Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 1-Charge Cash (Race #2)
Race #1: 5-Mia At Midnight is a Gulfstream invader that owns the field’s best last three turf Beyer speed figures. She’s 1 for 18 but has worked well locally for D’amato and looks well-spotted. 4-St Helena goes second off the claim and is reunited with winning rider. 7-Precious Insight has speed from the outside and takes a needed class plunge.
Race #2: 1-Charge Cash has speed and the rail and goes first off the claim for trainer George Papaprodromou. This barn is 5 for 15 (33%) with a $3.47 ROI with newly acquired purchases the past 3 years. 7-Thirsty Always just missed in last as the beaten favorite and has an improving Beyer pattern. Recent winner 3-Slam Dunk Sermon steps up in class but owns the field’s best last-out Beyer (82).
Race #3: 3-Banjo Queen stretches out; and goes turf to dirt in career start number three for hot barn. Her sire Liam’s Map was a multiple G1 winner on dirt going long. 6-Lady T is the logical contender off runner-up finish April 2 when earning a strong (83) Beyer speed figure. The 3-year-old filly stretches out this afternoon and sports a strong “best of 41” 5-furlong bullet since that last effort. 2-L Bee is the other Dan Blacker-trained filly who stretches out today and makes her 2nd start on Lasix. Some improvement is likely.
Race #4: 1-Arkaan took comfortably to the sod in sharp effort in first attempt on turf in most recent try April 9 earning above par for this class level. She moves further inside with good gate speed for top connections. The hard-knocking colt 4-Cotopaxi has won 3 of his last 4 sprinting on grass. 5-Harbored Memories makes the all-important 3rd start off the bench after a pair of strong tries at this same level.
Race #5: In a race that’s projected to favor front runners 4-Law Abidin Citizen looms a strong wire-to-wire threat on the class drop. The veteran 8-year-old gelding returns from Turf Paradise and makes his 2nd start off the extended layoff. The obvious class of this field with multiple graded stakes victories on the resume. The question is whether he’s lost a few steps at 8. 2-California Street comes off a strong 2nd place effort and goes 2nd off the claim for trainer Tim Yakteen. This conditioner is 5 for 11 (45%) with this angle the past 3 years. 5-Rifey comes off a career best Beyer effort posting a (92) April 16.
Race #6: 3-Continental Divide has not had the most advantageous pace set-ups in recent starts but that could potentially change this afternoon. The 7-year-old goes turf to dirt and takes a sizable class drop to bottom $10k claimers for Cassidy. At likely double digit odds he’s worth a try. 7-Cajun Treasure cuts his claiming tag in half off disappointing return try but gets key rider change today on today’s stretch-out. Vazquez is 3 for 6 (50%) for these connections at the current stand including a win with Paleo’s Princess at 17/1 last week. 5-Claim of Passion drops in class; removes the blinkers and goes 2nd off the claim for Miyadi.
Race #7: Recent Maiden winner 1-Special Ride trounced a full field April 16 with a (94) Beyer and looks like he’s ready to handle winners on the stretch-out. 6-Street Ruckus has won 3 of his last 4 for trainer Vladimir Cerin and has run equally well on dirt. Graded-stakes placed 2-Roman Centurian is the class of this field but hasn’t been out in nearly 14 months. The fact that Hernandez lands here, however, perhaps indicates he’s ready to fire Big off the layoff.
Race #8: 5-Squalotoro cuts back to 6 furlongs and should get a favorable pace flow today to help enhance his late kick. He’s one of a handful of a runners coming out of that same April 17 race. Beaten favorite 2-Scary Fast Smile is a three-time winner at Santa Anita and goes first off the claim for trainer Bob Hess. She co-tops the field’s best last-out Beyer. 6-Raging Waters goes turf to dirt and projects to have a live race flow to close into. He’s 5 for 6 ITM at this distance.
Race #9: 6-Rijeka returns to Southern California off beaten favorite 3rd place finish at Golden Gate. D’Amato has strong numbers with 2nd off the bench runners. First time gelding 7-Snipper Kitten makes first start for new connections off the claim. 1-Cleopatra’s Strike is a veteran 9-year-old gelding but one of only a few in here that’s proven he can handle today’s marathon distance. The rail draw should allow him to save a ton of ground and tip out late with run.