Handicapping Picks for 10/15/2011

Race #9 - Rating = 2

#11 Cozy Kitten - Fair odds 3/1
#1 Great Warrior - Fair odds 3/1
#3 Venomous - Fair odds 3/1

For any pick 3 or 4 tickets played, I’d suggest you try to use “ALL” in this race because it is a very deep field and many horses have a shot to win.

Having watched owner Ken Ramsey win three graded stakes last weekend, two at Keeneland and one at Hawthorne, I was reminded that Ken’s main goal is to “WIN”, giving his trainers license to enter where they think their charges can do just that. Rarely if ever shipping into California, it is notable that Cozy Kitten shows up in the Oak Tree Derby, coming off a stakes win at the tricky European style turf course that is Kentucky Downs. With two turf workouts at Santa Anita to get used to it, this cold who missed by two necks and a head in the Toronto Cup Stakes at this 9 furlong turf trip prior to that, has a big shot to get up in time and post the upset win in this race.

Great Warrior enters the race on an improving pattern of speed figures and in the best form of his career, having just won the Pomona Derby after missing by a nose in the El Cajon Stakes. He has run well on turf so there are no issues there and with the ground saving rail and the same jockey (Berrio) in the saddle today as for those last two “A” efforts he’s got a big shot here.

Venomous makes his U.S. debut, having just run one month ago in France and finishing 5th but beaten just 2 lengths in the Group 3 Prix du Pin. He missed by less than 2 lengths in a group 1 race in July and that puts him ahead of many in here with European Group 3 races as good as this Group 2 level and Group 1 races as good or better than our Grade 1 races. With Rosario named to ride, and with his European form very competitive if repeated here, Venomous would be no surprise if winning the Oak Tree Derby in his U.S. Debut today.
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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.