FIRST RACE (12:30 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 5-If You Believe; 6-Lady Cloud
#6 Lady Cloud shows up in a maiden claimer for the first time, stretches out, and switches to turf. Her sprint form in three prior starts is nothing to write home about, but she’s bred to enjoy these conditions, continues to train well, switches to Tyler Baze, and seems as good as any in largely unclassified field. #5 If You Believe, claimed for $40,000 out of her debut by Mark Glatt, is another bred to improve on grass and likely will produce a forward move after finishing a fair third in an abbreviated maiden track sprint. She adds Lasix, retains Joe Talamo, and goes for a stable that boasts strong stats with first-after-claim plays. Let’s use both in our rolling exotics while slightly preferring Lady Cloud on top.
SECOND RACE (1:00 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 2-Aikau; 4-Profound Visionary
Bottom-rung maiden claimers sprint five and one-half furlongs in the second race. #2 Aikau, a decent runner-up in his racing debut last month, has a right to improve with that effort behind him and should be a strong pace factor throughout. #4 Profound Visionary had a rough trip in a fast, highly-rated race in his most recent outing but still earned a respectable speed figure and has back numbers that would be more than good enough to win. The winner should be one of these two, so we’ll double the race while preferring Profound Visionary on top.
THIRD RACE (1:31 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 2-Take It Easyplease; 3-Kristinite
This starter’s allowance maiden track middle distance affair for fillies and mares attracted only five starters, with #2 Take It Easyplease the one to beat. Genuine and consistent, the Richard Baltas-trained filly looks very much like the controlling speed and if not pressured early will take this field a very long way. We’ll also include (perhaps as a back-up) #3 Kristinite, who may lack a winning punch but usually gets a piece of it. She does her best running when held up early and if a decent pace materializes she could be the most effective of the closers.
FOURTH RACE (2:03 PT) – GRADE: C+
Use: 1-Tribal Tribute; 3-Southern Freedom; 6-Montego Bay; 7-Lucky J Lane
This grass grab bag for $75,000 claiming milers has a number of possibilities and requires a spread. #1 Tribal Tribute missed at even money in his recent comeback but is raised in class in a sign of confidence by top trainer Phil D’Amato and seems very likely to produce a significant forward move. The Tribal Rule gelding lands the good rail, switches to Tyler Baze, sports a healthy work tab since raced and hails from barn that boasts superior stats with second-off-layoff runners. #3 Southern Freedom exits a pair of graded stakes and shortens from a marathon to a mile, so we’re expecting the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained horse to return to good form. The son of Pure Prize has been pressing the pace and fading in recent outings but should get the patient ride he requires today. #6 Montego Bay always is a late threat and in his second-off-a-layoff for Neil Drysdale the veteran War Chant gelding should be heard from in the final furlong. #7 Lucky J Lane is particularly fond of this turf course (three wins in eight starts) and seems likely to improve at this lower level. His numbers are consistently strong and the switch to Flavien Prat is particularly noteworthy.
FIFTH RACE (2:33 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 1-Que Christosa; 3-Schiller Diller
Maiden claiming state-bred runners meet over a mile on the main track in a race that looks considerably weaker than par. #1 Que Christosa remains above his claim level and returns to the main track after failing to land a blow vs. much tougher straight maiden foes last month. The son of Papa Clem earned a number two races back over this track and distance that should be good enough to beat this field. We’ll also include in our rolling exotics #3 Schiller Diller, far back in his debut vs. state bred maiden allowance foes on grass but likely to improve a bunch against this modest group. The Mark Glatt-trained gelding continues to flash ability in morning trials, switches to Pedroza, and should have every chance to show what he’s capable of today.
