The most anticipated race of the early 2015 season is here as Shared Belief vs California Chrome Part 2 will headline the 2015 San Antonio Stakes. Both are ready to roll and once again we are pitting the 2-year-old champion Shared Belief against the 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome. The raced has been billed as an invitational and has attracted a total field of nine. The Road to the Derby is heating up!
Race: San Antonio Stakes (G2)
Location: Santa Anita
Distance: 1 1/8 miles
Age: 4 Year Olds and Up
Date: Saturday, February 7th 2015
Post Time: 7:00 PM ET, 4:00 Local
TV Coverage: Fox Sports 1
|1||4-1||Hoppertunity||Garcia||Last year, before injury I was debating between him and California Chrome on the Derby Trail. He returned in the fall and won the G1 Clark Handicap. First 2015 start was a win in the San Pasqual here at SA. In great form and a real threat.|
|2||15-1||Tonito M.||Bejarano||Seems to like to finish on the board but not in winners circle. Last time against Shared Belief as a laugher. Closing last out but comfortably behind Hoppertunity. Could catch the board and is an exotics play at best.|
|3||30-1||You Know I Know||Van Dyke||Let's just call this what it is. A starter to expand the field and that is about it. Sorry to be short here but it would be a modern miracle if he found a way to the top but hey, maybe eight others will scratch.|
|4||20-1||Imperative||Prat||You have to dig back to August and the Pacific Classic to find the last time he was factor and all the way to Charles Town in April for a score. In over his head a bit here.|
|5||7-5||Shared Belief||Smith||If you take out the compromised run the Breeders' Cup Classic you find a horse that has never lost. Returned after the Classic to win the Pacific Classic. Lifetime best beyer came at this distance over this track. Impossible to ignore and HOF Smith continues on his back. Tough customer.|
|6||30-1||Clubhouse Ride||Gryder||Last win was in the California back in May here at SA and before that was the same namesake race the year prior at HP. Since then it looks like age might be catching up with him. Could be time to reconsider some spots and maybe let him enjoy his life off the track.|
|7||20-1||Bronzo||Stevens||Plain and simple, its not going to happen. Hard to even give you upside. There was a little upside heading into the San Pasqual but that resulted in a 6th behind Hoppertunity. Every way I run this in my head he misses the board.|
|8||6-5||California Chrome||Espinoza||Captured America during the Triple Crown series and carried a six racing winning streak through the Preakness. Tired and it showed in the Belmont and the Penn Derby was a mistake at Parx. Ran very well in the Classic to be necked by Bayern. Switched to turf last out and took the Hollywood Derby. Appears stronger than ever and this could be a nice 4-year-old campaign. Expect a slugfest which he can win.|
|9||30-1||Alfa Bird||Baze||This could be a sneaky one here. Enters stakes company for the first time in a very tough spot but… He is quick and will fire to the lead. If he is left alone for the first 1/2 mile or so there is a chance, although small, that he can steal this at astronomical odds. His most recent win came at this distance by 5. If he steps up this could be the shocker of 2015 to date.|
San Antonio Stakes Breakdown and Betting
Welcome to the terror-dome, come on down to witness what could be the best race of 2015 to date. The San Antonio Stakes is being billed, rightfully so from a marketing perspective, as the rematch of California Chrome and Shared Belief.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic was a battle that never came true when Bayern went in and compromised Shared Belief and cause Mucho Macho Man to be left behind which changed the whole race. Shared Belief’s ability to finish fourth was remarkable. Meanwhile California Chrome had lost his mojo heading into the Classic but returned to quality form losing by a neck. Both returned to the winners circle in their last starts. Both are dangerous and both can be considered the favorite for this race.
But this is not the match race that the marketers want this to be. Hoppertunity is a great horse who is right on form. If it was not for the injury that kept him out of the Triple Crown series and the summer, we could be looking at a different favorite here. His best lifetime beyer came at this distance in the Clark. Like the other two, he has won over this track. He belongs in this field and he belongs as a real choice to take the 2015 San Antonio Stakes. All three horses will be in the mix over the final furlong.
If you are looking for a grand slam, meteor priced horse than look no further than the morning line 30-1 shot of Alfa Bird. While I would not expect him to win there is a race scenario where this is possible and you are probably staring at 37-1 or higher at post time. He is the speed here. He will run out of the gate and he has won at this distance with a 109 beyer. Yes he is stepping up in class but at his last level he won by five. If he is left alone to set the pace, he might be able to get clear and hang on at astronomical odds. Likely? No, but if you want a bomber this is your guy.
Below are my best values for a $12, $25 or $50 bet in the San Antonio Stakes. As always if you are struggling to raise a couple of dollars to make a bet, please don’t. Pay a bill, which is more important. Remember, this is supposed to be fun. On to my win picks and betting strategies for the 2015 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita.
|$1 Exacta Box||1 with 5 with 8|
|$1 Trifecta Box||1 with 5 with 8|
|$1 Exacta Box||1 with 5 with 8|
|$ 1 Trifecta||1,5 with 1,5,8,9|
|$3 Win/ Place||1|
|$1 Exacta Box||1 with 5 with 8 with 9|
|$ 1 Trifecta||1,5,9 with 1,5,8,9|
|$.10 Superfecta||1,5,8,9 with 1,5,8,9 with 1,2,5,8,9|
|$3 Win/ Place||9|
|$3 Win/ Place||1|
Santa Anita Late Pick 4
I am not going to evaluate the pick four below but I have been asked over and over again to provide pick 4 picks after a few successful attempts. Below is the pick 4 that includes the San Marcos and San Antonio Stakes.
|$.50 Late Pick 4 Santa Anita 2/7/15 (6-9)|