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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekend Handicapping: Game On Dude all the way today

Yesterday we saw Alpha do what he was supposed to do, dominate the Withers.  He ran a great race, Dominguez set him up perfectly and took him wide and gunned the field.  This will certainly put him up there as one of the Derby contenders.  The stakes schedule nationwide today is rather thin and the only one of interest is at Santa Anita.  It is 74th running of the San Antonio(G2) for 4YO an upward going a mile and an eighth over the main course.  It’s a smallish field of seven racing for a purse of $200,000.

This is not a difficult race to handicap, I’m a huge Game On Dude fan and it looks like he will take this field down.  I’ll admit though that he has broken my heart a few times at the finish line, but today he should do well.

Contenders:

#3  Game On Dude ML 4/5

No value here at the windows.  Like I’ve mentioned, I’m a big fan and will make him my top choice. The data is there, top Beyer’s, winner of G1 level races, five of fourteen lifetime and on and on.  He has been off since November and his workouts look great.  There are no weaknesses in the Baffert trained 5YO and has the ability to go wire to wire.  He will go to the front and the big question is there anyone in the field that can catch him.

#2  Uh Oh Bango ML 7/2

He has excellent credentials for this race, just winning the G2 San Pasqual. His Beyer’s are not on the same level as Game On Dude, but can handle the distance and runs a good tactical race.  The angle here is Mike Smith.  He is Chantal’s nemesis in big races and if he can coax a bit more from this 5YO you could see heartbreak hotel for the #3 again.  I don’t expect it, but then again, this is horse racing.

#7  Skipshot ML 8/1

This race shapes up to be chalky, so he fits right in here.  You might expect to see Victory Pete here and that is understandable.  He ran a solid race in the San Pasqual and had his best Beyer of 88.  Not nearly good enough to run with these boys, but I’m thinking Hollendorfer has him set up for today.  You have to respect him, winning the G2 Swaps as a 3YO, popping a 97.  He could be rounding into form and that makes him dangerous.

Dark Horse/Bombs Away:

#4  El Gato Malo ML 12/1

He is crafty one of the bunch, having shown he can win over turf and dirt and handle different distances.  He certainly has shown the speed and stamina to run with this group.  His style of racing suites this race today and if he has it still in him he could surprise.  No doubt he is in tough but you never know.  He is either going to have big day or will be running up the track.

Selections:

3 – 2 -  7 

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