Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler
BEST BET: 5-Secret Club (Race #8)
Race #1: 2-Twirling Grace has speed; is drawn inside, and figures to lead this field of fillies and mares far enough to perhaps break her Maiden in career start number 8. 5-Witch Moon is 0 for 13 but has run fast enough for this level and comes off a troubled stretch trip behind next-out winner Floral Essence. 6-Acoustic Shadow comes out of that same January 17 race as Witch Moon with a solid 2nd place effort, but is also raking up the Maiden starts going on number 10 today.
Race #2: 3-With This Vow has speed; adds blinkers and makes the all-important 3rd start off the bench while moving back to the main track for trainer Ron Ellis. 1-Little Rachel beaten favorite comes off a strong runner-up return try at this level and is a BIG threat if she moves forward off that effort making her 2nd start off the claim for trainer John Sadler. 4-Founders Day is 1 for 11 but has run some encouraging races while gathering checks against similar on multiple occasions.
Race #3: 2-Big Flame has been freshened; get class relief, and projects to get a favorable trip from off the pace in a what should be a hotly contested turf sprint. This lucrative jockey/trainer combo teamed up to score with Big Splash last week. 3-Quantum Quest beaten favorite moves back to the turf making his first start off the claim for trainer Doug O’Neill who has solid numbers with new acquisitions. 4-Inch goes 2nd off the claim today coming off a good 3rd place effort and should get some pace to run into.
Race #4: 3-Lady Sassafras goes turf to dirt and makes 1st start against claimers today for trainer Sean McCarthy who has been sending out all live runners this current meet. This lightly-raced filly by multiple G1 winner Frosted is also making her 2nd start on Lasix. 4-Loma Vista drops; makes her 2nd start off the bench for D’Amato and could find herself on the lead in this weak but competitive Maiden Claiming event. 5-Ardis beaten favorite in last is another moving back to the main track and stretching out. This filly also gets some class relief in what looks like a wide-open scramble of a race.
Race #5: 7-Starship Defiant speedy filly has never run for this reduced claiming tag level and was a nice winner at this trip two-back for trainer Bob Hess. 5-Hot On the Trail is a re-claim for conditioner Lorenzo Ruiz and has proven to like the mile trip. 4-Zahara is 1 for 34 but moves back to the main track; drops in class and has consistently hit the board against better than these.
Race #6: 8-Tracy Di Vicenzo is nicely drawn outside for career debut and need not be much to pick these off at first asking for barn that can win with a debut runner. This filly by multiple G1 winner Stay Thirsty gets in light with capable apprentice. 3-Dorita’s Happy moves back to a sprint after subpar effort going a mile and has run competitive figures for this level on multiple occasions. 4-Magical Wand goes turf to dirt; route to sprint, and takes a sizable class drop this afternoon for winning barn. That could be more than enough to overhaul this weak Maiden Claiming group.
Race #7: 2-Shaaz is a lightly raced $1.1 million Baffert colt by Uncle Mo who popped an impressive 105 Beyer speed figure in December 26 debut and was then placed first again in second start via DQ. Might get jump on heavily favored morning line stablemate. 1-Fore Left draws inside and should be aggressively sent out today in what appears (at least on paper) to be a race void of any early zip. This 5-year-old gelding goes turf to dirt and first off the claim for barn that’s 15 for 42 (36%) with newly acquired purchases. 4-Triple Tap adds Lasix and has worked swiftly since disappointing 4th in G1 Malibu. Velazquez lands here which might be the telling sign of what two Baffert colts are best today. Selections: 2-1-4
Race #8: 5-Secret Club is a multiple winner over this turf course and takes a substantial class drop today for trainer Ruben Alvarado who also sends out speedster Betito from the rail. This 5-year-old gelding should mow these down late as the day’s best bet. 6-Hapi Hapi owns the field’s best last-out turf Beyer and should trip out nicely in here. 4-Hoop Dream is 1 for 14 but has been freshened and should get a favorable snappy pace to set-up his late kick this afternoon.