Adare Manor Looms Large in 2024 Santa Margarita

May 25th, 2024

The Bob Baffert-trained #5 Adare Manor is among the top distaffers in training and leads a compact field of five in the $200,000 Santa Margarita S. (G2) at Santa Anita on Sunday. The dark bay daughter of Uncle Mo is perfectly drawn on the outside of the cast and will look to defend her crown here after crushing her foes by 4 1/2 lengths last season. She loves the surface and is all class – I’m not going to complicate things and will simply key her on top at a short price. 

Santa Margarita Wagers

Multiple Group 2 heroine #2 Super Shine gave a nice account of herself when a neck second in the Santa Maria (G2) here while making her stateside and seasonal debuts. The Argentinian import faced high-class foes throughout her career in her homeland, and she possesses the early speed to be the leader of this field with a clean break under Frankie Dettori.

The Super Saver mare was always prominent through quick fractions last time out and will appreciate the added ground with which to work on Sunday. I expect the pace to be much more reasonable in this affair, although she will likely have Adare Manor pressing her from soon after the start, and that isn’t fun for any horse. 

I have yet to figure out Santa Maria victress #3 Coffee in Bed for conditioner Richard Mandella. The dark bay Curlin filly has been somewhat inconsistent in her career, but she is obviously talented, and the four-year-old likes the Santa Anita surface, too. She has still yet to run fast enough to challenge the favorite on her best day, so I’ll let her beat me with Mike Smith up. 

Third-time starter #4 Blue Dream Machine ran much better than I expected when she was a rallying fourth in the Santa Maria in her route and stakes debut for Richard Baltas. The Arrogate gray has a long way to go before being considered an upset contender in this spot, but she has a lot of upside and also gets a positive rider move to Kyle Frey. She will be in some of my exotics at a price. 

Former claimer #1 Hennys Crazy Train might be an early pace factor, but she looks overmatched from the rail for John Sadler.