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Brad Free's Los Alamitos analysis for Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

BEST BET: Hailey Rachele (3rd race)

First Race
1. Take Charge Gal 2. Copper Cowgirl 3. Exes N Ohs
Racing returns to Los Alamitos, first post 1 p.m. Maiden-20 fillies and mares go one mile in the opener. TAKE CHARGE GAL stretches out following an okay fifth-place sprint comeback vs. better. Her pedigree and even-paced running style suggest two turns is the right trip. COPPER COWGIRL, a nine-start maiden, stretches out following the two best efforts of her career. Those were third-place finishes at Del Mar. Los Al is the home base for 'COWGIRL, who will be forwardly placed in a field without much obvious pace. EXES N OHS ("they haunt me" - Elle King) finished last in her maiden-62.5k debut at Del Mar. But the two-three finishers returned to win, 'OHS drops to the bottom for her second career start. Trainer Bob Baffert has won more Los Al daytime races (61) than any trainer since daytime racing began here in 2014.

Second Race
1. Dre Dan 2. Justin's Quest 3. Aced
DRE DAN, a 4yo second-time starter, makes his long-awaited comeback with a string of fast works that suggest he will fire first start back for the Baffert stable. 'DAN was in and out of training several times following his fifth-place debut in winter 2016. His work pattern was interrupted in summer 2017, and again in spring 2018. No interruptions this time, he meets a modest field of older maidens and should fire his best shot first start back. JUSTIN'S QUEST set strong fractions racing one mile over a slow racetrack in his debut last month. He led to the quarter pole, and tired. It was a decent enough debut, he probably benefits by the shorter distance of this six-furlong dash. First-time starter ACED debuts with a solid workout pattern, although maidens from this stable generally race their way into form rather than fire first time out.

Third Race
1. Hailey Rachele 2. Happy Issue 3. Sunrise Royale
Front-runner HAILEY RACHELE should be loose on the lead in this allowance sprint for Calbred fillies and mares. The only reliable front-runner in this small field, she won big on this track in July, and finished an okay fourth last time on turf. Back on familiar dirt footing, she should make the lead and be gone as the most probable winner on the card. HAPPY ISSUE, a 6-for-21 veteran, was claimed from her second straight win last month at Golden Gate by Vann Belvoir. She will roll late. 'ISSUE will be ridden by apprentice Assael Espinoza, who enters Los Al with expectations he will be among the meet's top riders along with fellow five-pound apprentice Heriberto Figueroa. Figueroa rides SUNRISE ROYALE, maiden winner at Del Mar with the highest last-start speed figure in this field. LADY KRISHNA could show more speed now that she is back on dirt.

Fourth Race
1. Aristocratic 2. Conqueror 3. Street Vision
Small field in this N2X sprint, but four good sprinters led by ARISTOCRATIC. He ran super last out in a $40k claiming sprint when he set a fast pace and only weakened late. He was claimed from the third-place finish by Peter Miller and looks like the one to catch. He must hold off the rally of CONQUEROR, whose current form is better than it looks. He lost his punch last time at two turns, two starts back he dropped too far off the pace, three starts back he raced over his conditions in a N3X, four starts back he raced on grass. This N2X class level, on dirt, is where he belongs. He will roll late. STREET VISION was claimed for $40k from a N1X/optional claiming sprint in which he ran well. He dueled on a fast pace, dropped back, and then "re-rallied" to miss by only a length. The winner Tatters to Riches returned to win a stakes race. LOMBO is the field's only 3yo, and only graded winner. He won a G3 for 3yos early this year. This is a tough spot for a comeback, against sharp older sprinters, but LOMBO is lightly raced and may still have his best races in front of him. This is his first start since changing trainers.

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Fifth Race
1. Kid Koil 2. Just Hit Play 3. Lifesbeengoodsofar
KID KOIL and JUST HIT PLAY are tough to separate in this Cal-bred 2yo maiden-50. The edge goes to KID KOIL based on his fast-pace fourth-place finish two back in a state-bred special-weight. Unless the turf route he tried last time dulled his speed, 'KOIL might be the quickest in the field. First time for a tag, the one to catch. However, JUST HIT PLAY should be positioned within striking range of the leader. 'PLAY pressed modest fractions and tired both starts; he did improve last time to finish third. Looks like a two-horse race on paper, though first-time starter LIFESBEENGOODSOFAR appears to have worked okay for his debut. FORESTATION had a troubled takeoff and trailed throughout in his debut. He probably can do better. CALDER VALE drops in for a tag and should be forwardly placed.

Sixth Race
1. Dark Prince 2. Magnificent McCool 3. Dinesen
DARK PRINCE benefits from a softer pace scenario and easier company than his first three starts; the 2yo colt gets the call to lead this mile maiden race gate to wire. In two starts at Del Mar, he went fast on the lead and faded. This time, he could be loose. Come and catch him. MAGNIFICENT MCCOOL stretched out (on turf) for his second start, and actually ran okay. He set the pace under pressure, and held best of the speed to run fourth. With a route under his belt, and possibly a cozy trip positioned second behind the top choice, 'MCCOOL is likely to continue his improving pattern. DINESEN raced evenly and split the field in a creditable debut. Blinkers on, bred to route, likely improvement with a race under his belt. SEVEN SCENTS will go long following two sprints; EARNEST finished a grinding fourth in his debut (turf route) at Golden Gate. He also should move forward with a race under his belt.

Seventh Race
1. Princess Areni 2. Holidayincambodia 3. Kristie's Heart
Difficult to have confidence in any of these low-level claiming fillies and mares, including top choice PRINCESS ARENI. But she has speed, and might be quick enough to make the lead dropping from $16k claiming N2L to $6,250 claiming non-winners this year. HOLIDAYINCAMBODIA is a legit threat based on her runner-up finish last out in an open $5k claiming race here at night. The winner and third-place finisher returned to win. 'CAMBODIA has speed to keep the top choice in her sights. Her lack of published works is not a concern; she does not have a recorded workout since February yet has maintained form all year. KRISTIE'S HEART was given an easy comeback prep last out; she drops for the money run and is arguably the fastest in the field based on her 2017 form. ALPHA PEGASUS won four races this year in Colorado and Arizona; she is eligible because those races were $5k claiming or less.

Eighth Race
1. Topaz Time 2. Jeweled 3. Coalinga Hills
If her last-start debacle is disregarded, TOPAZ TIME actually looks good in this $16k claiming N2L sprint. Her runner-up finish two back, and maiden-claiming win four back, were fast enough to win this. Her most recent start was a wide-trip duel in which she was done early. Wheeled right back in 11 days, she has speed to establish position inside and could slip through the cracks in the betting. JEWELED drops in class again, gets in light with a five-pound apprentice rider, and should be involved in the pace. COALINGA HILLS will rally late. She missed by only a head in her most recent start two months ago, on this track against similar company. DASHIN ASHEN makes her first start of the year, in her first claiming race.

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Photo Credits:   Vassar Photography (Northern CA)  |  Benoit Photo (Southern CA)  |  Michael J. Marten (Southern CA)


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