Handicapping Picks for 10/22/2011

Race #9 - Rating = 3

#9 Earnednevergiven - Fair odds 3/1
#6 Golden Mexico - Fair odds 3/1
#2 Red Defense - Fair odds 7/2
#3 Al Instante - Fair odds 7/2

Exacta: Box 2,3,6,9

Earnednevergiven returns to the NW2X allowance/optional $62,500 claiming ranks today after three stakes races, also returning to the specialist’s 6 ½ furlong downhill turf trip he’s won at twice previously in his career, most recently in February, Flores up then as now, that win coming at this level as did the win in April in a turf sprit at Hollywood Park. Although winless in his last 4 races with a very sharp best of 41 four furlong workout coming into the race and with the best post for this trip, the outside, he’s got a big shot to run as well as he did last winter when victorious under these conditions.

Golden Mexico cuts back from a mile to a turf sprint, having won his last turf sprint right before that on 7/17, at the one lower NW1X allowance level. He won prior to that when Sadler took over his training, Talamo in the saddle for that win and aboard again today, this gelding having fired nicely to win the last two times he came back from a layoff as he’s doing today.

Red Defense is a perfect 4-for-4 in his career, those wins coming from October, 2010 through January, 2011 and including a win at this downhill turf trip in the race on January 2 that preceded the 9 month layoff he’s coming back from today. With excellent workouts for his comeback and with Rosario in the saddle today the same as for 3 of his wins, Red Defense has every right to pick up where he left off, with a win.

Al Instante is 6 for 12 in his career, five of those coming in his native Chile and the other in his 3rd U.S. start and first turf sprint start, in August. That win came at the one lower NW1X allowance level, then he as overmatched in a stakes, but back at the right NW2X level and with the same jockey up today as for that last win, Al Instante rounds out our quartet of contenders that can win or complete the exacta in this race.
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You can get my selections and analysis for the entire Santa Anita card at www.equibase.com, www.trackmaster.com as well as at the Xpressbet, Twinspires and TVG handicapping stores.