Awesome Again Stakes (Santa Anita) Predictions, Odds & Picks

Awsome Again Stakes 2020

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Improbable (2/1)

Post Position and Odds – Awesome Again Stakes

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2020 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita!

PPHorseOddsJockeyTrainer
1TAKE THE ONE O ONE20/1
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J Valdivia Jr.B J Koriner
2IMPROBABLE2/1
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D Van DykeB Baffert
3SLEEPY EYES TODD8/1
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U RispoliM A Silva
4MIDCOURT6/1
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V EspinozaJ Shirreffs
5MAXIMUM SECURITY4/5
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L SaezB Baffert

Best Bets for the Awesome Again Stakes

Here are my plays ($40 in total)

$30 Win – Improbable = $30

$5 Trifecta Key – Improbable over Maximum Security and Midcourt = $10

Top Pick:

Improbable (2/1)

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In a race that could decide who is the favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Classic this fall, Maximum Security and Improbable will square off in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita. The pair of Bob Baffert trained heavyweights will renew acquaintances for the first time since last year’s Kentucky Derby as they top a field of five going 1 ⅛-miles on Saturday.

Improbable went to the post as the favorite for the roses 16 months ago, but it was Maximum Security who ran to victory in last year’s classic, only to have the stewards take the victory away from him via disqualification.

The son of New Year’s Day still had enough success to be named 3-year-old champion, and he has done nothing wrong this year, with three wins in as many starts. Two of those victories came this summer in Southern California running for his new barn. He’ll look to make it three in a row as a Baffert runner when he heads to post as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re in” event.

In his stablemate, though, Maximum Security will find his toughest foe yet since returning from Saudi Arabia earlier this year. Improbable has proven to be an improved older runner, having stormed to victory in two consecutive Grade 1 races. Dominant wins in both the Hollywood Gold Cup and Whitney point him out as a major threat in the older male division.

Midcourt, Sleepy Eyes Todd and Take the One O One round out the field of five.

How to Watch the Awesome Again Stakes

Awesome Again Stakes Information
WhatAwesome Again Stakes (G1)
WhereSanta Anita
WhenSaturday, September 26 — 5:00pm Pacific time
How to WatchTVG
Purse$300,000

Race Analysis

Maximum Security

In 12 lifetime races, only a single runner has ever finished ahead of the only horse ever to be taken down from victory for a racing infraction in the Kentucky Derby. While his career may be star-crossed on several fronts, the 4-year-old colt has proven to be as tough as they come. Breaking from the outside post in the short field, last year’s champion 3-year-old will have every chance to find a good position early and let his class carry him from there. Having said that, this 9-furlong race is loaded with early speed which could play against his preferred front running style. He’ll be favored and the horse to beat, but his main competitor has never been better and might be ready to pounce on his more famous stablemate.

Improbable

While not quite the horse Maximum Security was as a sophomore, he has clearly moved forward in 2020. After an excellent seasonal debut in which he finished second best to Tom’s d’Etat at Oaklawn Park, he has used powerful bursts to take over his subsequent races at the head of the stretch. Both of those victories were of the grade 1 variety, and he’ll look to use similar tactics on Saturday in search of a third straight important win. Maximum Security has proven near impossible to pass in the lane, but perhaps a quick thrust from Improbable will be able to get the job done. Win or lose, he should give the champion all he wants in this one.

Midcourt

Beaten just a nose by Maximum Security two starts back, the John Shirreffs trained runner found considerable less success while finishing a well-beaten third behind the champion last time in the Pacific Classic. Perhaps a cutback in distance from the 10 furlongs of that one to 9 furlongs on Saturday will improve his chances here, but more likely, he just found the real Maximum Security last time. I don’t love his chances against the top two, but he clearly has the most class of the other three.

Sleepy Eyes Todd

This one comes in off a career-best performance last time while rolling to victory in the Charles Town Classic (G2). He’ll obviously find his competition significantly more difficult in the Awesome Again, and I also have to wonder if part of his success of late comes from his fondness from the bull-ring style of racetracks. He’s sharp and never been better, but it’s hard to imagine his speed ever finds a happy place in this field.

Take the One O One

The clear outsider in the field found some nice success a few years ago winning back-to-back stakes races against fellow California-bred. Since his return after a lengthy layoff, he has only been able to find success in allowance company. He will add to the early pace, but beyond that, he is hard to recommend in this spot.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: brian.zipse@wsn.com