Handicapping Picks for 01/15/2012

Race #1 - Rating = 2
#8 Blu Jon - Fair odds 3/1
#7 He's Very Rare - Fair odds 3/1

Exactas: 8 over 2,6,7 and (reverse) 2,6,7 over 8 then also 7 over 2,6,8 and (reverse) 2,6,8 over 7
2 is Rock Off and 6 is Kingpin Ryno

Blu Jon is a five year old making the first start of his career, NOT IN A MAIDEN CLAIMING RACE, but in a straight maiden field. This play doesn’t come along very often but when it does I pay attention because over the years it’s been quite profitable. A five year old FULL HORSE (not a gelding) like this one must have had his issues getting to the races, but now he’s fully mature and over whatever those issues were. In the hands of a top trainer like Sheriffs, a horse like this could win at first asking, particularly in a weak field with the two logical favorites (Rock Off and Kingpin Ryno having a combined 0-6-3 record in 14 races) vulnerable at the least. With a sharp 3 furlong blowout to cap a decent series of works for his debut and with a good outside post, this horse who is a half brother to stakes winner Alpha Kitten, who won her debut, has a big shot of winning at first asking.

He’s Very Rare is the other first time starter of note, with both his siblings on the dam’s side winners and with a very sharp 46.4 best of 25 four furlong workout from the gate coming into his debut. Although a Cal-Bred facing open company (likely because there aren’t any Cal-Bred downhill sprints on the grass available for him to run), he’s a son of Unusual Heat out of a Perfect Mandate mare and that means he should love the turf so he’s the other to consider for profitable wagers in the opener.

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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.