Analysis & Selections By: Dean Keppler @Keppskorner
BEST BET: 7-Hero Status (Race 8)
Race #1: 1-Weegee was a winner two-back and just missed in recent start as a tepid favorite when coming up a nose short for Mullins. The gelding moves inside; should be able to save a ton of ground and will be motoring home late with clear sailing. The gelding has never been this far but his running style suggests it should be well within his scope. 4-Fort Moultrie was caught behind horses and shook free too late only to come up a neck short in most recent effort. The gelding makes his 2nd start off the claim for trainer Tim Yakteen who is a solid 5 for 12 (42%) with a $2.72 ROI with 2nd off the claim runners at SA. 6-Spirit Maker is a tad below some of these as far as raw Beyer turf numbers go but has good positional speed and makes his 3rd start off the mini-freshening.
Race #2: 4-Bonita Leona makes first start off the claim for trainer Steve Knapp who is 12 for 38 (32%) with a $3.66 ROI with new acquisitions on the Santa Anita dirt. The filly is projected to be forwardly placed in here and does exit the September 22 race that’s produced a pair of next-out winners. 5-Talkative Girl has good tactical early zip; makes first start off the claim and comes in with an improving Beyer pattern. 2-Wild Arch is only 2 for 21 but comes off back-to-back runner-up finishes and has run above par in 3 of her last 5 races. She broke her Maiden over this racetrack.
Race #3: A very popular commodity at the claiming box in recent months 2-Octopus returns to his favorite strip and goes out for new conditioner Jeff Mullins this afternoon. This barn is a strong 5 for 15 (33%) with a $3.97 ROI with new acquisitions the past 2 years at this oval. This 5-year-old gelding loves this racing strip (9-4-2-1). 3-All Eyes West makes the all-important 3rd start off the layoff today and comes off a good second and much-improved (79) Beyer. 4-Self Taught is another making his first start for new connections that click close to 30% with new barn purchases. This gelding is a 4-time winner at 6 furlongs.
Race #4: 3-Newgrange adds Lasix and lands in a pace-less affair and could potentially go wire-to-wire this afternoon for trainer Phil D’Amato. The 3-year-old colt is a multiple G3 winner and went gate to wire in the G3 Sham going this mile trip. 1-Azul Coast finished far behind and last in the Grade 1 Awesome Again when returning off a 10-month break. He drops in class today for Baffert and cuts back to his preferred mile trip. Improvement is likely. 2-Tripoli exits the same race as Azul Coast and has worked 3 times since that 5th place effort. This former Grade 1 winner is another who’s expected to move forward today making second start off the bench.
Race #5: There’s a mandatory payout in the Rainbow 20 cent Pick Six and it begins in this leg race number five. A full field of juvenile Maiden Special Weight juvenile colts sprinting on grass will little turf form or grass pedigree. A must spread race for those participating in the Pick 6. 1-Workday has been sidelined since troubled 3rd place debut finish July 1 but has trained well enough for his return and Sadler is 8 for 37 (22%) with a $4.36 ROI with 2nd time starters on turf at SA. His stablemate 2-Moon Ice was trounced in rail debut in the I’m Smokin Stakes but could improve substantially moving to turf. 13-Rhythem On Stage draws in off the AE’s and can improve upon initial turf debut try in what is not the strongest of maiden grass fields assembled in here.
Race #6: In a race that’s projected to favor frontrunners 3-Loud Loud Music goes turf to dirt; drops from $25k to $10,000 claiming tag and makes 3rd start off the extended layoff. The 5-year-old mare could wire this weak group. Northern California invader 7-Remember Sue comes off a sharp win at Golden Gate and could sit a similar trip this afternoon for trainer Jonathan Wong. 1-Jamminjl goes first off the claim and this barn traditionally does well with new acquisitions. However, today’s 1 1/16-mile trip may be testing his distance limitations as both wins came at 5 and 5 ½ furlongs.
Race #7: 9-Too Busy has good gate speed; goes turf to dirt; and drops from MDSW to Maiden Claimers for trainer Mike Puype who clicks close to 30% with this class plunge. His sire Street Boss was multiple Grade 1 winner sprinting on synthetic. 1-Katerini comes off a solid 2nd at this level in most recent effort and makes 3rd start off the extended layoff. 3-Jerusalema (Ire) has been sidelined since January but drops in for a tag today for trainer Peter Miller who has above average numbers with this class drop and returnees off an extended break. Hernandez climbs aboard and adds to the appeal.
Race #8: Recent Maiden winner 7-Hero Status adds blinkers for his first start against winners and recent (90) winning Beyer is on par for this class level. 8-Street Ruckus has been ultra-consistent for trainer Vladimir Cerin and comes off a game 3rd place effort in most recent start October 9. 4-Lord Dragon goes first off the claim for lucrative jockey/trainer combo and this 6-year-old gelding is 6 for 15 going this mile trip. There doesn’t appear (at least on paper) sufficient pace, however, for him to fully utilize his late kick. Having said that he could clunk up to fill out the vertical exotics.
Race #9: 4-Turn On The Jets (Ire) a beaten favorite in last but has run two strong turf races since arriving in Southern California for D’Amato and could bottom out this field if able to clear the rail runner. Today will be the gelding’s 3rd start off the extended layoff. 2-Lane Way comes off three consecutive runner-up finishes and has done well over the tricky downhill turf course. He sports back-to-back (95) Beyer grass speed figures but needs a strong pace to run into for hall of fame connections. 1-Arkaan has speed; the rail and enters as a fresh horse for good layoff barn.
Race #10: 2-Midnight Special goes turf to dirt and is a re-claim for trainer Steve Knapp in the Sunday finale. This 6-year-old gelding has run some solid turf races on his resume and has a versatile running style which should serve him well in this spot. Upset chance. 5-Square Cat ran better than looked sixth in most recent effort when only beaten 2 lengths and could get overlooked in here. 11-In Vronsky Style has good speed from the outside and shortens up a ½ furlong after being collared late in most recent effort October 10. The one to beat off that recent try.