Rocko’s Wheel (#7, 5-1) looks primed for a big effort third start off a layoff. His best races have come routing and after two sprints versus open company, the four-year-old colt returns to his best distance against Cal-Breds. Trainer Phil D’Amato called him his “dark horse” of the weekend during XBTV AM.
Songforjohnmichael (#3, 2-1) faces Cal-Breds for the first time in his career and should greatly appreciate the class drop. The ultra-consistent gelding is a deserving favorite in this spot.
Tengas Ransom (#7, 6-5) was defeated as a heavy favorite last time out in a grueling race, but he has the only consistent form at this level in the field. With three seconds in four lifetime starts, he must be included at a low price, but cannot be trusted as a single.
Monterey Smile (#6, 4-1) offers the most upside in this field after a decent debut first time out. He lost by about 4 lengths to Tengas Ransom in that race, but showed good early lick and should improve with that start under his belt. It is also good to see Rafael Bejarano return to ride this gelding for his second start.
Bert’s Melody (#6, 5-1) returns to her preferred distance of a mile in the Fran’s Valentine Stakes. She is 2 for 2 at the distance and has been facing open company as of late. Look for the five-year-old mare to sit just off the pace and get first run on the closers.
Singing Kitty (#8, 4-1) has plenty of back-class and thrives at a mile on the turf. Her last winning jockey, Rafael Bejarano, returns to the saddle and the late running filly catches a field with plenty of early speed to flatter her furious late kick. She appears to be rounding back into form.
Smoove It (#1, 3-1) is the most inconsistent horse in the field. She has kept top company throughout her career, but appears to be better down the hill. If she repeats her last effort versus Cal-Breds in the Irish O’Brien Stakes then she will crush this field, but that was her only good race all year. Reddam Racing’s mare could easily finish first or last in this spot and should be included defensively.
Papa Mambo (#9, 10-1) ran okay in her debut and adds blinkers for Brian Koriner. Koriner strikes at 27% with second-time starters and 25% with first-time blinkers. This filly has worked much better for her second start and offers great value at 10-1.
Don’t Tell Judy (#8, 5-2) shortens in distance, drops in class and makes her second start off a layoff. Jeff Mullins is effective with this move and this filly could be tough if she can transfer her form to Santa Anita.
Flaming Vixen (#2, 4-1) disappointed as the even money favorite last time, but should be included solely because of the addition of blinkers. Her trainer Richard Baltas is a sizzling 36% with the addition of blinkers and this filly shows up with a sharp bullet drill after adding the shades.
Final Ticket: 3/7 – 6/7 – 1/6/8 – 2/8/9 = $18