2023 Palos Verdes Stakes & San Marcos Odds and Picks

Sunday finishes a fantastic weekend of racing at Santa Anita, where two Grade 3 will headline the day. Six horses will line up for the 2023 Palos Verdes Stakes and it looks a cracker with Hopkins, Radical Right and Howbeit all aiming for supremacy. Howbeit will be chasing the second Graded success of his career.

The San Marcos Stakes will take place on the turf of Santa Anita and ten horses have been declared for this year’s renewal. Dicey Mo Charra was successful in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes last time out and will be hoping to land another Graded success here. 

Palos Verdes Stakes

Grade 3, 6 furlongs, Dirt, open to horses aged four and over. Total prize pool: $200,000

Six horses will head down to post for this year’s Palos Verdes Stakes, but despite a lack of runners it is still a quality field.

Howbeit was a narrow winner of the Grade 2 Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes last year and is looking to bag the second Graded Stakes success of his career. His victory in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship was easily the best performance of his career, but he could only follow that up with a tame 4th place finish next time out in an optional claimer. Trainer Mark Glatt has legendary jockey Mike Smith back on board and will be hoping Smith’s return can see his charge return to his best. Clearly a fan of Santa Anita, Howbeit has four wins from thirteen runs at the track.

Glatt has two entered in the race and will also saddle Escape Route. Escape Route will be having his first run since June and will be an outsider for the race.

Looking to serve it up to Howbeit will be Hopkins. Hopkins is trained out of the Bob Baffert yard and Baffert has his stable in tremendous form. Hopkins has never won a race at this level and heads to Santa Anita having finished second last time out in an Allowance contest. He will look to break well and lead the race from the start. He tasted success at the track back in October and his connections will be hoping he can repeat the feat here.

Looking to make the early running with Hopkins will be the Peter Miller trained Radical Right. This will be his first run for Miller and he heads to Santa Anita having won one of his last three starts. Unlucky to finish second last time out in an optional claimer, he will try to win going from gate to wire. Miller is a master of improving horses and Radical Right’s connections certainly hope that will be the case here.

The most intriguing horse of the field is the Dan Blacker trained Straight No Chaser. A winner of two of his four career starts, he takes a drop down in class following a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes. He was no match for the impressive Taiba that day but was up with the pace until the final furlong. The Malibu  was run at a breathtaking speed, and back in these calmer waters and with a more even pace to aim at he could be the value angle of the race.

McLaren Vale for John Sadler rounds out the field but is another who looks like they have plenty to find.

2023 Palos Verdes Stakes Odds & Betting Prediction

Whilst Howbeit and Hopkins are likely to be popular in the betting, it’s hard to get away from how promising Straight No Chaser’s last run in the Malibu Stakes was. Easily the least exposed horse of this field, he could be a prudent selection against those at the top of the market. 

HorseJockeyOdds by JazzSports
Straight No ChaserEdwin A. Maldonado+500
HopkinsJuan J. Hernandez+250
HowbeitMike E. Smith+200
Escape RouteGeovanni Franco+1000
Radical RightFlavien Prat+250
McLaren ValeKazushi Kimura+600
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San Marcos Stakes

Grade 3, 1 mile and a quarter, Turf, open to horses aged four and over. Total prize pool: $200,000

Ten horses have been declared for this year’s San Marcos Stakes and this is a race that looks to be incredibly competitive.

Favorite for the contest is likely to be the Leonard Powell trained Dicey Mo Chara. A difficult horse to gauge, he has won only one of his last eight races but is usually a consistent performer at this grade. He has tasted defeat to several of his opponents but does head into the race having won last time out in the San Gabriel Stakes. He was tough at the finish that day and a similar performance could make him hard to pass. 

Phil D’Amato has four of the ten runners entered in the contest and has a brilliant chance of training the winner. 

His best chance of success might land with Masteroffoxhounds. A winner of only one of his last six starts, he beat Dicey Mo Chara when the two met in October. Two Grade 2 defeats have followed since, including a third-place finish in the San Gabriel Stakes where Dicey Mo Chara was able to exact his revenge. A capable horse on his day he can very much win a race of this nature. 

D’Amato will have high hopes for Say The Word who was a winner at this level earlier in his career. Injuries have been a problem and he hasn’t raced in over a year. With a few questions to answer, he could be one to watch on this occasion. 

Prince Abama represents another live chance for D’Amato and he will be looking to produce a similar level of performance when victorious in the Hollywood Turf Cup. He beat Dicey Mo Chara that day, and although the tables have been overturned since, he is another horse of serving it up the favorite. 

Cash Equity is D’Amato’s final horse entered in the race but he will start as an outsider here and will have to run a career best of he is to have any say in proceedings.

Looking to serve it up to both the favorite and the D’Amato barn is The Grey Wizard. He finished second behind Prince Abama in the Hollywood Turf Cup, but then prevailed in his last contest where he won an Allowance race in taking fashion. Clearly a horse in good form, he could be an attractive value bet.

Of the longer shots of the race it could be worth taking a look at the Mike McCarthy trained Avenue. Third behind Prince Abama in the Hollywood Turf Cup, he then followed that up with another placed in an optional claimer. Placed at this level before, he could be a contender if running to his best.

San Marcos Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

Dicey Mo Chara will head into the race as the horse to beat, but his record is checkered, and he could be worth opposing. Prince Abama is another who has proved to be inconsistent but on his day is more than capable. He has beaten Dicey Mo Chara before and at a price could be the value play of the race

HorseJockeyOdds by JazzSports
Evan HarlanEdwin A. Maldonado+2000
MasteroffoxhoundsUmberto Rispoli+400
OpryLanfranco Dettori+1200
Prince Abama (IRE)Flavien Prat+500
Yes This TimeJoe Bravo+1200
Cash Equity (FR)Jessica Pyfer+1500
Dicey Mo Chara (GB)Juan J. Hernandez+300
Say the WordKent J. Desormeaux+400
The Grey Wizard (IRE)John R. Velazquez+500
AvenueKazushi Kimura+1200

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