Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 4-Houndstooth (Race #4)
Race #1: 3-Just About Enough has good tactical early foot and moves inside this afternoon for trainer Mark Glatt. The 4-year-old gelding has been competitive at this level and may have finally found a field he can handle. 1-Mogollon Rim has been freshened and is lightly raced. The gelding adds Lasix today and this jockey/trainer combo have paired up for a couple of recent wins. 4-Dark Marcus removes the blinkers today and comes off a decent wide 3rd place trip behind today’s top choice.
Race #2: 2-McLaren Vale adds Lasix and finished 3rd behind multiple graded stakes winner and Derby bound Forbidden Kingdom. The former Baffert-trained runner is working smartly for return off the mini-freshening. Recent Maiden winner 1-Elector earned a giant Beyer (97) going 7 furlongs in start number two over next-out winners American Admiral and Set Sail. 3-Brutto has speed and makes 2nd start off the bench for new conditioner McCarthy.
Race #3: 1-Song Of Fire has speed and draws the rail making first start for new barn. This jockey/trainer combination are 4 for 13 (31%) with newly acquired purchases the past 3 years. 2-Lookin So Lucky takes a significant class drop today and owns the field’s best last-out grass Beyer. 5-St Helena adds blinkers; stretches out and makes first start for new connections.
Race #4: 4-Houndstooth adds Lasix; drops into maiden Claimers for the first time and makes the all-important 3rd career start for trainer Richard Mandella. This barn is 4 for 8 (50%) with a $4.20 ROI with MDSW to MDCLM droppers the past 3 years at Santa Anita. 5-Vetoed is yet another Baffert transplant who has been freshened for McCarthy. The 5-year-old gelding makes 2nd start against Maiden Claimers and is eligible to improve. A beaten favorite in last. 1-Maxim Moment moves up a tad in class off the layoff for new conditioner and last Beyer earned at Churchill fits well for this level.
Race #5: 3-Barsabas has decent early tactical foot and owns the field’s best last-out grass Beyer. 1-Doitforandrew goes 2nd time Lasix today making 3rd start in the states and is on the improve for D’Amato. The 3-year-old gelding stretches back out today. 4-Baladi adds blinkers; stretches out; goes dirt to turf, and makes 1st start for new connections after recent efforts at Fairgrounds. This gelding should handle turf.
Race #6: 6-Paleo’s Princess is by G1 winner Square Eddie and this barn is 4 for 8 (50%) with a $5.02 ROI with FTS the past 2 years. A good spot to try an unraced runner. 4-Warren’s Queen Bee holds the experience edge over several of these making career start number nine this afternoon and owns the field’s best last-out main track Beyer. She’s yet, however, to find winning ways with a combined five second and third place underneath finishes. 8-Dreamer Girl adds Lasix off the 9-momth freshening and is perhaps a better filly at 3.
Race #7: 4-Niles Channel a good runner-up try against several of these in last and might find himself closer to the lead this afternoon. Beaten favorite 3-Dubby Dubbie goes first off the claim for trainer Bob Hess and likes this distance. 1-Fly the Sky was a winner at this trip two-back at 23/1. The 5-year-old gelding draws the rail and should be able to save a ton of ground before making typical late burst.
Race #8: 8-Smilin Evie goes turf to dirt; route to sprint and makes 2nd start off the layoff for trainer Richard Baltas. This lucrative jockey/trainer combo teamed up with recent turf to dirt winner Smuggler’s Run April 9. This is a tricky N1X sprint that might be ripe for an upset. 2-Increase Stakes goes turf to dirt seeking 3rd straight win. 5-Li’l Grazen has been extremely popular at the claiming box despite losing 12 straight. Nonetheless, the veteran 8-year-old mare fits this level extremely well and should be rallying late.
Race #9: 5-Moody Jim has good gate speed; is 2 for 3 over this turf course and lands in what appears to be (at least on paper) a pace-less affair. French import 3-Cash Equity adds Lasix today for trainer Phil D’Amato and was very consistent overseas with a 3 for 10 career mark. Attracts hot rider for U.S. unveiling. The other D’Amato runner 4-Hong Kong Harry was a smashing winner in U.S. debut at this trip in solid time. Logical threat for the repeat.
Race #10: Beaten favorite 3-Special Ride is wheeled back rather quickly for new connections after just missing in troubled 3rd place try March 27. Anything resembling that (80) Beyer from debut makes this 4-year-old colt tough to look past in the nightcap. 2-Troubadour goes turf to dirt in career start number two for trainer Richard Mandella. This barn is 3 for 9 (33%) with this angle over the past several years. Two snappy a.m. drills since debut hint at major improvement today. 8-Hero Status was legged up for this on grass and barn is 4 for 12 (33%) the past 3 years with second career starters going turf to dirt. This 3-year-old colt is by multiple G1 winner Frosted.