Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 3-Lansdowne (Race #6)
Race #1: 11-Talklessworkmore must negotiate the tough outside draw but is improving; makes his 3rd start off the bench today and had a sharp “best of 74”4-furlong drill May 1. 8-Square Cat was a beaten favorite runner-up in most recent effort and has been consistently hitting the board at this level without finding the winner’s circle. This will be career start number 7 today, however, and the speedy gelding is starting to run out of excuses. 1-Mogollon Rim should move forward making 2nd start off the layoff and second start on Lasix.
Race #2: 7-Red Panty Night has speed and takes a significant class plunge off the mini-freshening. This jockey/trainer combo scored with 15/1 longshot Red Road Friday afternoon. 1-Back On the Street goes first off the claim for hot barn. 9-Stoic Luna gets class relief and should appreciate the move back to the main track.
Race #3: 5-High Connection runaway winner in debut with (90) Beyer speed figure makes this former Baffert trained colt a logical heavy favorite facing winners for the first time. He’s bred to handle today’s stretch-out. 3-Armagnac drops back to a reasonable level after getting trounced in back-to-back graded stakes tries. 4-Clampett posted best Beyer and career top effort when stretched out around two turns.
Race #4: The speedy 7-Newpark seeks back-to-back wins and will now be represented by new barn this afternoon off recent claim. The blinkers come off today and two recent drills since April 3 win indicates he’s in top form. 2-Commander Khai makes second start off the claim for Glatt and his win two-back was sharp. 3-Explosive has been equally effective on grass or dirt and cuts back in distance with return to Southern California.
Race #5: The Grade 2 winning filly 3-Elm Drive has been freshened for trainer Phil D’amato and is working strongly for return. 4-Eda has won four straight stake events and now makes first start for McCarthy off the Baffert barn transfer. The cut back to 7 furlongs today should not be an issue. 6-Kirstenbosch gets stiff class test today but has shown good ability thus far.
Race #6: Beaten favorite 3-Lansdowne projects to sit a nice stalking trip behind the speed drawn outside. This D’Amato import has shown decent ability in both U.S. starts thus far and makes 2nd start off the bench today after coming up less than a length short in last. The other D’Amato gelding 8-Admiral Halsey was a good second behind next-out winner Trainer Please in most recent start. 1-Daniel’s Magic comes off career best try running par for this level and projects to get another ground-saving trip.
Race #7: 2-Belleo’s Music was trounced in last pair but drops in to face claimers today; goes turf to dirt; adds blinkers; and moves inside with good early zip. This is the type of race that’s crying for an upset. 9-Good Boo Joo adds blinkers for start number two after breaking slowly and making up some decent ground late. 7-Never Sway has run close to par for this level in back-to-back efforts and makes the all-important 3rd start off the bench for trainer Craig Lewis.
Race #8: 1-M Is for Magic is 0 for 13 but drops in to face claimers for the first time returning to grass and this barn clicks close to 30% with this maneuver. This 5-year-old mare has run par for this level on turf on multiple occasions. This is a now or never spot. 8-Topolina has good speed and drops back into face claimers as well. 2-Twirling Grace has 4 runner-up finishes on turf and logically fits here for another potential underneath finish. The chances of this filly finally breaking through the Maiden ranks remains questionable, however, as she makes career start number 10.
Race #9: In a race that projects to favor front-runners returnee 7-Defunded has a good chance to lead gate to wire for new barn. This 4-year-old gelding was a sharp winner when last seen last summer at Del Mar and had multiple graded-stakes placements before hitting the bench. He’s trained very well for return and is proven off a layoff. 4-Triple Tap is the other McCarthy-trained 4-year-old who owns the field’s best last-out Beyer (94) and was off the board in only one career start in the G1 Malibu. 3-Loud Mouth was a sharp winner in most recent effort over two next-out winners. A multiple winner over the track and distance makes this 6-year-old a legitimate threat to repeat.
Race #10: 5-Noble Reflection has had a couple troubled trip excuses in recent starts and now switches back to grass for trainer Richard Baltas. He’s worked well; gets some class relief today and attracts Bravo who has 3 wins and 2 seconds from last five starts for these shrewd connections. 10-Cherubic Factor is unproven at the distance but remains sharp and fit with 4 straight on the board finishes. 4-Farquhar goes sprint to route in second start off the extended layoff. This 6-year-old gelding fits well at this level but is 1 for 18 and that Maiden score was at Del Mar.