Handicapping Picks for 01/05/2012

Race #7 - Rating = 3
#2 Compari - Fair odds 2/1
#4 Sandor - Fair odds 5/2
#1 El Gato Malo - Fair odds 5/2

Exacta: 1,2,4 over 1,2,3,4,5,6
#3 is Details R Sketchy, #5 is Posse Power, #6 is Make Music for Me

Rafael Bejarano rode Compari just once previously, in his most recent race on 11/18 when 2nd and beaten under a length in the Night Mover Stakes, which carried a 67K purse very similar to this classified allowance level purse of 65K. Rafael also rode El Gato Malo to victory in his most recent race, rode Leroy’s Dynameaus in his last race and to his last win, and rode Willyconker to his last 3 wins including one on 12/18. Seeing that Rafael (and his agent) have chosen to ride Compari, and noting that Compari stretches out from 6 furlongs to his best trip, a mile on turf (with a 3 for 5 record at the distance), for his 2nd start off a layoff, and noting Compari has won FOUR of 5 times he’s raced at Santa Anita, I’d say Rafael has made the right choice as this “WIN TYPE” should improve and earn career win #7 today. Sandor and El Gato Malo were separated by 2 ¼ lengths last out on 12/7 when 2nd and 1st, respectively, in a nearly identical race, the difference today being Sandor is making his 2nd start following 7 ½ months off and 2nd in the U.S. so has a lot of improvement to show us. There are no real knocks on El Gato Malo today either, getting the rail after coasting home to an easy win at this mile trip. As such, both geldings must be given a lot of respect when considering any wagers we make involving 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, Keeneland Select and TVG handicapping stores.