Hello everyone and welcome as 5MTP goes Coast to Coast today, and I go back to my handicapping roots as I tackle the Southern California circuit that I did almost exclusively for years when I first became a horse racing fan. We have 9 races on tap highlighted by the Grade 3 Laz Barrera and the 3 year old debut of Moonshine Memories.
RACE 1: 2-8-3
Start off with a price with 2-PIONEER LAD, who is coming in 2nd off an 8 month layoff and did little in return. However that was on dirt and returns to the turf today where he was a nice 2nd in last year’s Oceanside before beinf in contention in the La Holla when Tyler Baze lost his whip at the eighth pole.
RACE 2: 6-2-5
6-IRISH DAME comes in 2nd off a layoff, her comeback 6 days ago. Drops to the bottom here today, only other time at the 8K level resulted in a 2 1/4 length win last August. Too many question marks on the 2 morning line favorites in here to take at too short of a price. My main concern for top pick is may be compromised by the other speed in here, including 6/5 favorite Foxy Fresh.
RACE 3: 5-4-1
5-DRAFT PICK has been unlucky in that he has faced some pretty talented horses in his career, including Kentucky Derby 4th place finisher Instilled Regard, highly regarded Dark Vader, and Peter Pan Stakes morning line favorite Core Beliefs.
RACE 4: 8-4-7
8-CALVERT STREET is 2nd off a layoff for George Papapeodromou, comeback was 2nd of 12 beaten 1 1/2 lengths vs $20K Claimers. Last time entered at this level won by 1/2 length on the downhill. Granted today’s route distance is a question mark but has been facing better than today’s field.
RACE 5: 1-3-2
The Grade 3 Laz Barrera for 3 year olds sprinting 7 furlongs. 1-KANTHAKA is 2 for 2 at today’s distance, including win in Grade 2 San Vicente 3 months ago. Last 2 races was probably outclassed and put in over preferred distance. Should have ample pace to close into today.
RACE 6: 6-4-5
6-LUCKY BRYAN makes 2nd start off 8 month layoff, was a so-so 4th in return. Was Grade 3 placed two years ago, if he can find that closing kick that he had in 2016 believe he wins.
RACE 7: 6-2-8
Really not much to say on this race. 6-AWESOME ELK should be stalking the pace. Like the steady progression in Beyer numbers the last 3 starts.
RACE 8: 6-2-1
The Angel Flight Stakes marks the return of 2 time Grade 1 winner and 2017 Breeders Cup Juvenile Filly favorite Moonshine Memories. Hoping we can beat her off the layoff with 6-UPPERCUT. Was 3rd last out in G3 Beaumont to Gas Station Sushi, who was 3rd in last week’s Eight Belle’s. Will be gunning early today as has her previous two races.
RACE 9: 11-12-9
11-LOVE OF ART is a FTS for Simon Callaghan and being ridden by Flavian Prat, who are 37% their last 52 mounts teaming up. Has the 2nd highest turf Tomlinson rating for turf in the field.