Santa Anita (Saturday-6/10/23) By Dean Keppler


Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 3-She’s a Bit Sassy (Race 8)

Race #1: 6-Sakura Flavor (Ire) was a much-improved 2nd when making second start off the bench and now gets key rider change to Rispoli. This jockey/trainer combo is 4 for 13 (31%) with a $3.06 ROI in grass MDSW events. 4-Heron Bay adds blinkers for first stateside start under new conditioner Neil Drysdale. This filly by War Front has worked well locally and attracts Hernandez for initial U.S. outing. 1-Luminiferous has finished 2nd three times from six starts in turf routes; moves to the rail today and stretches out to 1 1/8 miles. She projects to get a favorable ground-saving journey from the inside.

Selections: 6-4-1

Race #2: 7-Run Snappy vied three-deep for the early lead before tiring late when making first start in 4 months. The 5-year-old slices his claiming tag in half this afternoon for Sadler and should be much tighter making second start off the bench. His two works since that effort have been favorable. 4-Arrest rallied well to grab the 4th spot in the 1,000-yard event on the evening program at Los Al on May 27 and now returns to Santa Anita on the significant class drop. 3-Black Magician goes turf to dirt and cuts his claiming tag in half after flashing good speed and tiring back in April.

Selections: 7-4-3


Race #3: The stretch running 1-Myfavoritedaughter is one of three entries for trainer Vladimir Cerin. This filly is a multiple winner over this turf course and drops today from an allowance 1x down into a $32k claiming tag. She draws the rail and gets in light this afternoon. 4-Jibber Jabber (Ire) is clearly the one to beat off two strong back-to-back second place finishes with improving Beyers. She goes first off the claim today for Steve Knapp and switches to jockey Tiago Pereira. This combo has had good success with new barn acquisitions. 3-Song of Fire has been sidelined since last September after getting trounced in last pair before taking a much-needed vacation. She appears somewhat confidently placed today off the layoff and has trained reasonably well for her return. She can be forwardly placed in an event appearing to lack any serious early zip.

Selections: 1-4-3

Race #4: The multiple graded stakes winner 2-Adare Manor looks well-positioned to win third straight for Baffert exiting sharp win in the G2 Santa Maria back in April. She’s continuing to train superbly in the a.m. and looks like a likely wire-to-wire winner at short price. 1-Desert Dawn moves all the way inside today and drops out of back-to-back Grade 1 events for D’Amato. She would be the likely beneficiary of a hotly contested early pace. 5-Kirstenbosch was no match for top choice in most recent start but can clunk up for part of this with the right trip and set-up.

Selections: 2-1-5

Race #5: 8-Touchdown Kittle was well-backed and a game 2nd in May 19 debut coming up just a head short. An obvious factor with this group with any normal second-out progression. 3-Moon Ice has now accumulated five runner-up finishes from eight starts but has good speed and earned the field’s best last out grass Beyer (71). This colt is clearly the most accomplished of this group that have run thus far but is hard to endorse as top choice at likely short price. First time gelding 13-Eddie’s Last flashed speed and tired to finish 4th off a 9-month layoff for Team O’Neill and is eligible to move forward in this spot drawing in off the AE’s.

Selections: 8-3-13

Race #6: This bottom level $20,000 Maiden Claiming sprint is a wild scramble. 8-Irondale is 0 for 12 but makes second start off the claim for trainer Lorenzo Ruiz who is an impressive 27 for 56 (48%) with a $3.89 ROI in dirt sprint the past 5 years with this maneuver. 10-Jimmy the Boot removes the blinkers today on the surface switch and class drop. The 4-year-old colt makes his second southern California start off the extended layoff since shipping east and can improve here. 7-Pars and Birdies adds blinkers today and turns back to a sprint. This gelding’s best effort was going 6 furlongs two-back.

Selections: 8-10-7

Race #7: The lightly raced 4-Selenaia (Ire) exits a sharp allowance 1x win at Horseshoe Indianapolis over a bulky field on May 10 after returning from an extended layoff. She looks well-spotted figure-wise to face stakes foes for the first time for shrewd barn. Irish import 6-Paris Secret (Ire) is 2 for 3 to start her career and comes off decent win in the G3 Providencia. She makes her third start off the bench today and switches to Hernandez for the D’Amato barn. There’s certainly potential and room for another move forward. 7-Fast and Shiny goes two sprints to a route for Baffert and projects to be forwardly placed this afternoon on the stretch-out.

Selections: 4-6-7

Race #8: Class dropping 3She’s a Bit Sassy has not been out in 3 months but makes first start for new trainer Jeff Mullins while also making her initial main track outing. Berrios and Mullins are a strong 4 for 8 (50%) with a $3.95 ROI when teamed up with this barn’s first start after a trainer switch. She’s bred to handle dirt. 6-Sunshine Bay moves to dirt off sharp turf win at this level and should get a favorable race flow to close into. Her lone main track attempt way back in July of last year was uninspiring, but she’s by Grazen which indicates dirt should be a non-issue. 5-Starship Defiant looks for back-to-back wins at this level but is floated for a $40k claiming tag today. This mare can sit and pounce in a field filled with early zip. A logical threat right back but she loses Desormeaux to Sunshine Bay.

Selections: 3-6-5

Race #9: 4Count of Amazonia (Ire) has been freshened for this and has a win and second place finish over the downhill course. The game 8-year-old gelding switches to barn’s go-to veteran pilot; co-tops the field’s best last out turf Beyer and is certain to work out a decent trip. 5-Harbored Memories should move forward off encouraging 3rd place finish off a year layoff. The May 7 event he exits from has produced a pair of next-out winners. The speedy 1-Goliad has the rail and makes first start back off an 8-month layoff for Mandella. He can fire fresh.

Selections: 4-5-1

Race #10: 3Oncoming usually settles for the underneath exotics but has the right running style to factor today from off the pace. The gelding moves inside and is proven at the distance. 9-Nineeleventurbo was disqualified from 1st to 6th at this level for interference in last but looms a big threat again making 3rd start off the layoff. This gelding should get another live race flow to close into. 11-Hudson Ridge has drawn a tough post for Baffert but finished a good 3rd off the 3-month freshening and can move forward here with Hernandez back aboard.

Selections: 3-9-11

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