple wins. 2-Afternoon Heat also exits a Los Al evening event and is wheeled back off 6 days rest after a sharp 1,000-yard closing win against cheaper on February 5. This 7-year-old gelding is only 2 for 26 lifetime but has a solid record at this 5 ½ furlong trip (8-1-3-2) and should get a lively pace to close into. Upset chance. The speedy 6-Sauls Call has not been seen since finishing 3rd at Golden Gate nearly a year ago and now returns for a career low $10k claiming tag off a slow worktab. The Miyadi barn is, however, a strong 5 for 12 (42%) with a $4 ROI with dirt sprint runners returning off >180 days. Mixed feelings.
Race #7: First time gelding 7-Silver Surfer (GB) is one of three D’Amato runners lined up in here and could be loose on the lead in here while situated in a field that appears (at least on paper) to be void of any serious early pace. The main caveat is, however, that he hasn’t been out since October 2021. Having said that the gelding adds Lasix today and this jockey/trainer combo are 2 for 3 (67%) and a 2nd with horses returning off >180 days on turf. 1-Aligato is the one to beat dropping out of the Unusual Heat Turf Classic where he missed by only a neck going longer with traffic troubles earning the field’s best last out turf Beyer (86). Hernandez takes over for hot barn. 3-Sarwar (Fr) is a French import who makes first U.S. start for conditioner Leornard Powell off an 8-month layoff. The 4-year-old gelding adds blinkers/Lasix and is proven off the bench.
Race #8: 1-Krahenbuhl was last seen finishing a tiring 4th at Los Al back in December 11 when exiting a tough key race heat that’s since produced 3 next-out winners. The colt has speed and the rail draw. He should be aggressively sent with top gate rider who was also aboard for runaway Maiden score two-back. 3-Letsgetlucky is undoubtedly the class of this field with multiple graded stakes placements and solid Beyers in the 90’s in his last 5 main track starts. He’s a multiple winner over the track and distance and proven off the bench for trainer Brian Koriner. The lightly raced 5-Murray (By Street Sense) has been freshened for Team Baffert and returns with a flashy worktab and leading rider Juan Hernandez.
Race #9: 3-Havana Angel (Ire) hasn’t showed much in both stateside efforts but has been freshened today and attracts Hernandez again for first attempt over the downhill course. This jockey/trainer combo click close to 40% overall at SA with turf sprinters which leads one to believe there’s perhaps more talent than has been shown thus far from this filly. 7-Itzel improved for the Maiden breaking score when switched to grass in second career start and was snagged that afternoon for $62,500 by trainer Peter Miller. This barn is a strong 5 for 13 (38%) with a $3.25 ROI at SA with first off the claim runners sprinting on turf. 4-Manhattan Jungle (Ire) cuts back in distance today off a runner-up finish in the Blue Norther Stakes on December 30. This 3-year-old filly is graded stakes placed overseas and makes her 3rd local stateside start this afternoon.
Race #10: 10-Nuclear is a $1.55 million Keeneland purchase by Triple Crown winner Justify who is a solid 21% with debuting prodigy and 5 for 11 (45%) with turf sprint runners. This colt debuts with Lasix for the Sadler barn with good works and attracts Hernandez for unveiling. 9-Valiancer is the most experienced in the field with 8 career starts and has run some competitive efforts at this level. 8-Boss Sully is by multiple Grade 1 winner Street Boss who excelled on synthetic and gets 14% with his turf sprint prodigy. The colt debuts with Lasix with solid a.m. drills and barn has above average numbers with debut runners.