Handicapping Picks for 03/03/2012

Race #11 - Rating = 2

#2 Ultimate Eagle - Fair odds 2/1
#3 Ron the Greek - Fair odds 3/1
#12 Holladay Road - Fair odds 3/1

Exactas: 2,3,12 over 2,3,4,9,12
Exactas: 2 over 2,3,4,9,12
Exactas: 3,4,9 over 3,12
#4 is Boxeur des Rues, #9 is Setsuko

Ultimate Eagle has an amazingly high cruising speed, which enabled him to transition from turf to dirt for the first time and easily win the Grade 2 Strub Stakes last month over this track. He’s won at 10 furlongs on turf so getting 10 on the main track is no problem, and he gets a great inside post with no horse likely to want to take him on for want of compromising their own chances so it could be his race to lose. Ron the Greek won at 1 3/16 miles one before last so this 1 ¼ mile trip seems within his reach, and he wasn’t disgraced a bit last out when 2nd in the Sunshine Millions Classic to Mucho Macho Man, who could be one of the top horses in the Handicap Division in 2012. With 110, 110 and 115 Equibase Speed Figures in his last 3 (Ultimate Eagle has earned 108 and 107 recently), Ron the Greek is the biggest threat to run down Ultimate Eagle in the late stages to win the Big Cap. Holladay Road has won 3 of his last 4 since shortly after joining the Canani barn in July. His most recent win was very sharp on 1/28 over the track with Bejarano in the saddle, Rafael riding back, and although that win came in a Cal-Bred stakes it was sharp and on the move to this conventional dirt surface after a number of turf and synthetic races so there is room for improvement, perhaps enough to post the upset 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, Keeneland Select and TVG handicapping stores.