2023 San Marcos Stakes & Palos Verdes Stakes Recaps

A brilliant weekend’s racing came to an end this Sunday at Santa Anita Park with two Grade 3 contests the 2023 San Marcos Stakes and Palos Verdes Stakes.

The action kicked off with this year’s renewal of the 2023 San Marcos Stakes where ten horses lined up for a shot of glory. With the betting for the contest competitive, it was a wide-open race with several horses in with a shot of victory.

Phil D’Amato saddled four for the contest with his best chance of success being represented by Masteroffoxhounds. However, it was another stable star who came out on top with Prince Abama recording his first-ever Graded Stakes victory.

In the Palos Verdes Stakes, only six horses lined up to take their chance, but it was still a race loaded with quality. With the race expected to be tight between Hopkins, Howbeit, and Straight No Chaser, it was the Bob Baffert-trained Hopkins who showed he was in a class of his own as he ran out a comfortable three-length winner.

San Marcos Stakes

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

  1. Prince Abama
  2. Masteroffoxhounds
  3. Opry

With Phil D’Amato saddling four horses in this year’s San Marcos the expectation was that he would saddle the winner. His best chance looked to be with Masteroffoxhounds who was looking to win the second graded contest of his career.

As the race developed it looked like Masteroffoxhounds, would cement his class and capture the race. Heading off the final turn he had slipped clear of the rest of the field and was streaking for home.

With the rest of the field trying to chase him down, very few horses looked to be emerging from the chasing pack. With Masteroffoxhounds starting to paddle out in front, the eye was drawn to the outside rail where Prince Abama was trying to run down his stablemate. With the line drawing ever nearer, whether he would nose in front was touch and go.

Traveling like an express train, Prince Abama edged in front when it mattered most denying his stablemate by a short head.

Opry was another who emerged from the chasing pack and was able to finish a close third.

San Marcos Stakes Results

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. Prince Abama$12.60$6.00$4.20
2. Masteroffoxhounds$4.40$3.60
3. Opry$6.00
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Palos Verdes Stakes

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

  1. Hopkins
  2. Radical Right
  3. Straight No Chaser

With just six horses in this year’s renewal of the Palos Verdes Stakes, it was a race loaded with quality and intrigue. Favorite for the race was the Dan Blacker-trained Straight No Chaser who was dropped into calmer waters following a decent showing in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes last time out.

Raced over six furlongs, the pace for the race was always going to be fast and frenetic and it was the favorite who got off to the best start, surging to the front to lead the field through the first couple of furlongs.

Tucked in nicely behind was Hopkins who was keen to not let Straight No Chaser get too far ahead. The order of the race remained largely unchanged until the horses rounded the home turn.

It was still Straight No Chaser who held a narrow lead but both Hopkins and the fast-improving Radical Right were traveling much sweeter.

With Straight No Chaser dropping anchor, it was left to Hopkins and Radical Right to battle it out. Despite Radical Right’s best intentions, he simply didn’t have the speed or class to outrun Hopkins.

Showing all the signs of a classy horse, at the furlong pole Hopkins turned on the jets and sailed for home. Running out a cozy winner, he looks set for some bigger races later this year and could be one to keep an eye on.

Radical Right ran a stormer to finish second with Straight No Chaser just clinging onto third.

Palos Verdes Stakes Results

HorseWinPlaceShow
1 Hopkins$6.20$3.20$2.40
2 Radical Right$5.20$3.00
3 Straight No Chaser$2.60

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