Santa Anita (Sunday-2/12/23) By Dean Keppler

Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 5-Established (Race #4)

Race #1: 2-Bold Choice was not disgraced in lone turf try three-back and now stretches out today for trainer Steve Knapp off the mini-freshening. There’s a good chance she’ll be sent to the front today and try and wire these gals in the Sunday opener. 3-Smart Monique come off a career best runner-up finish behind next-out winner Shocking Grey. 1-Candy On Top is now 0 for 10 and comes off a disappointing 8th place effort against almost a handful of the same fillies and mares she faces again this afternoon. She switches back to Hernandez whose been aboard for 3 ITM finishes.

Selections: 2-3-1

Race #2: 3-Prestigious goes two sprints to a route today with a slowly improving Beyer pattern for trainer Luis Mendez. She gets a timid vote in wide open 5-horse field. 4-Jacqueline Cochran drops back down for a tag today after finding MDSW foes too tough on January 27 and switches back to the main track. 5-Magic Capital is another filly going two sprints to a route with improving figs. She made a belated wide run to grab the show spot in last but was no match for the top two finishers.

Selections: 3-4-5


Race #3: 3-Dolly May (Ire) comes off a beaten favorite tough trip against several of these same fillies and mares January 13 and deserves another chance to make amends switching back to Hernandez. 2-Ice Queen comes off back-to-back ITM finishes and a pair of (72) Beyers at this level. The 5-year-old mare switches to top turf pilot this afternoon. 8-Bali Dancer has speed; is drawn outside and nearly pulled off a huge upset when finishing 2nd at 42/1 in the similar after mentioned event 3 weeks ago at this mile trip.

Selections: 3-2-8

Race #4: 5-Established returned off the mini-freshening with an ultra-game frontrunning performance January 2 when refusing to let the competition by when looking beaten throughout the stretch drive. The gritty gelding maintained his advantage well past the wire and a similar performance would make him tough to beat in here. 2-Italiano could not get to the top choice in last but now goes 2nd off the Mullins claim for barn that’s 7 for 20 (35%) with this maneuver the past 3 years. 1-Box of Chocolates made up a good chunk of ground to finish a wide 3rd in most recent effort after a tardy start and now goes first off the claim for trainer Jonathan Wong. This lucrative claiming barn typically clicks close to 30% with new acquisitions but is only 1 for 17 at SA with new barn purchases.

Selections: 5-2-1

Race #5: A beaten favorite in last 1-Wudi makes her third career start for Baffert and tries turf for the first time. Her sire Uncle Mo gets an average 13% with grass sprint prodigy but this gal has speed; the rail and could be tough to reel in late. 4-Teen Ella is like top choice making start number 3 and switching to grass. Her sire War Front gets 16% with grass sprint runners and Hernandez retains the mount for Sadler. 2-Carsen Jen cuts back to a sprint after a pair of (66) Beyer figures going a mile on grass and adds Lasix this afternoon.

Selections: 1-4-2

Race #6: 1-I Don’t Get It earned a solid field’s best (82) Beyer in January 15 4th place debut finish when finishing behind expensive Baffert Bernardini colt and now stretches out for career start number two. This 3-year-old colt by Preakness winner Cloud Computing has worked well since that first start for Reddam Racing and Team O’Neill. 3-Yellow Brick makes the all-important 3rd career start today coming off a solid 2nd place finish when stretching out for the first time in last. 6-Texthelegend showed some slight improvement on the stretch-out for Baffert when finishing behind second choice in last. The Justify colt might change tactics this afternoon and be aggressivity sent to the front. If that’s the case, he could be tough to reel in late with Hernandez staying aboard.

Selections: 1-3-6

Race #7: This weak field of fillies and mares are a combined 0 for 61, so it’s difficult to have much confidence in any of the gals lined up here for win honors. 5-Sugar Sugar has four 2nd place finishes from 11 starts and had somewhat of an excuse in most recent effort January 21 when on cue with her typical good race/bad race profile. She’s at least run above par for this bottom level class on multiple occasions. 4-Sapadilla switches back to Dettori off three consecutive 3rd place finishes while earning a field’s best (58) Beyer in most recent start January 21. 3-Cat Bandit dueled early and folded badly in career start number two coming to a near walk at the finish line in disappointing effort. She drops in class today and Hernandez takes over for Miyadi.

Selections: 5-4-3

Race #8: 3-The Wild Grazer (Ire) has won two straight for Hernandez and Mullins since arriving stateside and now stretches out to a mile for her stakes debut. There’ s no reason to believe she can’t handle the additional real estate. 2-Tea N Conversation was a sharp maiden winner two-back and finished a good 4th in most recent effort in the Blue Norther Stakes. 7-Broadway Girls was trounced in the G3 Las Virgenes on January 28 but moves back to her preferred surface today where she went wire-to-wire two and three-back for O’Neill.

Selections: 3-2-7

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