Desert Stormer Stakes Odds, Field & Predictions

A quiet weekend at Santa Anita Park, but a field of five 4yo and up fillies and mares will clash in the G3 Desert Stormer Stakes.

Grade 3 – Purse $100,000 – 6 furlongs – Dirt – 4-Year-Olds and Up – Fillies & Mares

Elm Drive is maybe the forgotten horse here and if able to reproduce her early form, she would be a lock to reach the winner’s circle. The question is, as Slim Shady might say. “Will the real Elm Drive, please stand up, please stand up?”

The chalk is Philip D’Amato’s Elm Drive 6/5 and you’ll see there is plenty of back class on the card.

However, taking a short price on a horse that has disappointed more than once is risky.

She won the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes on her second start back in 2021 but was then well beaten in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante. Interestingly she has been successful before from a long layoff, and we have the same scenario today. The recent drills have been sharp and there is no doubt she has the class to win this. The question is, which Elm Drive will turn up on the day?

Violent Runner 4/1 gets the inside gate post and is still unexposed and has plenty of potential upside. After a poor debut, she went four wins on the spin. Her first taste of graded stakes foes came two back in the Las Flores Stakes here at Santa Anita when she was beaten just over five lengths. That was a sound try and she bounced right back next time to win a 7-furlong claimer.

Her overall profile shows a horse on the up, and the cut back to six furlongs holds no fears, and she’ll be hitting the wire hard.

An interesting contender is Dance To The Music 3/1 who was in front of Elm Drive in that Grade 1 back in 2021 and hit the board in this race, the Grade 3 Desert Stormer last season. Javier Hernandez who is the leading rider at the meet does the steering. She is reverting to dirt after a poor run on the lawn last time. Still, some question marks, but has the back form to be there when the photographs are taken.

Stella Noir 3/1 is another well-fancied runner, and she is the most experienced in the field with seventeen starts, hitting the board nine times, including three wins, with the last of those coming two back in an Optional Claimer here at Santa Anita.

She was well beaten on her only try in this spot when tackling The Wilshire Stakes over a mile here at Santa Anita. Recent runs have been over six and a half furlongs but the cutback means she’ll be closing late.

The long shot is Half Past Twelve 8/1. She is three wins from ten starts and has a couple of pieces of form at this level. She finished sixth in The Sweet Life Stakes here at Santa Anita back in February, beaten just over four lengths. She heads back off a nine-month lay, so there are questions to be answered. However, recent drills have been sharp and she is no forlorn hope.

Desert Stormer Stakes Odds & Betting Predictions

HorseJockeyOdds by Jazzsports
Violent RunnerEdwin A. Maldonado+400
Half Past TwelveTiago Josue Pereira+800
Dance to the MusicJuan J. Hernandez+300
Elm DriveRamon A. Vazquez+120
Stella NoirLuis Contreras+300

Elm Drive could easily go and blast this field apart, but with the question marks she is a swerve here, and the one that looks sure to hit the board is Stella Noir.

For win purposes, we have to go with a horse in solid form and the selection is VIOLENT RUNNER who is still improving and can run at a strong speed and close late to the wire.

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