San Felipe Stakes: Contenders & Overview of the Field for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby Prep Race

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The California horse-racing circuit makes a contribution to the Kentucky Derby entry picture with the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita Park.

A field of 11 going 1 1-16 miles stalk 50 qualifying points and the automatic entry to the May 6 Run for the Roses. Points are awarded on a 50-20-15-10-5 basis to the top-five finishers.

Post time is 5:30 p.m. ET. Here is a betting overview of the race, which gamblers can access via FanDuel TV.

2023 San Felipe Stakes Field

Here is the field for Saturday’s San Felipe Stakes.

PPHorseML OddsJockey Trainer
1Chase the Chaos15-1Armando AyusoEd Moger, Jr.
2National Treasure9-2John VelazquezTim Yakteen
3Practical Move6-1Ramon VazquezTim Yakteen
4Bluegrass Go Go30-1Edwin MaldonadoDoug O'Neill
5Genius Jimmy15-1Kazushi KimuraMichael McCarthy
6Crypto Ride30-1Umberto RispoliCraig Lewis
7Hejazi7-2Mike SmithTim Yakteen
8Geaux Rocket Ride4-1Flavien PratRichard Mandella
9Fort Bragg10-1Juan HernandezTim Yakteen
10Skinner8-1Victor EspinozaJohn Shirreffs
11Mr Fisk6-1Lanfranco DettoriTim Yakteen

Saturday’s Santa Anita Park Racing Schedule

The 12-race card begins at 3 p.m. ET  with the San Felipe serving as Race 6.

Other highlights include the final two races, the $500,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile on turf and the $500,000 Santa Anita Handicap for older horses at 1 1-4 miles on dirt. They are the final two races on the card and have respective post times of 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ET.

Gamblers will wager into many large fields throughout Santa Anita’s program, which offers $2,042,000 in purse money. 

That is one of the top totals in the industry on Saturday. The Frank Kilroe and Santa Anita Handicap each offer the highest single-race purse on the racing circuit on Saturday. That will be a magnet to attract bettors.

Gamblers also can wager into a 20-cent Rainbow Pick 6 carryover, which has a mandatory payout day on Saturday at Santa Anita.

San Felipe Stakes Contenders and Overview

Hejazi raised industry eyebrows just 15 days into the season when he notched a 99 Beyer speed figure at Santa Anita. It topped the industry for a while and although it has been surpassed, any improvement would put him above 100, a number that generates betting respect in the Kentucky Derby.

Stablemate National Treasure shipped to Keeneland and notched a good third behind triumphant Forte and Cave Rock in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in November.

San Felipe Stakes: Contenders & Overview of the Field for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby Prep Race
Jockey Mike E. Smith (here aboard One More Bid) rides Hejazi in Saturday’s San Felipe Stakes. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

National Treasure’s 94 Beyer speed rating earmarks him as one of the improving horses in this mix.

Practical Move has steadily moved upward. He triumphed at maiden special weights and then the $300,000 Los Alamitos Futurity at this exact distance. He will enter with momentum.

Geaux Rocket Ride comes in off a sizzling debut victory at Santa Anita with a scorching six-furlong time of 1:09.52. He must stretch out considerably in distance and face a tougher field, but is going to be a horse to watch moving forward.

San Felipe Stakes Pace Considerations

Santa Anita is notoriously speed-favoring. Forbidden Kingdom bolted to the front and waved goodbye to this field in the 2022 running.

Gamblers can help themselves with some timely research by watching earlier races here. Santa Anita received a formidable 6.5 inches of rain last weekend. It’s not known how fast the track will dry out.

Watching earlier events will help bettors assess the condition of the surface. If the track is labeled “good,” it may be tiring and benefit the closing instincts of National Treasure, who beat Hejazi at this distance in the American Pharoah Stakes last year.

If it is listed “fast,” it could be all systems go for Hejazi to seize the early lead. In either scenario, this race may boil down to National Treasure — or some other closer — trying to run down Hejazi in the stretch.

Frank E. Kilroe Mile Contenders and Overview

There could be some excellent value in this nine-horse group.

Du Jour, Air Force Red, and Irideo feature a rematch of their tight finish in the Thunder Road Stakes. Irideo usually gets less betting respect than the other two and could be a significant price if he gets in the picture.

Masteroffoxhounds gains an advantage, cutting back to 1 mile from the 1 1-4 miles he ran in the $200,000 San Marcos Stakes. He held a firm lead in the stretch until being overtaken just before the wire.

The shortened course could make him formidable here.

Balnikhov would love to run into a hot pace. He finished a strong rallying second in the $200,000 Mathis Mile in January.

All Hong Kong Harry does is win. He’s captured five of six and got up to win the Seabiscuit Handicap last November with a thunderous move. He nipped Masteroffoxhounds two steps from the wire. This is his longest career layoff.

There are multiple horses who make sense in this race, which is excellent news for gamblers. This is a terrific betting race.

Santa Anita Handicap Contenders and Overview

See who the public falls in love with on Saturday.

Carbon copy of the parity shown in the Frank Kilroe. Newgrange, Parnelli, and Hopper practically hit the wire together in the San Pasqual Stakes. Newgrange got up to win, Hopper was second, and Parnelli got third.

They will be joined by Defunded and Stilleto Boy, who finished second and third in the $3 million Pegasus at Gulfstream Park in January.

Stilleto Boy figures to be an early pace factor, while Defunded loves to run close to the pace. 

Defunded will likely be the favorite based on coming out of a better race. He also gets Santa Anita’s leading rider Juan Hernandez, who handled Newgrange in the San Pasqual. Bettors will see a message in the jockey switch.

Also read: What is the Triple Crown of horse racing?

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About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Writer
Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Bontempo has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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