Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 2-Teddy’s Barino (Race #1)
Race #1: 2-Teddy’s Barino comes off a 9-month freshening and goes dirt to turf for trainer Mark Glatt. This 4-year-old filly should be forwardly placed, and this jockey/trainer combo click close to 30% with horses returning off >180 Days’ rest. The lightly raced 5-Youte comes off a sharp recent runner-up finish where she earned the field’s best last-out Turf Beyer (76). Recent winner 1-Pistachio Princess has been a popular commodity at the claiming box the past couple of months and now makes her first start for trainer Lorenzo Ruiz on the class hike.
Race #2: 2-Busy Paynter has speed and moves up off recent win and claim. The 6-year-old mare loves this strip and ran above par for this level in last victory. A strong repeat candidate. 4-Majestic Gigi should improve making 2nd stat off the mini-freshening. Recent claim and winner 1-Scream and Shout will need to improve some on the Beyer scale to compete here.
Race #3: 6-Newpark has good speed; adds blinkers today and drops in class for trainer Jeff Mullins. 3-Cherubic Factor makes the all-important 3rd start off the layoff today and has run back-to-back strong races at this level with competitive Beyer figures.1-Farquhar is 0 for 10 over the Santa Anita grass course but has been freshened for sharp barn that’s 7 for 21 (33%) with a $3.93 ROI with runners returning off >180 Days plus on turf at this track.
Race #4: 4-Lil Light Headed showed good gate speed in February 26 debut try before tiring badly and finishing last for trainer Michael McCarthy. The 4-year-old gelding adds Lasix today and takes a substantial class plunge into $20K Maiden Claimers. This conditioner is 5 for 13 (38%) with a lofty $5.50 ROI with MDSW to MDCLM droppers making their second career start. 5-Pinedale drops; goes turf to dirt and 2nd off the claim for trainer Brittany Vanden Berg. This barn is a strong 21 for 44 (48%) with this claiming maneuver. 3-Missing Maurice showed some improvement when switched back to the main track at this reduced level.
Race #5: 3-Border Town looks primed for some major improvement this afternoon for trainer Richard Mandella. The 6-year-old gelding drops in class and makes 3rd start off the layoff on today’s stretch-out. He hasn’t had the most pace-friendly set-ups in recent efforts but should get a lively flow today to utilize his closing kick. 5-Encroachment seeks third straight score for trainer Ryan Hanson and jockey Mike Smith. The gelding owns the field’s best last-out Turf Beyer (87) and has shown the versatility to adjust to various pace scenarios. Big threat again. 8-Hurricane Cloud gets a complete makeover for Sadler after disappointing unveiling in stateside debut. The 5-year-old returns as a first-time gelding and adds both blinkers and Lasix.
Race #6: The lightly raced gelding 3-Tom Bombadil was overmatched in most recent start but drops down to a more appropriate level this afternoon for hot barn. He broke his Maiden two-back at this trip. The speedy 5-Quantum Quest goes turf to dirt and slashes his claiming tag to half of the February 18 purchase price. Trainer Doug O’Neil is 6 for 17 (35%) with 2nd off the Claim runner sprinting on dirt at Santa Anita. 1-I’m Still Thirsty removes the blinkers today going turf to dirt and cuts his claiming tag in half looking for a form reversal.
Race #7: Beaten favorite 2-Sommer Daisy comes off a strong 2nd place effort at 4/5 and has performed well at both attempts going a mile. The filly’s consistent competitive Turf Beyers make her the one to beat in here with Prat taking control. 4-Witch Moon fits the light bulb angle after finally breaking Maiden in career start number 14. Another move forward today for this mare and top barn makes her competitive with this group. 3-Tapit Doux has good tactical early speed and could move forward making 2nd grass start.
Race #8: 2-Noble Reflection will be the price of the two Richard Baltas-trained runners. This 4-year-old gelding almost fell when stumbling badly at the start of his most recent try March 19 and still ran on well despite the mishap. He quickly got himself within contention after losing valuable ground and looked as if he was a legitimate threat until understandably tiring at the top of the stretch. His a.m. drills remain sharp. 1-Proverb has been patiently coaxed along since late January win at this mile trip and has trained smartly in the interim. The 6-year-old looks primed for a potential repeat with good draw. 4-Direct Line drops in class and makes the all-important 3rd start off the layoff for trainer Peter Eurton.
Race #9: 5-Street Ruckus has won 2 of his last 3 starts and has been equally effective over both dirt and grass. The gelding’s tactical early foot should have him within striking distance once again. 9-Seven Charms must negotiate a favorable trip with outside draw but has proven he can run well off the layoff and today’s distance is well within his scope. 7-Bender was up in the final stages to post the 32/1 upset in most recent effort over our top choice earning a strong grass Beyer while doing so. It’s hard to imagine, however, he’ll be able to repeat that effort as he’s yet to string back-to-back wins together.