2023 Santa Anita Handicap & Frank E. Kilroe Mile Odds

Hong Kong Harry aims to make it 4 wins from 4 starts at Santa Anita on his first try at the Grade 1 level in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile while Bob Bafferts Defunded looks to improve on his 50% strike rate at Santa Anita and take out his second Grade 1 after winning the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita in October. Here our 2023 Santa Anita Handicap & Frank E. Kilroe Mile Betting Preview

The Frank E. Kilroe Mile

Grade 1 – Purse $500,000 – 1 mile – Turf – 4-Year-Olds and Up

Nine runners are due to head to the gate at 8.00 pm ET for this top class Grade 1.

The strong chalk is Hong Kong Harry (9/5) and he will be looking for his sixth win in seven starts and his first win at the Grade 1 level. He won the Grade 3 American here at Santa Anita back in June and has since taken the step up the class ladder to secure two Grade 2 events at Del Mar, including the Seabiscuit Handicap last time. His deep closing run style will get a perfect setup here, and he looks impossible to keep off the board.

Masteroffoxhounds (5/1) is another genuine Grade 2 performer and his last graded success was in the John Henry Turf Classic here at Santa Anita back in October when he had another of today’s foes, Gold Pheonix (12/1) in behind.

Another well-fancied runner is Air Force Red (4/1) who won the Grade 2 Hernandez Stakes here at Santa Anita two back over the unique 6 ½ furlong hill course. He has since won over today’s distance of a mile and looks sure to try and go gate-to-wire here.

One of the longshots that look of interest is Cabo Spirit (12/1) who was a winner of the Grade 2 Twilight Derby here at Santa Anita three back and has since been an unlucky closer in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar.

Balnikhov and Royal Ship are others with solid claims for a spot underneath, but Do Jour and Iredeo look outclassed here.

The Frank E. Kilroe Mile Odds & Betting Pick

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Gold Phoenix (IRE)Kazushi Kimura+1200
Cabo SpiritJoe Bravo+1200
MasteroffoxhoundsJohn R. Velazquez+500
Air Force RedJuan J. Hernandez+400
Balnikhov (IRE)Umberto Rispoli+500
Hong Kong Harry (IRE)Flavien Prat+180
Du JourLanfranco Dettori+1000
Irideo (ARG)Hector Isaac Berrios+2000
Royal Ship (BRZ)Mike Smith+600

The chalk Hong Kong Harry may well go and secure his sixth win in seven starts, but he will be short odds to do so, and seeing as he will have to close from far back, may not be great betting value.

We like the across-the-board chances of CABO SPIRIT and he is our main selection. He is also a closer but may be better positioned than the chalk early and has the class to win this.

Air Force Red and Balnikhov should be in with sound chances of grabbing a share of the purse money.

Dubai World Cup Odds

The Santa Anita Handicap

Grade 1 – Purse $500,000 – 1 1/4 miles – Dirt– 4-Year-Olds and Up

This is a very tight race with the morning line odds showing 7/2 the field.

Defunded (7/2) looks like going off the favorite and he is in top form having won the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes here at Santa Anita three back and only just failing to secure a second Grade 1 in the PWC Invitational at Gulfstream Park.

He looks sure to run a strong race here, although his top Beyer figure of 100 might not be enough against some classy foes.

Proxy (4/1) was behind Defunded in the PWC Invitational but was off very slow in that race. He is better judged on his win in the Grade 1 Clark Stakes at Churchill Downs in November and can give the Baffert runner plenty to think about.

The lightly raced four-year-old Hopper (8/1) has to be of interest after just four races so far. He broke the maiden here at Santa Anita and then followed that with a win in the Grade 3 Affirmed Stakes, again here at Santa Anita. He was behind Newgrange (6/1) last time with Parnelli (20/1) a close third and there should be little between this trio once again.

Of the longshots, one that could go well and should not be underestimated is There Goes Harvard (12/1) who has been poor the last two runs, but they came over shorter, and he stretches back out to a mile and a quarter today, the distance he won over when beating the chalk and Stilleto Boy (5/1) in the Grade 1 Gold Cup here at Santa Anita in May.

2023 Santa Anita Handicap Odds & Betting Prediction

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
There Goes HarvardKazushi Kimura+1200
ParnelliVictor Espinoza+2000
NewgrangeLanfranco Dettori+600
Stilleto BoyKent J. Desormeaux+500
DefundedJuan J. Hernandez+350
WarrantFlavien Prat+400
Heywoods BeachRamon A. Vazquez+2000
HopperMike E. Smith+800
Scarlet FusionEdwin A. Maldonado+1200
TisquantumHector Isaac Berrios+3000
ProxyJohn R. Velazquez+400

It’s going to be tough to keep Defunded off the board and he should be one for all exotics players to include in bets. He looks a fair price on the morning line.

But we could see a shock here, and the narrow vote goes to THERE GOES HARVARD who has finished first and second at his two tries at this mile and a quarter distance, and he’ll be closing into what should be a strong pace.

Newgrange, Warrant, and Hopper can be right in the firing line as they head to the wire.

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