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2021 San Felipe Stakes Contenders and Odds
San Felipe Offers 50 Kentucky Derby Qualifying Points To Winner
Bob Baffert's lightly raced Life Is Good, a winner of a Grade III stakes on Jan. 2, heads an outstanding field of seven sophomores going a mile and one sixteenth in the Grade 2, $300,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, March 6.
A key prep for the Grade I Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on April 3, the San Felipe, which was won last year by Baffert's eventual Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic winner Authentic, will be contested for the 83rd time, with Baffert bidding to win it for a record eighth time on Saturday.
2021 San Felipe Stakes Field & Odds
Race 6 at Santa Anita on Saturday, March 6 - Post 5:45 PM
|1||Life Is Good||4-5||Mike Smith
|2||Dream Shake||5-1||Joel Rosario
|3||Medina Spirit||7-2||John Velazquez
|4||None Above the Law||30-1||Flavien Prat
|5||The Great One||4-1||Abel Cedillo
|6||Govenor's Party||50-1||Mario Gutierrez
|7||Roman Centurian||8-1||Juan Hernandez
Owned by CHC, Inc. and WinStar Farm, Life Is Good, a Kentucky-bred colt by Into Mischief out of the Distorted Humor mare Beach Walk, was making his second start in the Sham and was off as the 1-5 favorite.
Although he opened up a four length advantage at the top of the lane, he narrowly held sway by three quarters of a length over stablemate Medina Spirit, who helps provide Baffert with a solid one-two punch on Saturday.
A 9 ½ length first-out maiden winner at 1-5 going 6 ½ furlongs on Nov. 22 at Del Mar, Life Is Good, a $525,000 Keeneland September Yearling, has been no secret and will likely go favored in his third start with regular rider Mike Smith up.
Baffert is also well-armed with Medina Spirit, who comes off a gutty neck win at even money in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes at a mile and one sixteenth on Jan. 30. A bargain $35,000 purchase at age two, Medina Spirit set a fast pace and was extra game in victory while prevailing over both Roman Centurian and highly regarded Hot Rod Charlie on the gallop out as well.
A fast finishing second, beaten three quarters of length by his stablemate Life Is Good in the Grade III Sham on Jan. 2, Medina Spirit has shown tremendous heart in his last two races.
Owned by Zedan Racing, Stables, Inc., Medina Spirit is a Florida-bred colt by the Giant's Causeway stallion Prontonico, out of Mongolian Changa, by Brilliant Speed. A winner of two of his three starts, Medina Spirit will be ridden for the first time by eastern-based John Velazquez.
Second, beaten a nose by Baffert's Spielberg while still a maiden in the Grade II Los Alamitos Futurity Dec. 19, Doug O'Neill's The Great One came back to blitz maidens by 14 lengths in a one mile maiden race here on Jan. 23.
A Louisiana-bred colt by O'Neill's 2016 Florida and Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, The Great One has the benefit of ample seasoning, as he'll be making his sixth start and be going a route of ground for the fifth consecutive time.
A $185,000 purchase at age two, The Great One, who is out of the El Corredor mare Little Ms Protocol, is owned by Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson's ERJ Racing LLC, Train Wreck Al Racing Stables, Niall J. Brennan, Tom Fritz and William Strauss and is named for NHL hockey legend Wayne Gretzky.
A big second, beaten a neck by Medina Spirit in the Grade III Lewis Stakes Jan. 30, Simon Callaghan's Roman Centurian, who was an impressive maiden winner at the San Felipe distance two starts back on Jan. 3, rallied from well off the pace to come up a neck short in a three-horse Robert B. Lewis photo.
Tractable early, this son of Empire Maker gives every indication he'll improve with added distance as he tries a mile and one sixteenth for the third consecutive time.
Bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corporation, Roman Centurian is out of the Bernardini mare Spare Change. Owned by Don Alberto and Qatar Racing Limited, he'll be making his fourth start and be handled by regular rider Juan Hernandez.
