Holland's North American free racing picks for Oct. 18

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October 18th, 2020

Tim Holland rounds out the weekend with his expert picks at Keeneland, Woodbine, Santa Anita, and Golden Gate Fields.


Race 5

#11 Caramelito (5-1) has shown improvement in his two starts for trainer Meah, most recently when closing to finish third over 6 1/2 furlongs at Kentucky Downs last month. Meah has won with one of her three runners at this meet, and son of Medaglia d’Oro has won one of three previous starts at this distance. Gelding can be along from off the pace with Beschizza retaining the mount.

Race 9

Donnie Von Hemel wins with 10% of his first-time starters and saddles #8 Sound the Charge (5-1), a debuting son of Will Take Charge and a half-brother to one winner. Gelding’s works include a sharp 4-furlong move in :46 4/5 at Churchill this month, and Von Hemel wins with 14% of his runners overall in maiden special weight events. Bay appears ready for a good first outing with Rocco riding.


Race 9

A competitive field for the Nearctic (G2) includes #4 Guildsman (10-1), who showed a return to form in his last two outings, most recently when rallying from off the pace at Kentucky Downs last month. 3-year-old had finished third in the Coventry (G2) at Royal Ascot as a juvenile before joining trainer Walsh, who wins with 15% of his runners that won last time out. Son of Wootton Bassett should find a solid pace to close into with good local rider Hernandez in the saddle.

Santa Anita

Race 9

#7 Scarto (8-1) gets tested for class but impressed when closing from off the pace to win a tough allowance over 1 1/16 miles at Del Mar in his latest in late August. Son of Paynter has won two of three starts on turf, and trainer Puype wins with 13% of his runners that have not raced for 46-90 days. Dark bay has been working well since his latest and can be closing late under Hernandez, who has won with one of his last 11 rides for the barn.

Golden Gate Fields

Race 8

Trainer Wong wins with 15% of his second-time starters and saddles #12 Malibu Jewel (8-1), who comes off a fourth-place finish in an even effort in her debut over 5 furlongs last month. Daughter of Malibu Moon is out of a half-sister to A P Valentine, who won the Champagne (G1), and Wong has won with 25% of his starters at this meet. $210K yearling purchase can be in good position throughout with hot apprentice Rivera riding.