Santa Margarita (Santa Anita) Predictions, Picks & Betting Odds

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick Harvest Moon (9/5)

Santa Margarita Post Position and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2021 Santa Margarita at Santa Anita!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
U Rispoli M Glatt
M Smith B Baffert
3 THIS TEA 20/1
K Desormeaux G Papadromou
F Prat S Callaghan
A Cedillo J Wong

Best Bets for the Santa Margarita

Here are my plays ($30 in total)

$20 Exacta – Harvest Moon over As Time Goes By = $20

$10 Exacta – Harvest Moon over Pharoah’s Heart = $10

Top Pick:

Harvest Moon (9/5)

As Time Goes By headlines a field of six older females going a mile and one eighth on the main track in Saturday’s Grade 2 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita.

The lightly raced 4-year-old filly was beaten less than three lengths last time when second to the champion Swiss Skydiver in her stakes debut. Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bob Baffert, the regally bred daughter of American Pharoah was a nine-length allowance winner in her previous start.

Chef among her rivals on Saturday will be the two-time graded stakes winner Harvest Moon. Trained by Simon Callaghan, she contested the early pace but faded late to finish fourth in the Beholder Mile in her seasonal debut. A good fourth to close out last year behind Monomoy Girl in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, she will be ridden once again by top rider Flavien Prat.

Of the rest, Pharoah’s Heart looks like the most likely upsetter of the top two. Also a daughter of American Pharoah, she has only three-lifetime starts, all of which have come this year. The grey filly won her debut in impressive fashion before finishing second in two tough allowance fields at Santa Anita.

How to Watch the Santa Margarita

Santa Margarita Information
What Santa Margarita (Grade 2)
Where Santa Anita
When Saturday, April 24 — 7:30 pm EST
How to Watch TVG
Purse $200,000

Race Analysis

As Time Goes By

A deserving favorite after her strong finish carried her to a clear second in the Grade 1 Beholder Mile. That performance, coupled with her big allowance win in her only other start of the year, shows her off as a horse on the rise. Trained by Baffert and bred to be topnotch, her improvement this year comes as no big surprise. Having said that, her chief rival has a bit more early speed and is already proven at the distance. She should be a handful, but I am siding with the second choice on Saturday.

Harvest Moon

This daughter of Uncle Mo became a serious horse last summer with four consecutive wins, including a pair of graded stakes. That winning streak was ended when she ventured to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, but she was hardly embarrassed, finishing only 2 ½-lengths behind the champion Monomoy Girl. Her first race this year was not her best, but came after more than four months away and while having to deal with the presence of Swiss Skydiver attending the pace. I look for a big improvement in her second start this year, and I believe she can turn the tables on the favorite. She is the top pick.

Pharoah’s Heart

This one lacks experience, but she does come into the race with three solid races already this year. Note that while beaten in an allowance race last time, it came against the graded stakes performer Crystal Ball. Drawn the rail, this might be an opportunity for her to go right to the lead in her second try around two turns and see how far she can take them. I only like her third best, but if anyone beats the top two, she is clearly the most likely.


This 5-year-old daughter of New Year’s Day had a five-race winning streak snapped last time when she finished a well-beaten sixth behind Swiss Skydiver and the rest in the Grade 1 Beholder Mile. It was her stakes debut and points out that before that she was beating a lesser class of racehorse. This is a bit easier task than Grade 1, but she will have to do much better to challenge the top two.

This Tea

She finished second to As Time Goes By in January but was beaten that afternoon by nine lengths. In four tries since, she easily won a maiden claimer, before finishing fifth in the last three. The daughter of Curlin, who has won only once in 11 career starts looks like the rank outsider of this compact field. She is hard to recommend.

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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: [email protected]