Handicapping Picks for 02/19/2012

Race #7 - Rating = 1
#4 Smoking G - Fair odds 2/1
#5 American Act - Fair odds 2/1
#2 Creative Cause - Fair odds 2/1

Drill is currently off form with no real signs of recovery so he’s not a horse I’d consider a contender in this situation, which is good if he’s the favorite once again.

As for the rest, Smoking G ran them off their feet down the hillside turf course last out on 1/28 in his 3rd career start, earning a 106 Equibase Speed Figure on par with the 109 Creative Cause earned when 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall. With improving to do in his 2nd start off a near 2 month layoff and with a recent main track workout that suggests he’ll have no issue transferring that form to the dirt, Smoking G could be very tough in this year’s San Vicente Stakes.

American Act also won his most recent race, also a high rated win (98 figure) on the main track, in his 3rd career start, so he has improving to show us as well and from a good outside post could nab the upset win again.

Creative Cause would be the horse to beat, by far, if 1) he wasn’t coming back from a 3 ½ month layoff since the Juvenile and 2) there were much more important tasks on his “to do” list, such as getting in shape for the Santa Anita Derby and Kentucky Derby. As such, although he did win in his career debut, in a sprint, and might win this even if 90%, I will include him on any pick 3 or 4 tickets played but will likely pass on betting him to win at low odds.

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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, Keeneland Select and TVG handicapping stores.