Santa Anita (Sunday-5/14/23) By Dean Keppler


Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 4-Lucky for You (Race 5)

Race #1: 7-Aventapp put forth her best performance of 2023 with a runner-up finish at this level in most recent start. Her last three improving turf Beyers are better than anyone else in this field and she appears to hold a significant advantage in the Sunday opener. 2-Irish Patsy moves up off solid looking Maiden win and fits well here. 5-R Swirvin Girvin makes first start in Southern California off Tampa claim back in January for trainer Paula Capestro. This barn has won with two bombs over the local footing recently including Roubaix ($59) and Tenacious Lady ($50.20). This filly should be given a second look making her grass debut today based on connections recent success.

Selections: 7-2-5

Race #2: 4-Apple Fest flashed good early zip in April 23 debut before folding late and now makes start number two for Baffert while switching to Hernandez. This Bolt d’Oro filly holds the experience edge over most of these but her debut Beyer wasn’t particularly strong. The selection nonetheless. 1-Delitefull Hart is by Grade 1 winner Outwork who gets a solid 16% with his 3-year-old & up debuting prodigy. This filly comes in here with some sharp morning drills for conditioner Mike Puype and connections reach out to hall of fame veteran pilot Mike Smith. 6-Royale Delta is a 4-year-old debuting filly by Munnings meeting younger 3-year-olds for trainer Steve Knapp who has three winning first time starters this past year.

Selections: 4-1-6


Race #3: 4-Too Much Heaven stretches out today coming off sharp looking gate-to-wire sprint score when returning off a year layoff for D’Amato. This 6-year-old mare is proven at a mile (9-3-2-1) and is an obvious threat right back returning at the same level. 3-Jibber Jabber just missed closing for 2nd against better going a mile and now drops in for a tag today. This 5-year-old mare co-tops the field’s best last out turf Beyer (76). 1-Whistler’s Style hasn’t shown much of late but moves back to turf and drops in class. This mare continues to work well in the a.m. and is eligible to wake up in this softer spot. Her stablemate Dolly May (Ire) is winless over the SA turf course but gets in light making second start off the Cerin claim.

Selections: 4-3-1

Race #4: 1-Song of Shadows removes the blinkers today and moves back to the main track for new barn after flashing good speed in all three career starts. This filly also drops back in for a tag this afternoon and could be long gone with alert rail break and 7 lb. bug back aboard. Initial debut stats are a bit misleading for 2-Assuredly who deserves a long look in here at first asking for trainer Mike Puype off a solid foundation of a.m. drills over the last several months. Puype is a solid 4 for 19 (21%) with a $3.11 ROI with 3-year-old filly first time starters. 7-Whiskey Outlaw didn’t show much in turf sprint debut back in March but moves to the main track today and drops in for a tag. This filly is by Maclean’s Music who gets 18% with his dirt sprint offspring.

Selections: 1-2-7

Race #5: 4-Lucky for You makes her main track debut today for Baffert on the stretch-out after recent DQ on April 29 when finishing 3rd and placed 10th for ducking out and interfering when crossing over the dirt. This daughter of Uncle Mo is bred to handle the main track and her versatile running style gives leading rider Hernandez several options. Her stablemate 2-Heels Up has been plagued by long layoff lines but removes the blinkers today on the class drop and could move forward stretching back out to a mile while making her second start off the bench. 3-Tecumseh Caroline steps up in sharp form for D’Amato having won three straight but gets stiff class test today with this assignmemt.

Selections: 4-2-3

Race #6: 1-Belmont Bill sped away setting blazing fractions and folded badly late from a demanding outside post in most recent start April 23 against several of these same rivals. The gelding is back at a mile today and moves all the way to the rail having finished 2nd both two and three-back going this trip using the same gun-and-run tactics. One more chance today. 5-Kawazaki (Ire) removes the blinkers today and has been freshened for good layoff barn. This gelding has worked extremely well for his return try and attracts sharp grass rider. 6-Storm the Night makes start number 7 today but comes off a career best grass Beyer and makes first start off the Miller claim. These sharp connections are only 1 for 33 with turf route claims, however. 13-Overrule draws in off the AE’s and drops in for a first time tag for Mandella off a 3-month freshening. This barn is 4 for 14 (29%) with MDSW to Maiden claiming drop downs routing on grass.

Selections: 1-5-6

Race #7: 4-Economical just missed by a nose in sharp try against close to a handful of the same geldings on April 23 while earning about par for this class level. A similar effort would make him tough to overhaul in here. 8-Big Swede has good positional speed and outside draw and makes the all-important 3rd start off the layoff with an improving Beyer pattern. The gelding had his share of traffic issues in that last start. 2-Krixus Flash is light on Beyers but stumbled out of the gate losing all chance in last start April 28 and was a game 3rd two back against slightly better when returning off a 3-month freshening. This gelding broke his Maiden going this mile trip.

Selections: 4-8-2

Race #8: 1-Timely Luck is the logical choice in the Sunday nightcap having just missed at this same level while finishing in front of most of these making her second start off the layoff. She draws the rail and projects to get a favorable ground-saving journey for trainer Sean McCarthy.  9-Sapadilla makes start number 13 this afternoon but moves back to grass on the stretch-out and could show more speed from her outside post. She only has one other prior grass effort back in November of 2022 when finishing 5th but has the pedigree that suggests she might be better on turf. 12-Idessia must negotiate the outside post but is another who showed improving figs when stretched out and hails from top barn. 10Betsy Is the Code did show some improvement on the stretch-out despite a slow start at long odds in last.

Selections: 1-9-12


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