How to bet the 2024 Daytona Stakes

May 25th, 2024

The closing race at Santa Anita on Sunday is the $100,000 Daytona S. (G3), an about 6 1/2-furlong dash down the hillside turf course. As far as competitive races go, this has to be among the most challenging, as each of the 10 signed on for the grassy sprint appear to be more than capable of winning. 

Daytona Wagers

  • $1 trifecta 4,8 with 1,2,3,4,8,10 with 1,2,3,4,8,10 ($40)
  • 50-cent superfecta 4,8 with 2,3,4,8 with 1,2,3,4,8,10 with 1,2,3,4,8,10 ($36)

#2 Mucho Del Oro and #3 Air Force Red are each fleet and talented, but both seem intent on taking command early, and this could compromise both contenders late in the heat. They are both graded stakes winners at 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf here, but unless one sneaks away early, I have to side with others on top. I’ll key my plays with a pair of players who I expect to stalk the action and get first run in the stretch. 

Mark Glatt’s #4 First Peace sports an 8-3-4-0 mark at Santa Anita, as well as a 4-2-2-0 line at the distance. Second at 4-5 odds in the Siren Lure S. most recently, the Funtastic colt is consistently very good and could sit a fine voyage while in the second flight behind the pair of pace players to the top of the stretch. Mike Smith retains the mount. 

Eddie D. (G2) hero #8 Lane Way could peak in his third run off the shelf for Richard Mandella. The Into Mischief gelding has never run a bad one at the trip with a 7-2-3-2 mark down the hill, and I expect the bay to be well placed from a stalking position as the group turns for home. 

As for late runners, #10 Almendares has put in good efforts in each of his handful of tries since coming to the U.S. The Phil D’Amato charge has never tried sprinting since coming stateside, but he did so at two and three overseas and wouldn’t be a surprise off the layoff. 

And #1 Whatmakessammyrun, who captured the 2022 Eddie D., can’t be ignored despite the tricky post slot. The Glatt trainee makes his first run since June and posted a bullet half-mile in advance of this heat. He will be a nice price with Frankie Dettori riding.