Santa Monica Stakes 2023: Santa Anita Recap

Saturday saw some tremendous racing across America with three brilliant, graded races coming from Santa Anita.

One of the highlights of Saturday’s card came in the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes 2023 where six horses lined up. It was anticipated that the race would come down to two rivals Fun To Dream and Awake at Midnyte, with many keen to see who would come out on top following their epic clash in the La Brea Stakes.

True to form, the two horses were left to battle the contest out down the home straight with Fun To Dream able to repeat his La Brea Stakes success. The future looks bright for the Bob Baffert-trained horse and it will be fascinating to see where she ends up next.

Due to the late scratch of Hamwood Flier, just seven horses lined up for this year’s Megahertz Stakes. In what turned into a thriller of a race, it was the Jeff Mullins-trained Quattroelle who was able to stick her neck out when it mattered most. Hector Berrios performed one of the rides of the season to steer his mount home and capture the race in a thrilling fashion.

In a day of thrilling finishes, Earls Rock clung on to win his first graded contest with a gutsy win in the Thunder Road Stakes. Front running throughout the race, Earls Rock was able to win from gate to wire, narrowly denying a fast-finishing Du Jour in a photo finish.

Santa Monica Stakes

Grade 2, seven furlongs, Dirt, open to fillies and mares aged four and over. Total prize pool: $200,000

  1. Fun To Dream
  2. Awake At Midnyte
  3. Samurai Charm

Having faced each other on two previous occasions, Fun To Dream and Awake At Midnyte locked horns for a third time this season.

Heading into the race it was Fun To Dream who was expected to come out on top and repeat her success in the La Brea Stakes.

Awake At Midnyte knew she had a race on her hands and tried to race clear of her rival from an early stage. Happy to be at the front of the field, she was happy to dictate the early fractions and gradually increase the speed of the race.

With a feeling that she had gone off too fast, Fun To Dream was happy to stalk the pace and cruised into contention.

As Awake At Midnyte spun round the home turn it was clear that the gas tank was almost empty. Fun To Dream sensed an opportunity and in a couple of strides breezed clear of her long-time rival.

Showing signs of the good horse she is, she went on to win by 5 widening lengths and looks like a potential Grade 1 horse.

Despite the defeat, Awake At Midnyte did enough to secure second place with Samurai Charm finishing a never nearer third.

Santa Monica Stakes 2023 Results

PositionHorseWinPlaceShow
1Fun To Dream$3.00$2.10$2.10
2Awake At Midnyte $2.80$2.10
3Samurai Charm  $3.40

Santa Monica Stakes Video

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Fun to Dream wins the 2023 Santa Monica Stakes #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Sports #FYP #Horses #Horse

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Megahertz Stakes

Grade 3, one mile, Turf, open to fillies and mares aged four and over. Total prize pool: $100,000

  1. Quattroelle
  2. Bay Storm
  3. Closing Remarks

Seven horses lined up for this year’s Megahertz Stakes and it turned into one of the races of the day. Ran at a fast and furious pace, most of the field found themselves in contention as they rounded the home turn.

Both One Silk Stocking and Bay Storm held a slim lead, but both looked like they would be hard to pass. With the race having the potential to land anywhere and dangers appearing from all over the track, the eye was drawn to the back of the pack and the bright red silks of Quattroelle who was rapidly weaving her way through the field.

As the runners hit the furlong pole, it looked like the door would close and Quattroelle would be denied a clear passage through. However, a small seam appeared between the flagging Bay Storm and One Silk Stocking and Quattroelle’s jockey Hector Berrios launched his mount through.

Bursting clear in the shadows of the post she just got up to land her first Graded contest.

Berrios’s ride was gutsy and was undoubtedly one of the rides of the day. Bay Storm held on to second with the fast-finishing Closing Remarks swooping late to pinch third.

Megahertz Stakes Results

PositionHorseWinPlaceShow
1Quattroelle$23.60$8.80$5.00
2Bay Storm   $5.60$3.80
3Closing Remarks  $3.40

Megahertz Stakes Video

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Quattroelle (IRE) takes the 2023 Megahertz Stakes #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Horses #FYP #Horse #Sports

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Thunder Road Stakes

Grade 3, one mile, Turf, open to horses aged four and over. Total prize pool: $100,000

  1. Earls Court
  2. Du Jour
  3. Air Force Red

Eleven horses headed down to post for this year’s Thunder Road Stakes. In what looked like a tight betting heat, Air Force Red was looking to land his third successive race but first at this level.

Close in the betting was the Phil D’Amato-trained Earls Rock and it was Earls Rock who made the early running in the contest.

Allowed an easy time of it out in front, he headed round the home turned in the lead, and kicked for home, however, it became apparent that he was clearly tiring and desperately needed the line. Bob Baffert was seeking yet another win on the Santa Anita turf and Du Jour almost provided him with another victory.

Sensing that Earls Rock was paddling out in front, Du Jour’s jockey Umberto Rispoli sent his mount into overdrive and started to pick up a real head of speed. Closing with each and every stride – he finally managed to claw back Earls Rock in the shadows of the post.

With it being unclear as to who had crossed the line in the first place, a photo finish was needed with Earls Rock clinging on for victory by the slimmest of margins.

Despite not being able to win, Air Force Red still ran with credit to finish in third place.

Thunder Road Stakes Results

PositionHorseWinPlaceShow
1Earls Rock$9.80$5.20$3.20
2Du Jour $13.40$7.40
3Air Force Red  $3.00

Thunder Road Stakes Video

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Earls Rock What finish first in the Grade 3 Thunder Road Stakes #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Sports #FYP #Horses #Horse

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