2023 san vicente preview

It’s Bob Baffert everywhere all at once in the G2 San Vicente at Santa Anita Park on Sunday, with the controversial master trainer responsible for 80 percent of the field, including dual G3 winner Havnameltdown and promising debut winners Faustin and Fort Warren. Check our 2023 San Vicente Preview and Odds courtesy of JazzSports.

2023 San Vicente Stakes Preview

G2, $200,000, 7f dirt, 3yo, 12.59pm PT

Bob Baffert has won the San Vicente at Santa Anita a record 11 times and is a mortal lock to make it a round dozen on Sunday afternoon. That’s the easy part. But Baffert saddles four of the five runners, so which of them will do the job?

Race Overview

The quartet is a mix of proven form and encouraging promise, with the form horse Havnameltdown (6-5) the odds-maker’s pick on the morning line. His three-for-four and having his first day away from Del Mar, where he won the G3 Best Pal in August and the seven-furlong G3 Bob Hope Stakes in November, with sandwiched in between a runner-up finish in the G1 Del Mar Futurity when he was put firmly in his place by high-class barn mate Cave Rock.

He is usually on the lead – he couldn’t get there in the Futurity – and is a willing sort who keeps something up his sleeve for the stretch. It’s good California form, he’s a known quantity and deserves to be top of the tote board. Any of his barn mates could improve past him but this is their first test.

The most interesting is Faustin (8-5), who is already high on the list for the Kentucky Derby after a very impressive debut here over six furlongs, when he was odds-on and big things were expected. The grey won in some style, overcoming a slow start and coasting by two and three-quarter lengths, and his pedigree suggests that the further he goes – within reason – the better.

That form is nothing special, the third and fourth have been beaten since, but on potential and reputation he is a major player.

We haven’t seen Fort Warren (3-1) since the end of October, when he was favoured on debut here over six and a half furlongs and gamely justified his odds, getting home by a half-length. He’s another who will certainly stretch out, and both the runner-up and third from that contest have won since.

A little like Aidan O’Brien in Europe, it’s often the lesser-fancied Baffert horses who come through from a multiple entries, with Reincarnate in the G3 Sham and Fun To Dream in the G1 La Brea good recent examples. 

It would be wise, then, to give Fort Warren his due, which goes as well for Gilmore (6-1), narrowly beaten on debut and then a four-length winner over a mile at Los Alamitos. On the face of it Gilmore needs a lot more today, but there’s no reason why he shouldn’t move up.

2023 San Vicente Odds courtesy of JazzSport

HorseJockeyOdds by JazzSports
Havnameltdown JJ Hernandez+120
FaustinRamon Vásquez+160
Fort WarrenJohn Velázquez+300
Man ChildDiego Herrera+2000
GilmoreMike Smith+600

The only hold-out against the Baffert siege is Man Child (20-1), who was beaten more than eight lengths into third by Havnameltdown in the Best Pal. He is zero-for-four since winning on debut and although he may not finish last, it’s almost impossible to imagine him finishing first.

2023 San Vicente Preview and Final Prediction

  Havnameltdown has the form to win, but the reputation and potential of FAUSTIN, who could improve no end from his impressive debut score, makes him the choice.

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