Handicapping Picks for 01/21/2012

Race #8 - Rating = 2
#8 Euroears - Fair odds 2/1
#3 Galientos - Fair odds 2/1
#2 Amazombie - Fair odds 2/1

Exacta: Box 2,3,8

I’ll leave it to a trainer like Bob Baffert to get a horse like Euroears ready off a 2 month layoff and back into top form after three poor races in the fall. Euroears won this Palos Verdes Stakes last year in his first start for Bob and following 7 months off, with a career best 120 Equibase Speed Figure, before a bang-up 2nd in the Dubai Golden Shaheen and a win in the Bing Crosby Stakes before those three poor efforts. With 10 wins in 22 career races, Euroears certainly knows what his job is and if able to run as well fresh today as he did a year ago he could post the mild upset over Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Amazombie. Galientos has won 2 in a row in easy fashion, the win on dirt on 10/11 off a short layoff like the one he’s coming back from today earning him a 115 figure that puts him in contention here if he repeats or improves off it, the horse having won his next start on 11/19 on grass and causing a KEY race as both the runner-up and 3rd finishers came back to win their next start. Pointing to this race since last month when shipping to SA for the strong Asmussen barn, Galientos may be able to step up and earn his first graded stakes win in this situation, noting he’s a newly turned five year old the same as Amazombie was last year when becoming a stakes star. Amazombie comes back from 2 ½ months off following his strong BC win that earned a 117 figure, the gelding earning 117 figures twice in 2011 while winning 5 of 9 including the Ancient Title here at Santa Anita in October. Not having to win this race on the comeback trail while keeping in shape before defending his title in the fall, Amazombie certainly can win but will be the odds on favorite so I’ll probably just use him on pick 3 and 4 tickets played and bet on one or both of the others to win.

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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.