How to bet the 2023 Awesome Again Stakes

September 29th, 2023

A berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) is on the line in Saturday’s $300,000 Awesome Again S. (G1) at Santa Anita on Saturday. The "Win and You’re In" contest attracted a well-matched field of nine for the 1 1/8-mile endeavor, and I will spread with a few of the contenders with my wagers.

Awesome Again Wagers

  • $4 exacta box: 3,4,9 ($24)
  • $1 trifecta: 3 with 4,9 with all ($14)
  • $1 trifecta: 3 with all with 4,9 ($14)

I’ve become a fan of #3 Slow Down Andy (5-2) since last season and will give him a major chance on this occasion. Trained by Doug O’Neill, the millionaire comes off of a solid try in the Pacific Classic S. (G1) at Del Mar when a nice third, and the cutback to nine panels could put the four-year-old over the top in this spot. The Nyquist four-year-old finished third in the race last campaign, which preceded a similar placing in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), and I feel that the colt might be slightly better in 2023. The top selection will always be in range under regular pilot Mario Gutierrez.

#4 Skinner (8-1) has yet to deliver the signature win that I expected he would by now, but the John Shirreffs trainee wouldn’t be a surprise to me in the contest. The sophomore son of Curlin has performed pretty well in each of his five races in 2023 in advance of Saturday, and he continues to train forwardly this campaign, as well. The bay colt lands in a spot where the pace will be swift and contested, which will aid his solid late burst. He flattened out some in the latter stages of the Pacific Classic at 10 furlongs, so the cutback to 1 1/8 miles seems ideal with Mike Smith in the controls.

#9 Stilleto Boy (6-1) was eased late in the Pacific Classic most recently but is much better than that, and the son of Shackleford gets a pass for his subpar performance. The Ed Moger pupil has knocked heads with some of the best runners in training over the past two seasons while registering numerous fine results, led by a Grade 1 tally on the oval in March. The five-year-old chestnut is alert from the gate and gets a good draw with the other pace in the heat drawn to his inside. Kent Desormeaux will be in the silks and will place the gelding just off of the early tempo while in the clear throughout.