Santa Anita (Sunday-6/18/23) By Dean Keppler


Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner

BEST BET: 6-Caribbean King (Race 12)

Race #1: The closing day Sunday card begins with the Possibly Perfect turf marathon Stakes. 3-Buzz of New York (GB) returns off a 3-month freshening for D’Amato and when last seen finished 4th in the G3 Santa Ana after a slow start. This mare is reunited with winning rider Hernandez this afternoon and should work out a favorable trip making her second start at the 1 ¼ mile distance. The multiple graded stakes-placed 2-Queen Ofthe Temple comes off a game victory in the Santa Barbara on April 30 and has been proven her consistency over these turf marathon distances for trainer Dan Blacker. 4-Neige Blanche (Fr) hasn’t been seen since being outrun in the G1 Rodeo Drive 8 months ago but has proven to fire off the bench and likes this distance. The multiple G3 winner appears to be the speed of this small group and should establish a clear lead early. She won this event last year.

Selections: 3-2-4

Race #2: Baffert’s juvenile colt 6-Muth is a $2 million dollar purchase by multiple G1 winner Good Magic who gets a solid 15% with his debuting prodigy. The expectations are obviously high for this expensive juvenile who comes in with solid, well-spaced works and attracts Hernandez for unveiling. He’s perfectly drawn to the outside. 5-Osage Creek is by Speighster who gets 14% with his debuting offspring and this colt has shown some speed in his a.m. drills. 3-El Magnifico is one of two Keith Desormeaux-trained colts by Street Sense entered here. This juvenile has been training steadily for today’s unveiling and can land part of this.

Selections: 6-5-3


Race #3: 6-Eddie’s New Dream comes off a sharp gate-to-wire win on May 28 in the Fran’s Valentine but has also shown the ability to come from off the pace which might be her preferred race tactics this afternoon. She co-tops the field’s best last out grass Beyer (87). 2-Kitty Kitana (GB) was a beaten favorite 4th at this level in most recent start when coming up just a ½-length short but stretches back out to a mile today where she’s a multiple winner for D’Amato. The speedy 3-Honey Jar has been freshened for this and gets some class relief dropping out of the G2 Royal Heroine.

Selections: 6-2-3

Race #4: 7-Bella Renella is nicely drawn outside which should result in a close-up favorable stalking trip after a dominating score in most recent effort on June 2. If she can replicate that (77) Beyer again this mare will be tough right back for conditioner Milton Pineda. 1-Kiss My Kat returns to dirt on the class drop while going second off the claim today and has won 3 of his last 4 starts including a victory at this 6-furlong trip two-back. 2-Back On the Street adds blinkers on the turnback and surface switch and has been competitive in prior starts at this class level.

Selections: 7-1-2

Race #5: 1-Offlee Naughty looks like a standout short-priced single in the last leg of the early pick five coming off impressive back-to-back graded stake wins and (97) Beyers for trainer Michael McCarthy. 4-Opry finished behind top choice in last but appears to be the lone frontrunner in here and could get brave if allowed to dictate things at a leisure pace. 5-Planetario should move forward today making second start off the bench this afternoon for trainer Richard Mandella. This Group 1 winner in South America finished behind Offlee Naughty in the G3 San Luis Rey on May 13 returning off a 11-month absence.

Selections: 1-4-5

Race #6: 6-My Man Bags has won two of his last 3 starts in impressive fashion for conditioner Mark Glatt and looks like a strong repeat candidate while offered for the $40k optional claiming purchase price this afternoon. The lightly raced 4-Roy Hobbs ships in from Golden Gate off maiden win and should take to dirt. His sire Grazen gets 20% with his main track sprint runners and this gelding still has plenty of upside for trainer Steve Miyadi making only career start number three. 8-Mister Bold has not been out in 6 months but has fired fresh in the past and this barn wraps up what has been a successful meet.

