2023 Santa Ana Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

The main event at Santa Anita on Sunday is the G3 2023 Santa Ana Stakes on the lawn, in which the former Chilean ace Australia Mia and the doughty stayer Duvet Day give trainer Michael McCarthy a strong hand in what on paper looks a closely-contested and intriguing affair.

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Santa Ana Stakes

G3, $100,000, 1m 2f turf, 4yo+ females, 3.29pm PT

Michael McCarthy trained the winner of last year’s Santa Ana and is in a good position to go back-to-back in Sunday’s feature at Santa Anita, with a strongly fancied dual entry composed of two very different horses.

He sends Duvet Day (4-1) and Australia Mia (3-1), who renew a neighbourly rivalry after their clash in a stakes here over a mile and a half in January, when Duvet Day came from the back of the pack with a late rally to make her stakes breakthrough. She won going away by a length and a quarter, with the favoured Australia Mia two and a quarter lengths further back in third after stalking the pace and fading in the final furlong.

Duvet Day is all stamina despite her sprinting sire, with her previous two victories in minor company gained at a mile and three-eighths, and this cutback may not bring out her best. Australia Mia, on the other hand, was making her Stateside debut following a six-month layoff after winning six of her last seven starts in her native Chile, where her biggest successes were gained at a mile-eighth and ten furlongs. She is likely to be more suited by the shorter distance today, and should move up for her first experience of US racing.

Separating that pair was Queen Ofthe Temple (7-2), who has only a maiden win from 11 starts but is showing that a breakthrough may not be far away, with that performance coming on the heels of third spot in the G3 Red Carpet over a mile and three-eighths at Del Mar (Duvet Day sixth).

In a tight-knit affair with no standout contender, there are possibilities among horses making their stakes debut today. That applies to Phil D’Amato’s two contenders, with Buzz Of New York (6-1) making a very quick turnaround just seven days after a comfortable victory in an allowance optional claimer here over a mile.

On her previous start she finished two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Ballet Dancing (4-1) when they ran two-four in another AOC here over a mile-eighth, and if she’s ready to go again she could be in the mix.

Her barnmate Annaghlasa (6-1) is a little behind that curve having run a longshot third, looking as though she’d stay further, in a mile allowance here in January, when Myfavoritedaughter (12-1) was three and three-quarter lengths behind in sixth.

Harper’s Gallop (15-1) went coast-to-coast when winning a starter allowance here over a mile-eighth in February and figures to be part of the pace set-up, but is zero-for-five in stakes and lacks the class to stay ahead in this company.

2023 Santa Ana Stakes Odds & Betting Pick

She ran an eyecatching race on her US debut and now AUSTRALIA MIA, with the benefit of that experience and the shorter distance sure to suit, looks ready to strike.

HorseJockeyOdds by JazzSports
Annaghlasa (IRE)Ramon A. Vazquez+600
Queen Ofthe TempleJuan J. Hernandez+350
Australia MiaLanfranco Dettori+300
AscendancyLuis Contreras+1200
Duvet Day (IRE)Kazushi Kimura+400
MyfavoritedaughterJoe Bravo+1200
Buzz of New York (IRE)Umberto Rispoli+600
Harper’s GallopJohn R. Velazquez+1500
Ballet DancingFlavien Prat+400

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