Friday, January 01, 2010

The Grade 2 $150,000 San Gorgonio Handicap

First of all, I do hope that everyone had a very happy and safe New Year's celebration this week. The Grade 2 $150,000 San Gorgonio will feature a very interesting field of nine going a mile and an eighth over the turf at Santa Anita on Saturday afternoon and here are the selections for that race:

I pegged #4 Life Is Sweet as the winner of the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic on Friday, November 6 and cashed very handsomely afterward, thank you very much. I am sticking with the hot hand of John Shirreffs here. She has an impressive turf Tomlinson number and has been in the top two in four of five lifetime starts. She gets the 2009 leading purse winner for jockeys, Garrett Gomez, at the controls. Finally, she has been facing the tough competition (namely Zenyatta) for the better part of 2009. I am concerned that she has never been over the Santa Anita turf before, but not enough to dissuade me from selecting her. For second, I will go with the Drysdale trainee, #9 Cat By The Tale, who never finished out of the money in any of her six tries in 2009. That includes two Grade 2 efforts, in which she finished third both times. She has a win and a second at this distance over the turf at Hollywood last spring. By the way, two of her four lifetime triumphs have come over this very grass course. William Mott has taken over the Juddmonte string for the late Bobby Frankel, and he trains #3 Treat Gently for the Juddmonte folks here. She won her North American debut at Belmont in July, before trying to go to far (1 1/4 miles) in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor at Woodbine, finishing behind monumental longshot, Lahaleeb. Her last five furlong workout at Hollywood on December 27 covered the distance in 1:00.3. I will round out the top four with #5 Diamondrella. I am very interested to see how she handles the extra distance here. Her last experience over the Santa Anita turf was a disastrous 11th place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. She has been used to going no further than a mile for the two seasons. This just might be a little more than she is capable of at 1 1/8 miles. Here is the play for the Grade 2 San Gorgonio:

$2 EX BOX 3-4-9 and $1 TRI 4 with 3-5-8-9
TOTAL- $24

Please keep in mind that these are merely suggestions and They Are Off accepts no responsibility for any wagers placed in conjunction with these thoughts. Tune in again on Monday for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!

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