FIRST RACE (1:00 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 2-Kellianne Can Can; 5-Pico Chick
The Thursday opener, a five-runner main track miler for $25,000 claiming 3-year-old fillies, should boil down to #5 Pico Chick and #2 Kellianne Can Can. Pico Chick is bred to handle a mile, and while her one prior attempt over a distance of ground was a somewhat lackluster third at Los Alamitos, her recent sprint form is solid, so we’ll give her another chance to stretch out successfully. The daughter of First Dude achieved a career top speed figure when beating a slightly lesser field last month at five and one-half furlongs; additionally, she retains Rafael Bejarano, shows a sharp half mile work since raced, and should draft into an ideal pace-stalking positon from her outside post. Kellianne Can Can, in the money in her last five outings though not particular fast on speed figures, may be the most dangerous of the closing types. Both should be used in rolling exotic play.
SECOND RACE (1:30 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 1-Armored Car; 3-Big Discovery; 4-Radio Silent
Maiden $50,000 older claimers meet over a mile in the second race, with #1 Armored Car, a first-off-the-claim play for trainer Doug O’Neill, making his first start as a gelding. Drawn nicely inside and switching to Flavien Prat, the son of Giant’s Causeway moves up a notch on the class ladder but has speed figures that fit and will be tough to beat if he improves as expected. #4 Radio Silent, second in the same race that Armored Car just finished third in, should be a factor from off the pace and trainer Cliff Sise, Jr. is switching to his “go-to” rider Kent Desormeaux. Also worth tossing in is #3 Big Discovery, perhaps the best of the closing types with Bejarano staying aboard. The Tim Yakteen-trained gelding makes the always-dangerous class drop from straight maiden to maiden claiming and has back numbers that are more than good enough to beat this field.
THIRD RACE (2:01 PT) – GRADE: C+
Single: 4-Majestic Fantasy; 7-Goldrushcat
The Pick-6 begins with the third race, a maiden $30,000 claiming extended sprint for 3-year-old fillies. #7 Goldrushcat lands the cozy outside post while retaining Prat and may deserve one more chance after failing in her last two starts as the prohibitive favorite. She was victimized by slow starts in both of those outings, so with a clean break today she could easily bounce back. #4 Majestic Fantasy plummets from straight maiden company and seems sure to improve a bunch at this much lower level. She’s trying the main track and sprinting for the first time, conditions that suit her pedigree, and Alex Solis knows her well and stays aboard. In a race that we quite frankly don’t want to otherwise get involved in, we’ll use both in our rolling exotics and hope that’s enough.
FOURTH RACE (2:33 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 3-Pazmeifucan; 4-Out of Patience; 5-Foolhardy
Seven $16,000 older main track milers meet in the fourth race in a somewhat chaotic affair. Trainer Steve Miyadi has two of the contenders, both first off the claim, one moving up, and the other moving down. Northern California invader #3 Pazmeifucan has poor recent form and goes from $25,000 to $16,000 after a dull recent sprint; however, he’s only had four career starts over conventional dirt with a win and a third, so the surface switch shouldn’t be an issue. He’ll likely be sent to the lead and if he can clear without too much effort he might not look back. Miyadi’s other starter, #5 Foolhardy, is another shipper from Golden Gate Fields and is rising from the $8,000 level while seeking his third straight score. The deep-closing gelding has seven career starts over a dirt surface without winning but he did finish second in both of last two main track starts. If the pace comes up contested, he’ll be heard from late. Let’s also find a spot on our rolling exotic ticket for #4 Out of Patience, a strong fit on speed figures and a solid third in a recent seven furlong sprint. He’ll need a strong ride from his low-percentage apprentice jockey but should be prominent throughout and could stick around for at least a share.
FIFTH RACE (3:05 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 5-Stylistic; 8-Mysterious Miracle
The fifth race is a contentious downhill turf sprint for older maiden fillies and mares. #5 Stylistic tipped her hand when finishing third in her first start in more than a year and half over a mile on this turf course last month, and with that race underneath her and the turn back to a sprint, the Kenny Black-trained mare seems set for a major effort. A sharp mile workout last week should have her right on edge. #8 Mysterious Miracle flashed good zip before fading in her debut in a fast, highly-rated extended sprint in her debut last month and seems sure to improve with the switch to Prat for a stable that has good stats with second time starters. The daughter of Congrats won’t likely have any issue with the switch to turf. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then have an extra ticket or two with Stylistic on top.
SIXTH RACE (3:35 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 6-Caradini; 8-Makena; 9-Faithfully
The sixth race is a maiden main track miler for older straight maiden fillies and mares with the poorly drawn #9 Faithfully the likely favorite. The Bob Baffert-trained filly produced a significant forward move when a sharp runner-up over this track and distance vs. similar foes in late January and shows a steady work pattern since. Bejarano remains aboard and with good racing luck if the daughter of Smart Strike should be able to earn her diploma. #8 Makena, in the money in all four career starts but a beaten choice in two of them, stretches out for the first time and the daughter of Pioneerof the Nile certainly should appreciate the added ground. She had no excuse when second over seven furlongs last time out but was beaten by a very well regarded filly in Calm of the Sea and there may not be anything of that quality in here. #6 Caradini has rising speed figures, stretches out again, and today gets blinkers for the first time. She’s been a one-paced grinder so far in her six race career but the hood could move her up, so we’ll include her as well.
SEVENTH RACE (3:35 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 1-Opsec; 4-China Girl Lover; 7-Tattenham
The featured seventh race, for optional claiming $62,500 turf specialists at a mile and one-quarter, seems like a logical spot for #4 China Girl Lover to continue his winning ways. Never sharper than his last two winning starts over this course, the long-fused son of Lawyer run likes to settle and produce a late run and Van Dyke fits him well. The pace may wind up being softer than what he’s been seeing but in his present form the Dan Hendricks-trained gelding still might be sharp enough to overcome a potential negative race-shape. #7 Tattenham, first off the claim for David Jacobson, was nosed out in a 12-furlong turf marathon here last month vs. $40,000 foes and will be tackling a tougher gang today; however, the Rock Hard Ten gelding switches to Bejarano and looks dangerous with only slight improvement. #1 Opsec, first off the claim for trainer John Sadler, lands the favorable rail, catches what may be a comfortable pace scenario, has won two of five career starts over this turf course and will be making just his second start off a long layoff, so a forward move can be expected. He’s better than his 8-1 morning line gives him credit for.
EIGHTH RACE (4:05 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 1-Family Forever; 9-Cordiality
The finale is a maiden claiming main track mile event for $30,000 3-year-old fillies and looks typically challenging. #1 Family Forever closed a huge gap in her debut last November; she was entered but scratched Jan. 15 and didn’t work for three weeks after that, but assuming she’s over whatever was ailing her, the Eddie Truman-trained filly looks good enough to beat this modest bunch. #9 Cordiality, in the money in three of her last four starts, switches to Espinoza and really won’t have to improve much to win. We’ll try to get by using just these two but feel free to spread if you find the need.