SIXTH RACE (3:05 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 1-Prince Valiant; 7-Adair
#7 Adair looked super breaking his maiden vs. bottom-rung foes last time out; the Phil D’Amato-trained colt ran away and hid by more than 10 lengths and earned a very impressive speed figure in doing so. However, instead of protecting the lightly-raced California-bred colt in a starter’s allowance race, D’Amato dangles him for $25,000 as if to say if you want him, you can have him. If the son of Tannersmyman has one good one left, he’ll beat this field. We’ll also use #1 Prince Valiant, second in his last three starts, most recently with a career-top speed figure. Flavien Pratt stays aboard for Jack Carava, and if for whatever reason Adair fails to fire, this son of Ready’s Image can serve as a good insurance policy in rolling exotic play.
SEVENTH RACE (3:35 PT) – GRADE: B
Use: 3-Undeniable U; 5-French Getaway; 6-Beach Patrol
#6 Beach Patrol seems capable of standing a raise after breaking his maiden in his local debut over this course last month. Today’s extra furlong should do him nothing but good, and we’re expecting the son of Lemon Drop Kid to be along on plenty of time. His morning line of 5/2 is just fine if you can get it. #3 Undeniable U, a progressive colt from the Bob Baffert barn, is fresh from a clever win under these conditions vs. maidens in late February. The son of Red Giant continues to train well and should continue his improving pattern today. #5 French Getaway has solid main track form but is bred to love turf (Giant’s Causeway) and gets his first chance on the sod for the Hess/Desormeaux team. He’ll be running on strongly late. We’ll use all three in our rolling exotics and then press a bit with Beach Patrol on top.
EIGHTH RACE (4:05 PT) – GRADE: B-
Use: 1-Big John B; 5-China Girl Lover
This 12-furlong main track graded stakes affair looks fairly wide open; we’ll use two and hope that’s enough. #5 China Girl Lover and #1 Big John B are both capable of winning at this level if they can come close to reproducing their best turf form on dirt. Both have had some success in the past on the main track, with China Girl Lover actually winning back-to-back such races (albeit vs. softer foes) last summer. ‘Lover, a son of Lawyer Ron from the Dan Hendricks barn, ran a winning race when most recently third in a 10-furlong turf affair; he was forced wide throughout but kept to his task and lost much more ground than he was beaten by. Big John B appears to have tailed since winning a similar type of race at Del Mar last summer, but the veteran son of Hard Spun continues to show spark in the morning so we’ll string along one more time.
NINTH RACE (4:35 PT) – GRADE: B+
Use: 2-Worldwide; 10-Rocket Fuel
#10 Rocket Fuel finished nine lengths clear of the rest (including Jazzie Cat, a winner yesterday) when runner-up in his debut to Tribal Fighter in a fast, highly-rated maiden state-bred sprint here last month, and anything close to that performance today puts the Bruce Headley-trained gelding in the winner’s circle. He’s drawn comfortably outside and should have every chance; let’s hope to get close to his morning line of 5/2, though we suspect he’ll go lower. #2 Worldwide was a bit of a disappointment last summer at Del Mar in three starts while failing to run to his good works; he returns for trainer Ron Ellis and might be a bit better type this time around. A recent six furlong gate work in 1:12 1/5 indicates he’s fit and ready. We’ll use both in our rolling exotics and then have a few extra tickets with Rocket Fuel on top.
TENTH RACE (5:05 PT) – GRADE: B+
Use: 1-Zip N Bayou; 2-Fruity; 5-So Sweetitiz
The finale is a stronger-than-par entry-level allowance sprint down the Hillside Course for fillies and mares. #5 So Sweetitiz finished a sharp second under these conditions in her last outing in mid-February, has trained nicely since, and should fire her best shot today. Desormeaux stays aboard for Marty Jones and figures to have this daughter of Gram Slam on or near the lead throughout. #1 Zip N Bayou is improving with racing and showed a liking for this turf course when breaking her maiden two runs back. She has a good stalking style and figures to settle in the second flight, saving ground, before launching her bid in the lane. Garcia stays aboard and knows her well. #2 Fruity has shown some ability in the morning for trainer Simon Callaghan; she gets Lasix and Joe Talamo for her U.S. debut and her form last year in decent handicaps in England makes her a solid fit at this level. She’s a “must use” at 12-1 on the morning line.