Although he's only run once, Peter Eurton's Dream Shake could not have been anymore impressive in breaking his 6 ½ furlong maiden by 4 ¾ lengths here on Feb. 7. Despite the fact he was ridden by Joel Rosario, Dream Shake, a Kentucky-bred colt by Twirling Candy, was off at a whopping 20-1, but won like an odds-on favorite.
Owned by Exline-Border Racing, LLC, SAF Racing and Richard Hausman, Dream Shake, who is out of the Street Cry mare Even Song, would appear to be taking a giant leap in his second start, but he retains the services of Rosario and therefore looms a serious threat with a 96 Beyer in-hand.
BAFFERT LOOKING FOR DERBY POINTS IN SAN FELIPE
Life Is Good worked six furlongs this morning in 1:12.20 for Saturday's Grade II San Felipe Stakes , a major steppingstone to the Grade I Runhappy Santa Anita Derby on April 3.
"He went well," Bob Baffert said after the 9 a.m. drill. "I'm happy; we're all set."
Presently, Baffert has five Triple Crown candidates: Life Is Good and Medina Spirit, who go in the San Felipe; San Vicente winner Concert Tour and runner-up Freedom Fighter, set for the Rebel Stakes and the Gotham, respectively; and Spielberg, an impressive second albeit by 4 ¼ lengths behind champion Essential Quality in Saturday's Southwest Stakes.
Baffert, a two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer, seeks to add to his record seven San Felipe victories.
His previous winners were Prime Timber (1999), Point Given (2001), Preachinatthebar (2004), Pioneerof the Nile (2009), Dortmund (2015), Mastery (2017) and Authentic last year.
IT COULD BE MILLER TIME IN SALTY SAN FELIPE STAKES
California-bred None Above the Law could face monster stakes winners who have won against open company when he runs in Saturday's San Felipe Stakes.
A son of Karakonite owned and bred by Kirk and Judy Robison, None Above the Law was second last out in the California Cup Derby at a mile and one-sixteenth on Jan. 16, prompting the pace and taking the lead into the stretch before finishing a length and a half behind victorious Big Fish.
"He showed he can get a distance but the race didn't work out the way we planned," said Peter Miller, who trains the gray gelding. "We wanted to lay back and make one run, but he kind of made an early run at the five-eighths pole and got a little tired.
"But he's doing well, and obviously the water will be a lot deeper in the San Felipe."
The San Felipe offers 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the winner, 20 to the runner-up, 10 to the third horse and five to the fourth.
Miller, a threat to be leading trainer at any meet in which he participates (he's currently tied for third at Santa Anita with 16 victories, two behind leader Doug O'Neill), also has three horses nominated to Saturday's Grade II San Carlos Stakes for four-year-olds and up at seven furlongs, C Z Rocket, Major Cabbie and Shashashakemeup.
"We're going to run two of the three," he said. "We're not sure which two."
Entries for Big `Cap Day will be taken this Wednesday.
RAINBOW JACKPOT POOL COULD HIT $6 MILLION
Providing there is no Single Ticket winner today or this Friday, there will be a mandatory payout in Santa Anita's popular 20-cent Single Ticket Rainbow Pick Six Jackpot on Big `Cap Day this Saturday, March 6, and track officials project the total pool could reach $6 million.
There was no single ticket winner yesterday, resulting in a carryover of $509,265 into today's nine-race card. Approximate post time for Sunday's fourth race which begins the Rainbow Six is 2:06 p.m. Pacific Time.
With a carryover from Friday of $460,345, there was $213,688 in new money wagered Saturday creating a total Jackpot pool of $674,033.
Although there was no single ticket winner, there were 34 consolation tickets with six winners, each worth $3,399.25.
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About the San Felipe Stakes
The San Felipe Stakes is a prep race for the Santa Anita Derby and the Kentucky Derby for 3-year-olds. In 2014 it was won by California Chrome, who would go on to capture the Santa Anita Derby prior to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The race is contested at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Other famous horses to have won the race include Affirmed, Sunday Silence, Bertrando, Free House, Fusaichi Pegasus, Point Given and Medaglia d'Oro. Jockey Chris McCarron won the race a record seven times, while trainers Bob Baffert and Charlie Whittingham each tallied four victories in the race.
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