Handicapping Picks for 09/30/2012

Race #5 - Rating = 2
#3 Smokey Lonesome - Fair odds 2/1
#9 Circa'sgoldengear - Fair odds 5/2
#5 Surrey Star - Fair odds 3/1

Exacta: Box 3,5,9
Optional exacta: Box 3,5,8,9 (8 is Why Not Be Perfect, who has performed very well in turf sprints in his career)

Smokey Lonesome is in the best form of his life, with two wins and a nose defeat in his last 3 races. Although all 3 “A” efforts came in routes, cutting back to a sprint shouldn’t be an issue as he has won at this downhill turf trip before, and with 110, 105 and 112 Equibase Speed Figures earned in his last 3 races better than any other entrant’s last 3 (except one of Surrey Star’s), this gelding could take some beating.

Circa’sgoldengear gets a great outside post for this trip and has been no worse than third in his last four including a head defeat at this trip in February. Coming back from 5 months off in August he won nicely in a turf sprint on the turf at Del Mar and with Talamo appearing to have chosen him to ride over Smokey Lonesome, who Joe just rode to 2 straight wins, this gelding certainly deserves a great deal of respect in this situation.

Surrey Star missed by a half-length on the wire last out in a race he might have won if not for having been blocked at a critical stage of the race. Cutting back from a route to a sprint likely means he’ll have a bit something extra in the late stages and with a best of the day workout as his most recent coming into the race he rounds out a strong 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.