Image for Brian Zipse Brian Zipse - October 14, 2022

Santa Maria Stakes Predictions, Picks & Betting Odds (Santa Anita)

Santa Maria Stakes Post Position and Odds

Check out our predictions and odds for the 2022 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita Park!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 LADY MYSTIFY 7/2
BET HERE
E Maldonado P Eurton
2 BYE BYE BERTIE 8/1
BET HERE
V Espinoza L Powell
3 BLUE STRIPE 2/1
BET HERE
T Baze M Polanco
4 PRIVATE MISSION 8/5
BET HERE
J J Hernandez S McCarthy
5 MIDNIGHT JAMBOREE 15/1
BET HERE
K Frey W Spawr
6 VARDA 6/1
BET HERE
D Van Dyke S McCarthy

Santa Maria Stakes Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($40 in total)

$20 Exacta Blue Stripe over Private Mission = $20

$10 Exacta Blue Stripe over Varda = $10

$10 Exacta  Private Mission over Blue Stripe = $10

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Blue Stripe (2/1).

Take a look at our Horse Racing Calculator to ensure your bets!

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Santa Maria Stakes Santa Anita Tyler Baze

Looking to return to her winning ways, Private Mission heads a field of six older females in Saturday’s Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita.

A  two-time graded stakes winner last year, the daughter of Into Mischief was an impressive 6 ½ length winner of the Grade 3 Torrey Pines Stakes last summer at Del Mar,  before returning to score in the Grade 2 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita.

She’s been beaten in her last three, though, including setting a scorching early pace in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff and most recently finishing second in the Grade 3 Las Flores.

Chief among her rivals in the 1 1/16-mile test will be the import from Argentina, Blue Stripe.

A well beaten seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in her American debut, the South American champion began this season with a rallying win in the Grade 2 Santa Margarita at Santa Anita seven weeks ago.

Another who should attract plenty of support on Saturday is the speedy Lady Mystify. An 18-length winner of a maiden race at Santa Anita, she went on to prove herself by defeating Pauline’s Pearl in the Grade 3 Remington Park Oaks last September.

Most recently, the Bernardini filly was a solid third behind the champion Malathaat in Keeneland’s Doubledogdare.

Santa Maria Stakes Predictions and Race Analysis

Private Mission

After a suicide mission in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, this daughter of Into Mischief has had a couple of races to build her confidence back up. I’m not sure if she will be back up to the level that she showed before the World Championships, but something close gives her a real shot here.

She also returns to a comfortable distance on Saturday where she can show her speed without running quite so fast early. Still, though, Lady Mystify is a very fast filly, so once again she will not have things her own way in this one.

I believe she has a lot of talent and will be heard from this summer, but I only like her second best this time around.

Blue Stripe

This well bred mare from Argentina did not show her best in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff, but that was her first race in the country and followed a lengthy layoff. Given some time to acclimate herself to her new surroundings she looked like a classy individual in winning the Grade 2 Santa Margarita.

I expect another good effort in her second race of the year as she runs back at Santa Anita on Saturday. It is a half furlong shorter than last time, but with an expected solid pace to set the table, I look for her to be rolling down the lane.

One of the two classiest mares in the race, I think the pace scenario gives her the edge. She is the top pick.

Lady Mystify

Like Private Mission, this one has plenty of early speed. When this daughter of Bernardini is allowed to set her own early pace, she becomes very hard to beat, but that task will likely not be easy with Private Mission in the race.

They raced once before and Private Mission put her away easily in last year’s Torrey Pines. Undoubtedly, she is better now than she was then, but still the pace pressure will be there.

If for whatever reason, Private Mission does not join her on the front, she becomes a huge threat, but I have to pass on here because of her rival’s early speed.

Varda

A Grade 1 winner as a 2-year-old back in 2020, this Sean McCarthy was away from the races for a long time due to physical issues. After 15 months away, she finally returned to finish a well-beaten third in the Grade 1 Beholder Mile.

She showed just a little bit more when finishing third behind Blue Stripe in the Santa Margarita, but should be ready for her best with two races under her belt. If the pace is strong, as expected, she could be the one picking up the pieces for second behind Blue Stripe.

She should offer decent value in the compact field of six.

Bye Bye Bertie

A versatile sort who has won 11-of-25 overall, this daughter of Alternation is dangerous on turf or dirt and at any distance. She has not broken through against stakes company, but coming off a sharp second in the Mizdirection Stakes, it looks like only a matter of time before she does.

Having said that, I don’t believe Saturday will be the spot where she does. She tested Blue Stripe two starts back in the Santa Margarita and was no match while finishing fourth. With more speed in this one, I don’t think it sets up any better for her. A threat to hit the board, I like others better.

Midnight Jamboree

The outsider in the field, this daughter of Midnight Lute graduated from the claiming ranks into graded stakes competition last time when she finished way behind Blue Stripe in the Santa Margarita.

A longshot that day, I struggle to find any good reason why she will turn the tables here. She was very consistent running against a lower level, but looks to be overmatched against this type. I find her hard to recommend.

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How to Watch the Santa Maria Stakes

Santa Maria Stakes Information
What Santa Maria Stakes (Grade 2)
Location Santa Anita
Time Saturday, June 18 — 7:00pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $200,000

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AUTHOR

Brian Zipse

219 Articles

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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