BEST BET: RACE 5, ZUZANNA
UH OH BABY has worked like a colt that will fire first time out. Purchased for $52k in July; the 2yo makes his debut in a maiden-80, which makes sense. Furthermore, trainer Craig Dollase has a terrific record with first-time starters. The past five years, Dollase is 12-for-47 with rookies, a 26 percent win rate that produced a $3.08 return per $2 win bet. UH OH BABY is ready to roll. MIDNIGHT RUN finished second in his debut. The race was a low-rated affair, but maidens from this stable tend to improve with racing. COLORMEMONEY finished second in his debut at Indiana Grand; he makes his California debut for trainer Bob Hess, who is 5-for23 this meet with domestic shippers.
PRIVATE TERRACE takes a dubious drop to $8k, first start after she was claimed from a nose loss for $12.5k. It is a suspicious drop, but the mare’s best recent races are good enough for this group. PAPERCOVERSROCK stretches out and drops to the bottom after a pair of sprints vs. Cal-bred allowance sprinters. She can run long; this field is not particularly deep. VERONICA BAY dominated a similar group last out, winning by more than three. Can she run two alike? If yes, she would be right there. SWISS SKIMMER won a $20k claiming turf route two back at long odds, then finished last in her most recent start here for $32k claiming. Seems like turf and synthetic might be her preferred footing, but on recent ability, she is one of several with credentials.
The pick six begins with a scramble turf route, $62,500 maiden-claiming. It might be a good spot for an upset by VEGASTRUCK. She merely ran around the track in her comeback sprint early this month; in her only previous turf race she finished within hailing range of special-weight maidens. The 5yo mare is making just her fifth career start; she can post a mild upset in a messy race ripe for a longshot winner. The familiar faces seem dubious, though the runner-up finish last out by PADDY JEAN was the best of her career, and stamps her as a potential favorite. She opened up in midstretch, got run down over late, but finished more than three lengths clear of third. She wheels back in two weeks, and if able to run two alike could be tough to catch. TIZ BAILEE has run races that put her in the hunt; OURROSEOFTHENILE will pick them up late; CIAO BELLA ROSA drops in for a tag for her first start since February. Fresh filly like to fire her best shot first start back.
The runner-up finish last out by BRADDOCK was validated when the winner and fourth-place finisher returned to win. BRADDOCK comes back at the same level ($25k claiming N2L, or 3yos), he has speed for a pressing trip outside. Likely winner if he runs two alike. HANK THE TANK raced evenly in a creditable fourth-place comeback, on turf. He drops in class, from open $40k claiming to restricted $25k, and returns to preferred footing, which seems to be dirt. FIRE TO THE WIRE also returns to dirt, and shows up in his first claiming race.
ZUZANNA enters this turf route for $50k claiming 3yo fillies as the most probable winner on the card. She scored a sharp $40k claiming win last out in her California debut, the race was flattered when the second and fifth-place finishers returned to win. ZUZANNA was claimed by Jack Carava, who is 8-for-16 first off the claim since last fall. LOOKING AT THELAKE drops from starter allowance races vs. older into a claiming race for 3yo fillies. She will be rolling late, while SIMMY’S TEMPLE is in okay form, and making her first start since being claimed. She was no match for the top choice last out, however.
SMILING TIGRESS can post a minor upset in this maiden race for Cal-bred 2yo fillies. She ran well in her debut, then second out was not away well, got stuck behind runners and appeared uncomfortable, and misfired. ‘TIGRESS was expected to run Aug. 4, but got loose in the post parade and scratched. She posted three solid works since for trainer David Bernstein, and might be better than her first two
starts indicate. First-time starter IT’S ABOUT ALEX entered the Generous Portion Stakes on Wednesday; this maiden race is a more likely spot if she draws in. She hails from a stable that occasionally pops with this type. She is trained by Steve Miyadi, who also entered SING A SOLO. The latter missed by a nose in a creditable debut. SUPER PATRIOT finished sixth of eight as the favorite in her lackluster debut. Blinkers on for her second start; have to believe she is better than her debut. The sharp turf-sprint filly LAJATICO wheels back in two weeks and moves up in class after an impressive N2X win. Wide pressing a fast pace, she came away late. It was a sharp win by a filly at the top of her game. She might be the speed of the speed, and can score right back if she runs as well as 15 days ago. LONG HOT SUMMER scored a perfect-trip stakes win last out over this course on which she is choice, ‘SUMMER will be rolling from off the pace. WATCH THIS CAT set the pace and ran well in defeat, runner-up in a stakes race won by ‘SUMMMER. From the inside post, ‘CAT could tuck into a ground-saving trip right behind the speed. BELVOIR BAY adds heat, while SNOW CLOUD will rally from the back.
Also-eligible listers HARD ARCH and EMPIRE RULER are the choices in this maiden-2oroute, dropping from a two-three finish in a maiden40. Neither has raced at this bottom level; both have numbers fast enough to handle this cast. If they do not draw into the field, then GATO DOLCE becomes the default selection in his eighth try at this bottom level. In the money six of his seven previous maiden-20 efforts, he will be among the early leaders. KENZOU’S RHYTHM returns from a two-month freshening; his third-place finish two starts back at this level might be fast enough. COOL HUNTER might be ranked too low by this handicapper. Runner-up last out after setting the pace in a sprint, he is the likely pacesetter. Come and catch him.