Saturday, March 11, 2017

San Felipe Stakes 2017

Santa Anita
March 11, 2017
Race 5  - 2:04 PM
San Felipe Stakes (Grade II)
Purse – 400,000
Distance - One And One Sixteenth Miles
Surface – Dirt

1 – Term of Art
2 – Vending Machine
3 – Ann Arbor Eddie
4 – Mastery
5 – Gormley
6 – Iliad
7 – Bluegrass Envy

There are two solid Kentucky Derby Prep races this weekend – the first is The Tampa Bay Derby – but in my opinion the only horse that will likely be a threat to contend in a Triple Crown Run would be #5 Tapwrit – he enters the Tampa Bay Derby as the favorite and I think he’ll likely chalk up a win in this one…..

However in the last few races I’ve written about – Upsets have been the norm. This could be a year where some horses develop late and it could be a very difficult season to predict!

Now let’s take a look at the San Felipe Stakes which I believe will be a VERY competitive race.

#1 Term of Art – recently finished 4th in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes here at Santa Anita,  he’s a career 2 for 7 and he’s going off at 20-1....I’m not a fan.

#2 Vending Machine – has 3 wins in 8 lifetime attempts – he recently won (on Turf) here at Santa Anita 49 days ago – he’s also going off at 20/1  -- and he’s worth a look if you like the longshots. What I like about this horse is that he showed a lot of poise in his last race….but I don’t think he has enough talent to take on this group.

Strangely Sensitive Cheetah
loves candy....
but would be concerned if
this Vending Machine
had any "pop" out.
#3 Ann Arbor Eddie – is going off at 8/1 – and has enjoyed 3 wins in 5 Attempts – he was the FAVORITE in his last race the El Camino Real and finished 2nd --- (although due to interference was pushed back to a 4th place finish). – Ann Arbor Eddie will likely look to control the pace at the lead and hug the rail in this one....but he’ll need help to win.

#4 Mastery – last time we saw this horse he was pulling away with a 5 length win in the Cash Call Futurity in Los Alamitos. This horse is Undefeated in 3 lifetime attempts….however it’s also been 91 days since he raced last. He may be the best horse in this one…..but he may not be the best prepared – this could be another race where the favorite looks rusty…..and falls flat.

#5 Gormley – currently going off at 9/5, Gormely is the second favorite in this race.  His career record is 3 wins in 4 attempts …. and he barely squeaked out a victory in the Sham Stakes 63 days ago here at Santa Anita.

Sham Stakes:

I’m certainly impressed with both Gormley and American Anthem  -- they both show great early speed and they both show a LOT of fighting spirit…..certainly two horses to keep an eye on….from what I’m reading it’s likely we’ll see American Anthem in the Rebel Stakes on Mar. 18th.

#6 Iliad – is currently the third favorite in this race going off at 5/2 – he has 2 victories in 3 attempts and unlike Gormely and Mastery, he has raced recently -- putting up a victory in the San Vicente (here at Santa Anita) 27 days ago.

As you watch the video – here are some things I’d like to point out – Iliad is a BEAST – he looks much larger than the other horses when he reels around the 2nd turn, and he's probably still growing! He also has no problems keeping up with a “hot” early pace (21 seconds) and then finishing with ease…….

Also I’d like to add – kudos to ownership for naming him Iliad…..Classical, Mythical…even Horse Related…..I mean who names their prize horses Gormley and Vending Machine??

**Well Gormley at least is a Sculptor...but Vending Machine??

Finally #7 Bluegrass Envy – comes in as the “Super” longshot 50-1….despite excellent bloodlines (Any Given Saturday) and a much better name than Gormley and Vending Machine…..what he doesn’t have is a win….in 5 attempts. He last raced 42 days ago finishing 6th. Young horses like these can surprise, but I think the talent is too deep for him to compete.

Image resultTo me the interesting thing about this upcoming race will be how the horses deal with the early pace – will Gormley and Iliad go full out in the first half mile and not have anything left for the last few furlongs – if that were to happen I think this would help both Vending Machine and Mastery.

However if the pace is more modest (late 23’s) than I think we could see a nail biter between Iliad and Gormley with Mastery closing in at the end.

Closing Speed likes:  Iliad / Gormley / Mastery

If I’m betting $24 on this race I like:

$1 Trifecta Box:  2/3/5/6  = $24

*It’s a pricy bet…but if a long shot pulls off an upset , it could be a solid ticket.

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