Has never been off the board in four career chances and has already beaten most of today's top competition in solid efforts including the near-miss nose loss last time out when they stretched him out to two-turns for the first time, for which he earned a big speed figure in defeat. Should dispose of this field with a similar effort and is finally ready to graduate.
Race 9 – Oaklawn Handicap
#2 Express Train
plus exacta box with #4 Warrior's Charge
#2 Express Train has blossomed into a top-rung handiap division performer this season at Santa Anita, with good efforts at a variery of distances against legit Grade 1 and Grade 2 competition, including a close second last time in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) and a second behind Charlatan in the Malibu (G1). Effective between 7F and 1 1/4 miles, today's distance of 1 1/8 miles very well could be his best based on the big win two races ago in the San Pasqual (G2). Speed figures are high and he is in career-best form.
Play in exacta box with #4 Warrior's Charge, who has a pace advantage in this race for trainer Brad Cox (winning 30% at the meet), because he looms the best and possibly lone speed in the race with a solid chance to get loose up front and go wire-to-wire. Needed a race last time off of a long layoff, but ran a solid return and now is ready for a big effort in the second off the layoff. Finished a front-running second in last year's running of the Oaklawn Handicap behind By My Standards, and a similar effort today seems to be in the cards.
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