San Felipe Stakes (Santa Anita Park) Predictions, Odds & Picks
If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Medina Spirit (7/2)!
Post Position and Odds – San Felipe Stakes
Check out our predictions and odds for the 2021 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park!
|1||LIFE IS GOOD||1/1 |
|M Smith||B Baffert|
|2||DREAM SHAKE||6/1 |
|J Rosario||P Eurton|
|3||MEDINA SPIRIT||7/2 |
|J Velazquez||B Baffert|
|4||NONE ABOVE THE LAW||20/1 |
|F Prat||P Miller|
|5||THE GREAT ONE||9/2 |
|A Cedillo||D O’Neill|
|6||GOVENOR’S PARTY||20/1 |
|M Gutierrez||D Franko|
|7||ROMAN CENTURIAN||6/1 |
|J J Hernandez||S Callaghan|
Best Bets for the San Felipe Stakes
Here are my plays ($40 in total)
$5 Trifecta Key – Medina Spirit over Life Is Good, The Great One and Roman Centurian = $30
$5 Exacta Box – Medina Spirit and Roman Centurian = $10
Medina Spirit (7/2)
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is always on the Kentucky Derby trail this time of the year, and on Saturday, he will send out the two colts to beat in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Life Is Goodwill go off the favorite in the $300,000 Kentucky Derby prep. The son of Into Mischief made a major splash when he won his debut over a strong maiden field by more than nine lengths in fast time last November at Del Mar. The much-talked-about colt followed that up with a front-running ¾-length victory last time in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita on January 2. Mike Smith will again be in the saddle of the colt looking to notch his third victory without a loss.
Slightly more experienced than his stablemate is Medina Spirit, who landed his first stakes victory last time when he gamely fought a pair of challengers in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes on January 30. Before that, the son of Protonico had won first asking before running a late-closing second to Life Is Good in the Sham.
Of the others, The Great One could be the biggest threat to the Baffert pair. After just missing in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby to finish his juvenile campaign, he came back five weeks later to annihilate a field of maidens at Santa Anita by 14 lengths for trainer Doug O’Neill.
The San Felipe, run at 1 1/16-miles, will offer the top four finishers Kentucky Derby qualifying points on a scale of 50-20-10-5.
How to Watch the San Felipe Stakes
|San Felipe Stakes Information|
|What||San Felipe Stakes (Grade 2)|
|Where||Santa Anita Park|
|When||Saturday, March 6 — 5:30 pm Eastern time|
|How to Watch||TVG|
Life Is Good
In the middle of the stretch of the Sham, this heavily favored colt looked to be on his way to another dominating victory. The final 100 yards got a little dicey, though in the one-mile test, as he shortened stride a bit and saw his big lead evaporate to less than a length at a wire. The horse coming at him was his stablemate, Medina Spirit. On Saturday, he will have to deal with him again, not to mention a few other talented colts, as he stretches out to 8 ½ furlongs. Perhaps, it was just a loss of focus, and he will prove too talented for these on Saturday, but with some talented speed types in here, including The Great One, I believe he is vulnerable. As the heavy favorite, I will take a stand against him in the San Felipe.
He’s only run three times, but this one has already demonstrated some real toughness. In the Sham, he chased Life is Good and looked hopelessly beaten until mounting a late charge. Next out, he was pressured for much of the Robert B. Lewis and again looked in deep trouble in the stretch, but instead, he battled back and would not let either of his two challengers by. With that good experience under his belt, he faces Life is Good again and this time he may have the benefit of another talented speed horse to soften up his talented stablemate. Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez also hops aboard for the first time and could work out a great stalking trip in third early. I like his chances to turn the tables. He is the top pick.
The Great One
It took a few races for this speedy son of Nyquist to put it all together, but in his last two, he has looked like a colt of much quality. His loss two races back in the Los Alamitos Futurity was a real heartbreaker, as he led until the final jump. Nipped by Spielberg in that one, he came right back to run against maidens and on the main track at Santa Anita for the first time. The result was eye-opening. Like Life Is Good, he has a high turn of early speed, so it will be interesting to see how hard he turns the screws on the favorite early. Off his last two, he is not only a threat to win the whole thing, but at the very least, he should make life just a little more difficult for Life Is Good.
After finishing well behind Life is Good in his debut, this son of Empire Maker came right back with two solid efforts when stretched out to 8 ½ furlongs for his next two races. After winning a maiden smartly, he was beaten only a neck behind Medina Spirit in the Robert B. Lewis. Improving with each start, he now faces an even task in Life is Good and the rest in the San Felipe. He couldn’t finish the task in the Lewis, but another step forward combined with a contentious early pace would make him a serious contender in here. He’s not the top pick but looks like a good contender to rally up into the exotics.
This son of Twirling Candy looked like the genuine article when he came from well off the pace to win a maiden race at Santa Anita going away. That easy debut victory four weeks ago has put him on the map among up-and-coming 3-year-olds. Trained by Peter Eurton, he now takes a big step up in class, as well as distance, to tackle the West’s top young colts on Saturday. In fact, as much as I liked his first race, I believe this will prove to be a little too much of a jump-up in class. He is dangerous on potential, but in only his second-lifetime race, I like others better.
None Above the Law
The son of Karakontie has not found the winner’s circle in four tries since breaking his maiden in his debut last July against state-bred maiden claimers. While he has been reasonably competitive against stakes company, including a runner-up finish last time in the Cal Cup Derby, Saturday’s competition would seem to be out of his reach. He is a deserving longshot.
His last race was his best yet when he rallied for third at huge odds in the El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields. On Saturday, he returns to dirt and faces a much stiffer test in the San Felipe. His two dirt races previously give absolutely no reason to believe he can compete against these, and even a repeat of his most recent race does not put him in with much chance in here. He is hard to recommend.
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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.
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