Handicapping Picks for 01/01/2012

Race #8 - Rating = 1
#5 Whisper Louise - Fair odds 5/2
#2 Celestial Kitten - Fair odds 5/2
#6 Miss Mittagong - Fair odds 5/2

Whisper Louise gets slight preference in a fairly uninteresting stakes with a six horse field, this filly having just missed by a head on the wire to Celestial Kitten, in the non-graded Spearfish Stakes at HOL on 12/8. In her U.S. debut in April, Whisper Louise finished 2nd and was beaten less than a length by Cambina in the similar Grade 2 Providencia Stakes at this distance on this course and making her 2nd start after 2 months off she appears capable of improving enough to win with a similar effort. Celestial Kitten and Miss Mittagong both come from the barn of Ben Cecil, Celestial Kitten having finished 2nd after leading late in the G3 Ramser Stakes two before her Spearfish victory. She’s as good as Whisper Louise, having just beaten her, but the only time she raced nine furlongs she finished just 5th of 10 so that’s why she’s rated slightly below her nemesis today. Miss Mittagong tried graded stakes company for the first time last out, on the main track, and finished a decent 2nd in the G2 Bayakoa Stakes, 3 ¼ lengths from the winner. She won just prior to that, also on the main track, but she has won on the turf since coming to the U.S. in May and in her current form could have a say in the outcome so rounds out our trio of contenders.
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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.