With the national holiday on Monday, many will be celebrating or remembering Martin Luther King Jr. However, if you are near Santa Anita Park you just might want to swing through and check out the 2015 edition of the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes. The race will be run at 7 furlongs on dirt and brings a talent crop of fillies and mares.
Race: Santa Monica Stakes (G2)
Location: Santa Anita Park
Distance: 7 Furlongs
Age: 4 Year Olds and Up
Date: Monday, January 19, 2015
Post Time: 5:30 PM EST
TV Coverage: Can be found on TVG (online) and HRTV
|1||20-1||Master the Blues||Desormeaux||6-for-12 in 2014 including a stakes win but that was over the synthetic at Del Mar. She finished 4th by 4 1/2 to Harlington's Rose last out. At absolute best she can get it done but those days do not come often. A flier at a great price.|
|2||5/2||Dancethenightaway||T Baze||She is pretty simple and straightforward. She is going to go and you are going to have to beat her. To date, in her three starts it has not happened. She has looked great in all three wins (2 at SA) and gets a shot at stakes competition. A real threat.|
|3||20-1||Lexington Pearl||Espinoza||Last win in Nov of 2013. 6th by 8 lengths here last year. Both 2014 showings were unimpressive. 8 1/2 lengths behind Harlington's Rose last out. Would be a miracle to hit the board.|
|4||9/5||Sam's Sister||Trujillo||Only graded stakes winner in the field who shocked at 12-1 rallying in the G1 LaBrea last out. Deserving favorite who is 4-for-5 lifetime and only loss was when she hopped at the start. Will be the odds on favorite at post time and it is deserved.|
|5||10-1||Harlington's Rose||Talamo||Talamo keeps the mount after an impressive 6 1/2 furlong stakes win over this track last out. 3-for-18 lifetime and both 2014 wins were here at SA. Tough spot and not likely but not impossible.|
|6||2-1||My Sweet Addiction||Stevens||Has not won since the spring but hit the board in all 4 2014 starts. 3rd in only stakes race and lost by a head last out in a 62.5K allowance. Adds Stevens but my gut just tells me this is not her spot.|
|7||7-2||Sweet Marini||Garcia||5-for-12 lifetime and winner of two in a row over at Los Alamitos at the allowance level. Lost by 10 last time at SA but appears to be a different horse since Garcia got back on. Not impossible breaking from the outside but just not in love.|
Santa Monica Stakes (G2) Breakdown and Betting
When post time comes at the 2015 Santa Monica Stakes it is fairly easy to predict that Sam’s Sister will be the betting favorite and probably by a bit of a margin. But here is the question, she has done nothing wrong but did she overextend at the Labrea and look better than she really is? That is unlikely since she is lightly raced and minus one poor break, has looked exceptional. There is no reason to expect that grade two competition will bring out less in her.
Backed into a corner and being forced to pick a couple of horses that can beat Sam’s Sister is not a fun place to be. But there are a couple I like in here. First is Dancethenightaway, who has done absolutely nothing wrong in her three starts. Yes, this is clearly a step up but that does not rule her out. She has won twice at Santa Anita so the track is of no concern. There is a small chance she gets loose her and if that happens, Sam’s Sister and five others will have a hard time catching her.
At a price, I have a love for one in this field and that is Harlington’s Rose. I know she is three-for-18 lifetime but it is the recent body of work that impresses me. She won twice in 2014 and both of those wins were here at Santa Anita. Also, Talamo got a shot with her last out and she responded in a lower level stakes with a six and a half-length victory. If that form can hold she will be rallying late and just might get there in time to take her first graded stakes.
Normally I would tell you how I would play $20 and $50 at the 2015 Santa Monica Stakes. But this race does not need a large investment. You are better off to place a multi-race with part of the bankroll and stick to smaller overall in the Santa Monica Stakes.
Keep in mind there is an eye to value here. As always, if you have to scrounge up to find $5 or $10 for the race I would pass and just watch. Pay the bills and enjoy the day. Don’t forget, this is supposed to be fun.
|$1 Exacta||5,6 with 3,5,6|
|$1 Trifecta||5,6 with 3,5,6|
|$1 Exacta Box||3 with 5 with 6|
|$1 Trifecta Box||3 with 5 with 6|
|$4 Win/ Place||6|
Early Pick 4
I am not going to evaluate the pick four but below I will give a bonus of how I will play the early pick four that culminates at the Santa Monica Stakes.
|$.50 Early Pick 4 (2-5)|