$200k San Marcos

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$200,000 San Marcos (G2)
Santa Anita

Race 9 (Saturday, February 9, 2019: 6:30 p.m./ET; 3:30 p.m./PT)

Mile and one quarter on turf (four-year-olds and upward)

A large field of 13 has been assembled for the San Marcos (G2), a 10-furlong contest featuring some of the best turf horses Southern California has to offer. We’ve got plenty of ground to cover, so let’s get straight to the analysis:

#1 UNAPOLOGETIC comes off a hard fought second level allowance win going a mile-and-three-eighths at Del Mar. He freshens up two-and-a-half months for trainer Bill Spawr, who is 0-for-18 with his trainees making their first start off a 61-180-day layoff. His two efforts against stakes company in 2018 resulted in double-digit length losses. Siding with others.

#2 ROMAN ROSSO (ARG) is one of two runners in the field trained by Bob Baffert. Won three Group 1’s in South America before moving to Baffert’s stable, with his only two runs for him resulting in double digit length losses on the dirt. Now goes first time turf. Feels like a desperation move. Pass.

#3 CHICAGO STYLE surged past multiple graded stakes winner BIGGER PICTURE in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) two start ago and came back to only lose by a length-and-a-quarter to Grade 1 winner NEXT SHARES in the San Gabriel (G2). Major player. #4 EPICAL has been a different horse his last two starts, going gate to wire both times, showing a new dimension we had not seen in his career before. With that in mind, expect him to be once again forwardly placed here.

#5 PLATINUM WARRIOR (IRE) is one of two John Sadler runners entered. This guy finished three parts of a length behind #3 CHICAGO STYLE last time out and is a horse that appreciates longer distances. In fact, he ran fourth in the Secretariat (G1) at Arlington Park last summer. Longshot possibility.

#6 SEJO (IRE) is the second Sadler entrant. He makes his first start in North America after two handicap wins in France over the summer. Hasn’t been seen in almost seven months, but Sadler wins at 22% with his equines making their first start off a vacation longer than 180 days. First time Lasix plus Flavien Prat has the mount, which only adds to the appeal.

#7 DABSTER makes his first start on turf for trainer Bob Baffert. Son of CURLN has the pedigree to like the lawn, being by a Smart Strike stallion and out of an A.P. Indy mare. Speed figures indicate he can compete with the best in here too. Interesting contender.

#8 BEACH VIEW ran third in the Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) behind #3 CHIICAGO STYLE two starts ago when suffering a traffic filled trip. He came back to finish fourth in the San Antonio (G2), well beaten by GIFT BOX, BATTLE OF MIDWAY and #7 DABSTER. Two of his three career wins have come on turf and he makes his third start in his current form cycle for trainer Leonard Powell. Wouldn’t discount.

#9 LUCKY SOUL broke his maiden for $75K going a mile-and-an-eighth on turf.  He has finished off the board in his last two races against easier company. Will go off at a big price.

#10 FLAMBOYANT (FR) finished midpack behind #3 CHICAGO STYLE, #5 PLATINUM WARRIOR and #8 BEACH VIEW in the San Gabriel (G2) last time out. His last win came at Golden Gate Fields in the San Francisco Mile (G3) six starts back. A notch or two below the best contenders.

#11 INDIA MANTUANA is a mare facing males. Her inconsistent form has this ‘capper looking elsewhere.

#12 YA GOTTA WANNA removes blinkers after two off-the-board finishes against #3 CHICAGO STYLE and #4 EPICAL. In previous races, he has also finished behind #1 UNAPOLOGETIC, #7 DABSTER and #8 BEACH VIEW. Looks outclassed on paper.

#13 PRINCE OF ARABIA drew a brutal post position and must turn the tables on #8 BEACH VIEW, who beat him by 16 lengths on dirt last time out. Passing.

SELECTIONS

1. #8 BEACH VIEW - Best run makes him a serious threat.

2. #3 CHICAGO STYLE - Has a ton of class.

3. #6 SEJO - First time Lasix, first time U.S, first time Prat and Sadler.

LONGSHOT VALUE PLAY- #5 PLATINUM WARRIOR - Will appreciate added distance.

WAGERING STRATEGY

I’ll box all four of my top picks in exactas and trifectas and also make a straight win bet on my top choice.

BANKROLL PLAY ($50 Budget)

$2 Exacta Box: #3 CHICAGO STYLE and #5 PLATINUM WARRIOR and #6 SEJO and #8 BEACH VIEW ($24).

$1 Trifecta Box: #3 CHICAGO STYLE and #5 PLATINUM WARRIOR and #6 SEJO and #8 BEACH VIEW ($12).

$14 Win: #8 BEACH VIEW

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