Selections: 6-4-8

Race #7: Leg one of the Sunday mandatory pick six payout begins here. 5-Squared Shady was a game winner by a nose over main rival Hotitude when they last knocked heads back on April 30. This 5-year-old mare has had plenty of time to recover from that effort and has strung together wins in the past. 9-Hotitude makes the all-important 3rd start off the bench today for trainer Kristen Mulhall and is reunited with meet’s leading rider Hernandez. A recent “best of 41” 4-furlong drill in :48.2 on June 12 indicates this 7-year-old mare is in peak form and ready to fire. 1-Stay and Scam ships in off lone debut win at Horseshoe Indianapolis and is bred on both sides for turf for Team O’Neill. This filly has speed and rail.

Selections: 5-9-1

Race #8: Trainer Bob Baffert has three 3-year-old colts entered here. 3-Elwood Blues hasn’t been out since October of last year but showed promise in lone start posting an (84) Beyer with runner-up finish to Grade 1 winner Arabian Lion. He adds Lasix today and his return drills have been solid. His stablemate 10-Fifth Street is a $950k Keenland purchase by Quality Road who has been keeping pace with the top choice in recent a.m. drills. The presence of Maldonado indicates he’ll be aggressively sent out of the gate and therefore might be tough to reel in late. The top pair are a must use in multi-race exotics. 5-Sir Atticus and 6-Captain Choochies both exit May 5 MDSW sprint and are eligible to move forward off their debut efforts.

Selections: 3-10-5

Race #9: 2-Idessia cuts back to a sprint with an improving Beyer pattern for D’Amato and should be rallying strongly through the lane. 6-Ruff Ride makes second start off the bench today and can improve off even 4th place finish. 3-Benster exits the same May 28 race as Magic Game, Heavenly Kisses and Ruff Ride. This filly was bumped and off a step slow in that event and is eligible to move forward in second career start for top barn.

Selections: 2-6-3

Race #10: 9-Oviatt Class was a beaten favorite 3rd in April 25 Turf Paradise comeback try off a long layoff and now returns to southern California for second start off the bench. Although he’s unlikely to return to his graded-stakes caliber form of 2021 and 2022 he figures to get a favorable set-up here and is training well. 3-Flying Drummer finished a strong second off extended break earning the field’s best last out main track Beyer of (94). He should be tough to handle right back if able to avoid a regression. At a likely short price, however, he might be worth trying to beat in here. 5-Divine Armor makes 3rd start off the layoff today coming off back-to-back competitive tries against similar.

Selections: 9-3-5

Race #11: 4-Itzel flashed good speed before tiring to finish 2nd in first start in 12 weeks and is eligible to move forward in this spot for trainer Peter Miller. She’s back just facing fillies and switches to Hernandez. 2-With Love (GB) was a troubled trip 5th in lone stateside start on May 21 when breaking slowly and has a big chance in this optional claiming 1x turf sprint with clear sailing late. Love’s stablemate 9-Alvina (Fr) is one of two fillies making their first stateside appearance for D’Amato. This gal adds Lasix today and is by multiple Grade 1 European winner Shalaa (Ire). She showed some ability overseas and can come out running.

Selections: 4-2-9

Race #12: 6-Caribbean King ran well for fourth on May 12 debut finishing up nicely and galloping out with good interest. That race should set her up perfectly today for trainer Peter Eurton who is 4 for 12 (33%) with a $6.15 ROI with second time turf route runners the past 3 years. 8-Mystification goes dirt to turf on the stretch-out for Team O’Neill and is strong wire-to-wire threat in the Sunday nightcap. 5-Hula Candy broke extremely slowly from the rail on May 13 in the long-awaited 5-year-old debut for trainer John Sheriffs. The son of Twirling Candy found himself some 15 lengths off the leaders early on before making up substantial ground late to finish 5th –beaten less than 5 lengths. The move outside and stretch-out should help his chances in career start number two.

**Live Thoroughbred afternoon racing action returns to Los Alamitos next Friday, June 23. Don’t forget to join us here at for daily analysis and selections.

Selections: 6-8-5

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