Santa Anita Handicap Entries
Santa Anita Handicap Preview
By Jessica Paquette
The field has been set for the 2017 edition of the Santa Anita Handicap. Affectionately known as the “Big Cap”, this race has one of the richest histories of any race in the country and is a key race for older horses.
This race has been overshadowed by the $12 million behemoth Pegasus World Cup in January at Gulfstream Park. It has, however, still drawn a quality field of nine colts and geldings. The purse has dropped from $1 million to $750,000 and the Grade 1 event will be run at a mile and a quarter.
Shaman Ghost, the runner-up behind superstar Arrogate in the Pegasus World Cup (G1), has been tabbed as the morning line favorite at 2-1 odds.
Bred and owned by Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs, the five-year-old son of Ghostzapper has been on the board in ten of his fourteen starts and is a six-time winner. He has a sharp turn of foot and does his best running from off of the pace and was able to make up ground well at Gulfstream Park in the Pegasus World Cup last time out. Javier Castellano will be in the irons.
Second choice is the versatile Midnight Storm for trainer Philip D’Amato at odds of 8-5 on the morning line. A six-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile, he is a graded stakes winner on both turf and dirt.
After finishing third in a blanket finish in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), he switched to the main track to try his hand in the older male division and has won both recent starts – the Native Diver Stakes (G3) and the San Pasqual Stakes (G2). He has been training steadily and will have to prove the mile and a quarter distance is within his scope.
An interesting longshot, 15-1 on the morning line, is veteran Hard Aces for trainer John Sadler. The seven-year-old son of Hard Spun is a seven-time career winner and will be making his third appearance in the Big Cap. He was fourth in 2015 and second in the 2016 renewal. While he is not the most consistent horse in the field, he is well proven at a mile and a quarter and beyond and will be trying to take a step forward off of a disappointing performance in the San Antonio Stakes (G2) last time out.
Also in the field is Imperative, another longshot and a familiar face in the California graded stakes races. The seven-year-old gelded son of Bernardini is fresh off of one of the most impressive performances of his career when he won the Poseidon Stakes on the Pegasus World Cup undercard. His lone graded stakes victory came in 2014, however, so he does need to prove he can be as effective against top class competition.
Here is the field for the 2017 Santa Anita Handicap along with morning line odds.
- Midnight Storm, 8-5
- Gangster, 30-1
- Shaman Ghost, 2-1
- Isotherm, 12-1
- Hard Aces, 15-1
- Follow Me Crev, 8-1
- Twentytwentyvision, 12-1
- Hi Happy (ARG), 12-1
- Imperative, 5-1
- #3 Shaman Ghost
- #1 Midnight Storm
- #5 Hard Aces
- #9 Imperative
Category : Sports Betting NewsMore articles...