Top Stakes to Bet On the Week: 6 Great Races at Santa Anita Park

Top Stakes to Bet On the Week: 6 Great Races at Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita Park starts their winter-spring meet on Monday, Dec. 26. California’s top racetrack has six graded events on opening day. The Grade 1 Malibu, Grade 1 La Brea, and Grade 1 American Oaks headline the race card. Check out top plays and Horse Racing Odds for the Top Stakes Races of the Week from Monday, December 26th. You can also visit our Online Racebook to place your bets on active racetracks.

Horse Racing Odds, Picks, and Betting Analysis | December 19th Edition

Santa Anita Park | Monday, Dec. 26

  • Grade 2 Mathis Mile – 1 mile turf – 3 year olds

Connections for 11 runners plan on entering the starting gate for the Grade 2 Mathis Mile. East coast trainer Danny Gargan plans on putting the saddle on Dakota Gold and Riot House.

Richard Mandella plans on entering Ft. Sumter. Perfect Flight, a Peter Mill runner, has won 2-of-3 but both wins were on dirt. Handy Dandy and I’m A Gambler should also run. Graham Motion figures to enter the chalk, Grade 1 Hollywood Derby winner Speaking Scout. 

  • Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes – 1 1/8 miles turf – 3 year olds & up

Expect an overflow field for the San Gabriel Stakes. Master Piece from the Mike McCarthy barn and Masteroffoxhounds trained by Phil D’Amato should run. 

Like in the Mathis Mile, trainer Graham Motion might end up saddling the favorite in The Grey Wizard. D’Amato trained Prince Bama beat The Grey Wizard in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup. Some might feel the Wizard turns the tables. D’Amato plans on saddling two more, Cash Equity and Ready Soul.  

  • Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes – 1 1/16 miles dirt – 3 year olds & up

Bob Baffert may enter three: Defunded, who won the Awesome Again and Native Diver in his last two, Azul Coast, who finished second behind Defunded in the Native Diver, and Country Grammar, the 2021 Hollywood Gold Cup winner who finished second behind Defunded in the Awesome Again. Other possible entrants include, Stilleto Boy, Newgrange, Business Model, and Breakfast Ride.  

  • Grade 1 American Oaks – 1 ¼ miles turf – 3 year olds

Plenty of talented three year old fillies should enter the starting gate for the Grade 1 American Oaks. Chad Brown could saddle the favorite in three out of four winner Salimah. Brown doesn’t like to ship from New York unless he thinks he can win.

Christophe Clement figures to put the saddle on Pizza Bianca. Other possible entrants include Duvet Day, Rhea Moon, Claddagh Cure, Kitty Katana, and Bellabel.

  • Grade 1 La Brea Stakes – 7 furlongs dirt – 3 year olds

Baffert should own the La Brea. Bob plans on saddling four runners: Under the Stars, Midnight Memories, Ganadora, and Fun to Dream. Richard Mandell will go for the top prize with Micro Share. 

John Shirreffs will saddle Lady T and John Sadler will run Kirstenbosch. Rodolphe Brissett plans on running Fantasy Stakes winner Yuugiri for the first time since the Kentucky Oaks.  

  • Grade 1 Malibu Stakes – 7 furlongs dirt – 3 year olds 

Four high-rated three year old colts figure to enter the gate for the Grade 1 Malibu. Richard Mandell hopes to upset the favorites with Forbidden Kingdom.

Bob Baffert will saddle Messier and Taiba. The wise guy choice could be Slow Down Andy. Watch action on Andy for clues. 


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