Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 2-Doppelganger (Race #7)
Race #1: 3-Smokin Chenna holds the experience edge over 4 first time starters in here and a was a decent 2nd in May 21 unveiling when finishing second and flashing good early zip. Trainer Walther Solis does much better with his 2nd time starters going 4 for 14 (29%) the past 2 years sprinting on dirt at this venue. 5-Vegas Magic is one of two fillies trained by Doug O’Neil and comes highly regarded for top outfit. She’s trained superbly and is by multiple G1 winner Good Magic who is off to a fast start as a freshman sire. 4-She’s So Fancy is a juvenile filly by Stanford who gets a solid 24% with his 2-year-old first time starters and this gal has shown some steam in her a.m. drills. This barn, however, must overcome a 0 for 16 skid with debut runners.
Race #2: The 5-year-old mare 2-With This Vow has been a gem of consistency with 7 straight ITM finishes for trainer Ron Ellis. She’s never gone this far but has good tactical early foot; draws inside; owns the field’s best last-out grass Beyer (76) and keeps the services of leading rider Hernandez. 3-Mia At Midnight made her Southern California unveiling a winning one with a sharp effort at short odds earning a solid grass figure. She’s shows two sharp a.m. drills since that try and appears more than ready to handle today’s class rise. 5-Keep Dancing broke her Maiden over this trip last May and is eligible to move forward this afternoon on the stretch-out and making 2nd start off the layoff for trainer Kristin Mulhall. The mare was never involved after breaking slowly in last.
Race #3: 4-River Tiber has been trounced in last three efforts but moves to the main track today, adds blinkers and returns as a first-time gelding for trainer Doug O’Neil. He shows a much-improved work pattern which includes 3 bullet drills. The fact that Hernandez lands here also adds to the appeal. Upset chance. 2-Conundrum cuts back to a sprint after posting a career and field best Beyer (79) in last and is likely to change racing tactics today and rally from off the pace. The other George Papaprodromou-trained runner 5-Superman Shaq should be forwardly placed and moves up off the claim for a bar that’s a strong 5 for 13 (38%) the past 2 years with new acquisitions. This 4-year-old gelding makes his 2nd start off the layoff today and is likely to improve immensely.
Race #4: The speedy 8-Angelcents has been sidelined for 7 months but has run well fresh in the past and is nicely drawn outside. An alert break will make this mare tough to reel in late. 2-Dancing Crane is the obvious one to beat despite the move up in class coming off a strong win with a (80) Beyer while coming off the extended layoff. The 4-year-old filly is 4 for 9 lifetime and gets Hernandez back onboard while projecting to get first run at the top choice if she comes back to the field. The field’s lone stakes winner 3-Miss Carousel would be the main beneficiary of a pace meltdown owning a tremendous late kick. She’s trained very well for her return try and likes the 5-furlong distance (4 for 7).
Race #5: 6-Good Vibes Only moves back to the main track where he was a sharp winner two-back and this barn clicks close to 30% going turf to dirt. 4-Big Hand comes out of the same May 15 race as a few others in her and finished a disappointing 8th trying winners for the first time. This 3-year-old colt has trained sharply since that try, however, including a “best of 65” 4 furlongs in a sub :47 and is more than likely to revert to his dominating Maiden win on April 8. 2-Gold Rush Candy adds Lasix and makes first start as a 3-year-old in the McCarthy barn. He’s trained smartly in the a.m. and although his Maiden win numbers were nothing impressive there’s a good chance that he’s matured into a better racehorse than we saw last summer at Del Mar.
Race #6: 4-Lexington Humor is a 3-year-old filly by multiple G1 winner Practical Joke who did not disappoint in Golden Gate debut when scoring in dominating fashion for local top conditioner Jonathan Wong. She’s continued to motor along in her morning works and is a serious wire-to-wire threat making her Southern California grass debut and first start against winners. 2-Connie Swingle proved her versatility for D’Amato when bounding away on the lead for strong win while making her turf debut and adding Lasix for the first time. She’s an obvious threat to repeat owning the field’s best last out Beyer (80). The D’Amato barn’s other filly is the undefeated 1-Rose Dawson who has shown a tremendous late kick in both career wins that includes an eye-catching (107) TimeformUS pace figure. The filly moves all the way inside today; adds Lasix but hasn’t been out in nearly 5 months.
Race #7: If a swift pace materializes as expected the Tim Yakteen-trained colt 2-Doppelganger would be in great shape to take his first graded stakes. The 3-year-old colt by top sire Into Mischief returns west after battling much better at Oaklawn and Churchill. He’s trained extremely well locally since Derby Day while returning to his home base and has shown signs of real raw talent while running in spurts in several of his races. We’ve been patiently waiting for the talented colt to put it all together and perhaps today is that day. Beaten favorite 3-High Connection was no match for Preakness also-ran Armagnac May 8 but gained valuable route experience that afternoon and retains Hernandez. The colt must avoid a potential speed duel with the outside runners. The other McCarthy entrant is the undefeated 1-Hopper who comes off a dominating Maiden win; owns the field’s best last out Beyer and stretches out around two turns for the first time. The colt is by multiple G1 winner Declaration of War so the extra distance should not be an issue.
Race #8: This event features a very competitive full field of 10 allowance turf sprinters with several different directions to go. 2-Fenestra just missed in last for top barn when getting nailed at the wire in what was a very encouraging grass debut. The lightly raced 6-year-old gelding moves inside today and appears to be the speed of the speed. He must negotiate an additional half furlong but owns the field’s best last-out Beyer (86) and we’re banking the extended distance will not be an issue. 3-Barristan The Bold has won 2 of his last three and comes off a troubled 4th in most recent start where he should have been a lot closer. The gelding is a logical threat again today while consistently posting grass Beyers in the high 80’s. A BIG threat with clear sailing in the lane. 5-Yes He Can ships west off the Phil D’Amato claim at Keeneland and returns to turf where he’s had decent success from limited tries. This shrewd barn clicks close to 30% with new purchases.
Race #9: 2-Arkaan goes two sprints to a route and switches back to the main track where he’s been equally successful for trainer Vladamir Cerin. The 5-year-old has trained well; has decent tactical early foot and projects to trip out nicely this afternoon. 3-Parnelli showed great improvement in second start off the layoff when dead heating for the win with There Goes Harvard who came back with an upset win the G1 Gold Cup and defeating Divine Armor another next-out winner. If this colt can avoid a regression off his career best Beyer (93) he’ll likely be a handful again in here. The stakes-placed 4-Affable is one of two Mark Glatt-trained runners in here. This colt has proven he can fire fresh and is bred to handle the extended distance.
Race #10: 3-Magic Game was off a step slow and raced wide in second career start and is eligible to bounce back today after encouraging debut effort where she earned a solid (65) turf Beyer. A figure which is close to par for this level. This filly is by multiple G1 winner Flintshire and switches to Bravo who was onboard with recent winner Snark for this barn May 27. 7-Truly a Mess finished a non-threatening 4th in debut but is likely to move forward with the addition of blinkers in career start number two. This barn is 3 for 10 (30%) with 2nd time starters getting the equipment change. 11-Roubaix has had several chances now making career start number 11. The filly must be respected, however, with runner-up finishes in last pair against similar competition/ An outside drawn again with speed.