Santa Ynez Stakes Predictions, Betting Odds, Top Picks (Santa Anita)

Post Position and Odds Santa Ynez Stakes

Check out our predictions and odds for the Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita!

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 UNDER THE STARS 3/2
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F Prat B Baffert
2 BIG SHAMROCK 20/1
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A Cedillo D Blacker
3 BIG SWITCH 5/2
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J Velazquez J Sadler
4 MIMAJOON 12/1
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K Frey J Wong
5 AWAKE AT MIDNYTE 5/2
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M Gutierrez D O’Neill
6 MISS MATTIE B 6/1
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M Smith R Hess Jr

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Best Bets for the Santa Ynez Stakes

Here are my plays ($40 in total)

$20 Exacta part wheel – Big Switch over Under the Stars and Awake at Midnyte = $40

If you’re playing only to win, go with my top pick Big Switch (5/2).

Santa Ynez Stakes

The Bob Baffert-trained Under the Stars, who impressively broke her maiden last out, tops an interesting field of six sophomore fillies in the Grade 2 Santa Ynez Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita.

A daughter of Pioneer of the Nile, Under the Stars won her third career start in style, drawing away to a 3-length victory in a fast 6-furlong race at Los Alamitos on December 11. Before that, the well-bred filly was a good third in both her career debut at Santa Anita, as well as the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar. In search of her initial stakes score in the 7-furlong Santa Ynez, she figures to be challenged strongly by the pair of Big Switch and Awake at Midnyte.

Big Switch is undefeated in two career starts. The California-bred daughter of Mr. Big overcame trouble at the start to become a debut winner at Del Mar back on August 20, and then came back to score a convincing 2 ¾-length victory in the Golden State Juvenile Fillies on Breeders’ Cup weekend. This will be her first try against an open company.

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Awake At Midnyte has already defeated Under the Stars once and will be looking to do it again on Saturday. A $320,000 2-year-old in training sale purchase, she was a game-winner of her debut on Halloween at Santa Anita, in which the Santa Ynez favorite finished third. Off that, she switched to the turf and ran a big race in the one-mile Jimmy Durante Stakes at Del Mar four weeks later. The daughter of Nyquist lost the bob by a nose in the Grade 3 race that afternoon.

Santa Ynez Stakes Analysis

Under the Stars

After looking the part of a filly who was knocking on the door in her first two starts, she responded with a very impressive maiden-breaking performance at Los Alamitos in her most recent start. Having faced good horses, but only finishing third in her first two efforts, it was good to see what she could do against a less talented field. Now she is back against some fillies of talent on Saturday and likely more prepared to succeed than she was before. A daughter of Pioneerof the Nile, her dam was a very talented graded stakes winner. It’s likely that she will only get better with racing. The Baffert-trained filly is very dangerous, but I am going to take a shot to beat her as the favorite.

Big Switch

The California-bred has done everything asked of her in her first two career starts. Things did not go her way in her debut, but she still was able to power on by for the win. Then she improved in her next start to win the Golden State Juvenile Fillies with a strong stretch run. It’s worth noting that she ran faster while winning than did the males in the Golden State Juvenile two races later in the card. That race has since been flattered when Slow Down Andy came out of it to win the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity in his next start. Already proven at 7-furlongs, she should get a nice pace set up for her late rally on Saturday. Despite moving into open company for the first time, she is the top pick.

Awake at Midnyte

It’s hard to knock how this Doug O’Neill-trained filly has run in her first two starts. She attended the pace in both starts and then fought it out all the way to the wire. She has already proven her versatility, having won a nice 6-furlong maiden race on the dirt, before just missing in a Grade 3 race at a mile on the turf. She appears well on her way to being a very nice filly. Once again, I look for her to be forwardly placed and have every chance at the head of the stretch, but of the three favorites, I think she might be the one lacking a closing punch which will likely decide who wins the Santa Ynez.

Miss Mattie B

After doing very little in her first two career races, which were on dirt, this daughter of Tonalist showed marked improvement in her next two, which were both on turf. Two races ago, she has only beaten four lengths while encountering a good deal of trouble, and then last time, when stretched out to a mile, she won going away at big odds. Back to dirt, and cutting down to 7 furlongs, I’m not sure she is spotted well in her stakes debut. Even if she does take to the dirt now, I believe she is a filly who will do her best running at longer distances than she will see on Saturday.

Mimajoon

One of only two stakes winners in the field, she exits a wire-to-wire victory on the synthetic surface of Tapeta in the Golden Gate Debutante Stakes six weeks ago. A front-running maiden winner on the grass in the start before that, the daughter of Fed Biz will need to prove that she can transfer her sharp form on other surfaces over to the main track. Her only other race was on dirt in her debut, and it was not good. Even if she does, I’m not sure the filly who has only run in Washington state and the Bay Area can beat the talented girls from Southern California. I look for her to be a pace presence only in this one.

Big Shamrock

The second daughter of Mr. Big in the field, she made some solid improvement last time to break her maiden at Los Alamitos while going 5 ½-furlongs in her third career start. Unfortunately, all three of her races to date have come against California-bred maidens, and the win was actually a maiden claimer. While her last was a nice move forward, it’s hard to imagine her being able to parlay that success into a similar result in Saturday’s Grade 2 affair.

How to watch the Santa Ynez Stakes

Santa Ynez Stakes Race Information
What Santa Ynez Stakes (Grade 2)
Location Santa Anita
Time Saturday, January 8 — 7:00 pm Eastern time
How to Watch TVG
Purse $200,000

 

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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]