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Odds for the race taken from TVG. If you’re looking for a great horse racing betting app then TVG betting might be the option for you.
$10 Exacta part wheel -Sir London over Messier, Wharton and Happy Jack = $30
$10 Trifecta part wheel -Sir London over Messier over Wharton and Happy Jack = $20
If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Sir London (2/1)
Already a graded stakes winner, but upset last time in the Los Alamitos Futurity, Messier will look to return to his winning ways when he heads a short field of five sophomores set for Sunday’s Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita.
Trained by Bob Baffert, the son of Empire Maker back-to-back impressive victories in his second and third career starts. After a good runner-up finish in his debut, he rolled to a maiden win at Santa Anita, and parlayed that success into a next-out victory in the Grade 3 Bob Hope Stakes at Del Mar. Heavily favored in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity in his first try around two turns, he ran well, but was outfinished by the promising Slow Down Andy.
Chief among his rivals will be the highly regarded Sir London. Trained by Simon Callaghan, the son of Malibu Moon debuted with a decent second to a talented horse at Santa Anita in early October. He was odds-on in his next two starts, when first being denied in a fast Del Mar sprint, before cruising to a 10 length romp at Los Alamitos. Given nine weeks since that win at a mile, he should be ready to step into graded stakes company on Sunday
Each of the other three in the compact field merit serious consideration. Both Happy Jack, for Doug O’Neill, and Wharton, for Bob Baffert, looked very good in registering debut victories and will make their stakes debut on Sunday in their second career starts, while Cabo Spirit comes into the Lewis off a series of strong turf races, including a victory in the Eddie Logan Stakes last month at Santa Anita.
Bred in Canada, this Bob Baffert-trained runner is the only graded stakes winner of the field, having won the Bob Hope and finishing a good second in the Los Alamitos Futurity. With the pedigree and running style you would think that two turns is right up the son of Empire Maker’s alley, so perhaps it was just a very big performance by the winner that got him beat last time. Slow Down Andy is not here this time, so it looks like Messier will be favored once again as he looks to bounce back with a second stakes win. With the experience of two good graded stakes efforts and the right to improve in his second try going two turns, he is the one to beat in here, but I am going to take a shot to beat him as the favorite.
A $700,000 2-year-old in training purchase, this good-looking son of Malibu Moon appears to be getting better with each start. Fast enough to finish a competitive second in fast maiden sprints in his first two races, he eagerly accepted the challenge of more distance last time, as he coasted home oodles the best in a Los Alamitos one mile maiden race. Working very well at Santa Anita since that big maiden win, he looks the part of a horse ready to step up to graded stakes racing. While Messier has the advantage of experience, I really like the way trainer Simon Callaghan in leading this improving colt up to his graded stakes debut. He is the top pick.
The other Baffert runner in the field looked like a good thing when winning his career debut on the final day of 2021. Showing strong tactical speed, the $475,000 yearling purchase stalked, pounced and drew off to a 5 ¼-length win at Santa Anita. It’s worth noting that Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez has chosen to ride his stablemate here, but jockeys have known to be wrong before. Like the top two favorites, he has good tactical speed to be involved throughout, and his pedigree suggests that he will be fine with the increase in distance. He’s stepping up, but could have the talent to make the jump.
Ignored by bettors in his debut, that proved to be a mistake as the son of Oxbow came with a nice rally from off a fast pace to win going away at odds of 24/1. Bred to prefer two turns, the increase in distance from that six-furlong debut to the 8 ½ furlongs of the Lewis should not be an issue. Rather it will be whether the Doug O’Neill trained runner is up to the quality of horse that he will find in only his second career start. Given the solid debut and strong distance pedigree, he merits consideration in this small field of five.
After not showing much in his first three career races, all on dirt, this son of Pioneerof the Nile turned things around when switched to the turf. After setting all the pace before finishing a good second in his grass debut, he has won two of his last three, including a stakes victory in the last. Easily the most experienced horse in the field, he has probably improved with racing, but still you have to wonder if he can run as well on the dirt. I’m certainly expecting an improvement over his previous dirt form, but as far as winning this one, I need to see him run well on the main track before liking his chances.
|Robert B. Lewis Stakes Race Information
|Robert B. Lewis Stakes (Grade 3)
|Sunday, February 6 — 7:00 pm Eastern time
|How to Watch
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: [email protected]
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