Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 2-Lemon Sushi (Race #4)
Race #1: 5-Stafford to Kupp attracted decent tote support on September 1 unveiling when breaking slowly and finishing a non-threatening 5th. The colt was claimed for $32k that afternoon by trainer Hector Palma who is 5 for 16 (31%) with a $2.84 ROI with new barn purchases at SA. 4-Take Charge Curly finished an even 4th in debut try and is eligible to move forward off that effort. 2-Beskar is by multiple G1 winner Accelerate and comes in with some average looking works for Sadler. This conditioner is 4 for 14 (29%) with a $3.16 ROI the past 2 years with MDCLM first time starters.
Race #2: 1-Atomic Drop has speed and the rail and goes turf to dirt for D’Amato. The 4-year-old gelding has run some of his better races on dirt including earning a (87) Beyer speed figure three-back while sprinting. The other speed in here is 4-Stone’s River who comes off a sharp turf win at Golden Gate and must avoid a pace standoff with top choice. This barn clicks over 30% with the turf to dirt surface change and this gelding broke his Maiden here going a mile over the main track back in February. 6-Funkenstein goes 2nd off the claim for Dollase and would be the beneficiary of a pace meltdown.
Race #3: 6-Tangledupingrey goes two routes to a sprint after flashing good speed and tiring in last pair for trainer John Sadler. The colt draws outside; switches to Rispoli and lands in a rather soft Maiden Special Weight event. 1-Regulation Dazed goes dirt to turn in second career start for Team O’Neill and could improve off initial subpar outing. This colt is by Square Eddie who gets a respectable 15% with turf sprint prodigy. 3-Montana was much improved in second start on the class drop displaying good speed and settling for the runner-up slot. This 2-year-old gelding moves back up in class; has worked well since but switches to grass today. His sire Exaggerator is only 4 for 111 (3%) with sprint turf offspring.
Race #4: 2-Lemon Sushi is the one to overhaul in here coming off a pair of runner-up finishes at DMR where he earned above Beyer par for this class level. The gelding switches to meet’s current leading rider (as of this writing) and this looks like graduation day. 6-Smile for Glory hails from the Sean McCarthy barn that usually does well with their 2nd time starters and this 3-year-old gelding switches to dirt after pressing the pace and tiring on October 2 debut try. He’s by multiple G1 winner Smiling Tiger. 1-American Cat has run back-to-back 4th place efforts that have been close to par for this level and the 3rd career start is traditionally a runner’s best try.
Race #5: 3-Lady Noguez has not been seen since December 2021 but has run well off the extended layoff in the past and Cerin does well with these layoff types. Rispoli lands here and this mare has trained well for her return including taking a rarely seen 6 ½ furlong exhibition non-betting event race on October 3. 4-Octane is on the improve and makes 3rd start off the mini-freshening. 1-Sky On Ice is 0 for 6 over the Santa Anita turf course but draws the rail and figures to work out a trip where she can land at least part of the vertical exotics.
Race #6: 3-Starship Defiant drops off the claim, which is never an encouraging sign, but this jockey/trainer combo have a long history of success with new acquisitions and this 4-year-old filly figures to be in front here. A multiple winner over the track and distance adds to the appeal. 1-Stateforest ships in from Golden Gate in decent form and barn is a solid 18 for 67 (27%) with 2nd off the claim runners. 4-A Broken Breeze drops again making 3rd start off the mini-freshening for trainer Jonathan Wong.
Race #7: In a race that’s projected to be run rather swiftly early on according to TimeformUS things should set up nicely for 1-Petruchio. The 4-year-old gelding goes first off the claim for trainer Doug O’Neill; owns the field’s best late pace figure (107); and drilled a sharp 5 furlongs October 9 in :59.2 in preparation for this. He figures to be aided by stablemate Mo Them Down who has strong early zip. 10-Flint Stroll is drawn outside but makes 3rd start off the bench today and drops in class for D’Amato. The 4-year-old gelding was a sharp winner here three-back. 9-Time to Party is wheeled back on short rest for Miller off wide 4th place finish here last Sunday against better.
Race #8: 7-Lady Maryann is lightly raced; goes turf to dirt and was a sharp 5 ½ furlong runaway Maiden winner on dirt over this track June 17. She’s worked well recently over this strip and could pose the mild upset. 5-She’s Bullet Proof is one of two Peter Miller-trained fillies lined up in here and this gal is on the improve coming off a runner-up finish at DMR behind next-out winner Sheza Girly Girl who has rattled off three straight. 3-Everlys Girl removes the blinkers today; makes 3rd start off the mini-freshening and comes in with improving Beyer pattern. This filly was a runaway Maiden winner at this oval going 6 furlongs.
Race #9: 2-None Above the Law gets some class relief dropping out of back-to-back G2 events and projects to get a more favorable pace set-up this afternoon to enhance her closing kick while making her downhill grass debut. The Miller barn surging as of late. 6-The Chosen Vron goes dirt to turf on the cutback and is another who is likely to come running late behind what’s projected to be a snappy pace. 7-Hail Freedom has speed while rattling off 4 consecutive victories; is drawn outside and is proven over this tricky course.
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