Malibu Stakes 2018
This race always draws a deep and competitive field, and the 2019 renewal is no exception. With an overflow field of 16 set to roll at 4:00 PM PT, getting a handle on this group will take some handicapping patience and attention to deatail.
Here are 5 essential questions to consider while attempting to unlock value in this year’s Malibu:
- Is 7/2 ML favorite McKinzie ready to make amends for his Breeders’ Cup flop?
- With a plethora of early speed, which closer will benefit?
- Several double-digit odds horses look live. Which one is ready to fire?
- How important is home track advantage for the west coast horses?
- Can Baffert be beaten here with two top contenders?
Analyzing the field
With so many runners of similar running style and ability, this race will certainly come down to which horse gets the right trip. Of course, post position could play a critical factor. Here’s a look at the draw and odds:
- Calexman 30/1
- Majestic Dunhill 30/1
- Copper Bullet 6/1
- Still Having Fun 20/1
- Identity Politics 12/1
- Axelrod 10/1
- Seven Trumpets 12/1
- Nero 12/1
- Ax Man 5/1
- Bobby’s Wicked One 10/1
- Greyvitos 20/1
- Kanthaka 6/1
- McKinzie 7/2
- Solomini 10/1
- Super Sol 20/1
- Cool Bobby 20/1
Kanthaka and Seven Trumpets are interesting horses here, as both have excelled at the 7 furlong distance in graded stakes action, and both can employ closing tactics that should fare well in a race that seems certain to feature blistering early fractions.
Kanthaka hasn’t been seen in competition since May, but appears to be working exceptionally well for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Seven Trumpets will ship in from Churchill after a disappointing effort in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, but his best race would make him a major contender at healthy odds.
More betting banter
Bob Baffert has a very live hand here with McKinzie and Ax Man, but it’s definitely worth noting that both will have to return to form after poor last-race efforts. Both runners have trained well in preparation for this start, but I’d argue that both runners are overbet because of the connections.
Identify Politics is a very interesting candidate for trainer Chad Brown at 12/1. This guy took a major step forward in his last start and the fact that Brown is willing to ship across country for a shot at the best, speaks volumes.
I like several horses here, so I’ll come to terms with a three-horse exacta box using Identify Politics, Seven Trumpets, and a horse I’ve yet to mention in Bobby’s Wicked One. That’s 5,7,10 Box for me in a wide-open race. If I connect with these runners, I’ll certainly get a handsome reward.
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