Santa Anita (Sunday-03/06/22)

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 3-Heels Up (Race #6)

Race #1: Class dropping 1-Barristan The Bold has run par for this level on multiple occasions and projects to sit a nice ground-saving trip. 9-Highly Distorted has been plagued by layoff lines the last couple years but has run well fresh for good layoff barn. Good speed and nicely drawn outside. 2-Silardi is another getting some class relief this afternoon. The 5-year-old gelding is reunited with winning rider while returning to 5 panels where he’s 3 for 5.

Selections: 1-9-2

Race #2: Beaten favorite 5-Impossible Task has speed; is drawn outside in this short field and looks like a strong wire-to-wire threat with Prat. 4-Absolute Unit goes turf to dirt and makes 2nd start off the claim for trainer Craig Dollase. 1-No Hang Charlie moves up in class today but has good tactical early foot; is drawn well and has two nice drills since last win.

Selections: 5-4-1

Race #3: Recent claim 4-Prince Maior gets stiff class test making his So. Cal debut. The colt lands in a paceless turf route, however, where he could potentially get away with modest fractions if aggressively sent from the gate. 1-Hong Kong Harry makes his first US start for trainer Phil D’Amato who excels with these import types going 6 for 14 (43%) with a $3.28 ROI at SA on grass the past 5 years. 3-Jimmy P has been freshened; adds blinkers and makes first start for hot barn and jockey.

Selections: 4-1-3

Race #4: Of the two Baffert colts, beaten favorite 4-Bletchley Park ($2.6 million purchase by Nyquist) stretches out today and could be quickest despite losing Velasquez to 3-Kerouac. The latter comes off a good 2nd place effort and makes the all-important 3rd career start. 5-Piroli would likely be favorite in here if not for the Baffert pair. He owns the field’s best last-out Beyer (78) when finishing in front of next-out winner South Street when stretched out.

Selections: 4-3-5

Race #5: 1-Flat Out Joy has only 1 turf start in 19 career efforts but adds blinkers today; has good tactical early zip and draws well in a race that appears (at least on paper) to be void of any serious early foot. 3-Rapid Transit has been freshened and she returns to her preferred surface where she was a 4-time winner at a mile when campaigning in the Midwest. 2-Bestrella has not shown much since Del Mar claim 4 back but takes a sizable class plunge today and picks up Prat.

Selections: 1-3-2

Race #6: 3-Heels Up has been freshened for Baffert and adds Lasix today on the class drop. This shrewd barn is an impressive 6 for 9 (67%) with a lofty $6.62 ROI with horses starting off >180 Days rest adding today’s medication. Velasquez signing on only adds to the appeal. The Day’s Best Bet. The lightly raced filly 4-Sharapova makes 2nd start off the bench and projects to be on or close to the lead today. 2-Del Mar Drama must negotiate an additional furlong today but comes into this event super sharp.

Selections: 3-4-2

Race #7: The speedy 3-Trainer Please adds blinkers today making 2nd start off the layoff for trainer Doug O’Neil, and is our top pick to break through Maiden ranks today in career start number five. 8-Flintmore owns the field’s best last-out turf Beyer (80) and cuts back in distance today for D’Amato and Velasquez. Logical fit. The 4-year-old colt 2-Troubadour makes long awaited initial start today for Mandella off encouraging a.m. drills and attracts meet’s leading pilot for unveiling.

Selections: 3-8-2

Race #8: 9-Under the Stars seeks third win in a row for Team Baffert and goes two sprints to a route which is a very productive angle for this barn. This talented filly has the versatility to sit or lead depending on pace flow. The undefeated 2-Ain’t Easy returns after suffering a bone chip prior to Breeders’ Cup and has worked well for return. She wouldn’t be as aggressively placed today if she wasn’t fit and ready. The other D’Amato runner 1-Desert Dawn has been freshened and gets some class relief. A projected swift pace should enhance her late kick from the rail today.

Selections: 9-2-1

Race #9: 6-Island of Love was a sharp 2nd in U.S unveiling January 30 as the beaten chalk and should be a handful with that race under her belt. The filly was 2 for 2 over in Italy prior to landing in this top barn. 3-Sterling Crest finally put it all together to break Maiden in last earning the field’s best last-out grass Beyer (86). Another recent Maiden winner 1-Pammy’s Ready steps up in class today but has the rail and speed.

Selections: 6-3-1

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