Picks: City Glitter, Mary Margaret, Lady in a Hurry
Analysis:City Glitter ran a good one opening weekend, chasing the speed throughout then rallying before getting nosed out for the win. Returns at the same level on a track she obviously took to well. Mary Margaret has been well bet in all three starts, two of which came in Southern California. This year she has two starts with a win and a third. The problem this year is she has not been getting away clean from the gate. Gets an improvement in the irons here and a clean break puts her in the thick of things. Lady in a Hurry had a bullet work over the track and then went out got the win after starting slow and charging late. A step up, sure, but the debut win did nothing but make the horse look better.
Second race (2:15 p.m.)
Picks: Wicked Sunset, Spun Away, Amba
Analysis:Wicked Sunset has been off since November, but this was a good runner for the barn last year, hitting the board 8-of-15 times. The barn is okay after that length of a break with a limited sample size. She comes into this race with three solid works over the surface – two fast works that sandwich a maintenance work. A lot could go wrong here but is one the better runners for the barn so know the spot has been selected diligently. Spun Away came into her last start after being off since September and did nothing here in Pleasanton. Had an average work over the track before the return, but with the second start after a break looming there is every reason to expect improvement. The big positive here is this is the lowest claiming level the horse has ever started. Amba was third here is a decent race where she got boxed in at one point before getting free, but the disruption was enough to keep from anything better than third. Returns at the same spot and a better trip will produce a better result.
Third race (2:45 p.m.)
Picks: Earnest, Dub Town, Maxinamillion
Analysis:Earnest has speed and showed it here opening weekend when he went out, led the entire and won by five. Now the connections take a small bump up the claiming ladder and loom formidable here for the repeat. Dub Town took some action before the start on June 25, but then struggled to finish third. No real excuses that day but does cut the tag in half for this one. Maxinamillion is searching for whatever it was that made him better is 2021. Had a decent series of races coming to a start here June 25 but got wide and faded in the lane. Another runner that cuts the tag in half here and should have a better showing.
Fourth race (3:15 p.m.)
Picks: Majestic Oops, Just a Little Luck, Princesa Del Tigre
Analysis: A lightly raced field with only 2-of-6 starters actually having a race under their belts. Majestic Oops is one of those with a race finishing second June 11 is a race at Golden Gate Fields. Easy to see another step forward for the horse in this spot. Just a Little Luck is making her first start for barn that is decent with first timers. She does have a couple of good works over the track to get ready for this start. Princesa Del Tigre us from another barn that is okay with horses making their debut. The works have been decent, with a couple showing there might be some speed here.
Fifth race (3:45 p.m.)
Picks: Zu Zu Flynn, Last Starfighter, P T Ranger
Analysis:Zu Zu Flynn scratched out of a race earlier in the meet and now returns as so does my support. The last two starts have come as the betting favorite, with one being a win and the other a cash-burning third. Always shows speed and gets the outside post which is not a bad thing. The barn excels at coming off the break. Last Starfighter is stuck with the rail draw and is coming off a maiden in her last start. Should have speed to get off good and get solid track position by half-way up the back side. P T Ranger just missed here the first weekend setting the pace before being caught late. A maintenance work keeps the horse sharp and could be a big factor here.
Sixth race (4:15 p.m.)
Picks: Kerrygold Lady, Lady Brett, Magical Lady
Analysis:Kerrygold Lady debuted here June 24 and while not a great trip still managed to finish second in a race where the third place horse came back to win here Friday. I expect to see some early speed with this one. Lady Brett makes her debut for a barn that has done with first-timers. A series of three works over the track show the horse is taking to the surface and looms large. Magical Lady was claimed after her start here and it’s a big claim as the new barn wins at 34 percent off the claim. Expect a more complete race here.
Seventh race (4:45 p.m.)
Picks: Orissa, Redstwirlingdancer, Perfectly Julia
Analysis:Orissa came to Pleasanton after a two-month break, threw a bullet work over the track, then went out and won by four lengths. The connections that click at 37 percent on the win end are back here shooting for two in a row. Redstwirlingdancer won her debut a year ago, then was off until early June of this year where she came back and won again. Hard not to figure the horse here. Perfectly Julia went wire to wire here opening weekend in one the gutsiest wins this meet leading by now more than a length the entire race. What race took out of the horse remains to be seen but she deserves a spot on the ticket.
Eighth race (5:15 p.m.)
Picks: Thunder of Zion, Amadmadworld, Big Wild West
Analysis: The final race of the 2022 Alameda County Fair meet features a barn that checks a lot of boxes in this race. Thunder of Zion was seventh here the second weekend but was claimed by a barn that wins at 34 percent off the claim and 33 percent with first-time blinkers. Needs to take a big step forward here but it is well within his reach. Amadmadworld ships north and drops into a much softer spot and he was not running badly against much tougher. He gets one of the solid barns up here and progress would be easy to see. Big Wild West comes north after doing nothing in three starts down south. The horse was never well bet, but this is a much, much softer spot for the horse that is in an iconic Pleasanton barn.