How to bet the 2023 San Marcos Stakes

February 4th, 2023

A deep cast of 10 turf stayers has been assembled for the $200,000 San Marcos S. (G3) at Santa Anita on Sunday. The 1 1/4-mile tilt attracted some of the better turf horses based in the Golden State and appears to be a mostly wide-open betting contest.

#9 The Grey Wizard was a facile winner over first-level allowance foes on the surface last time out and is worth a chance in a well-matched field for conditioner Graham Motion. By Caravaggio, the four-year-old is twice graded stakes placed since arriving in the U.S. and will have no trouble negotiating the distance in his second outing of 2023.

Bred in Ireland, the consistent late runner comes back quickly following a tally, which tells me he was using that contest as something of a prep run for Sunday. The gray received a decent post to avoid trouble, and I expect him to be a dangerous commodity inside the final furlong under John Velazquez.

Recent San Gabriel S. (G2) star #7 Dicey Mo Chara has done some of his best work at Santa Anita and rates an obvious chance for conditioner Leonard Powell. The gelded son of Adaay just missed at the distance in the John Henry Turf Championship (G2) in October, and the five-year-old figures to sit a very good trip a few lengths off an honest early tempo to the top of the lane. Juan Hernandez will be in the stirrups.

John Henry (G2) victor #2 Masteroffoxhounds, one of four in the field for trainer Phil D’Amato, led late before ultimately finishing third in the San Gabriel but might be more effective at 10 furlongs. The six-year-old War Front bay has never missed the board on the course, and he also dons a 5-2-2-0 mark at the trip, as well. The pacey Kentucky-bred will have Umberto Rispoli in the silks.

#4 Prince Abama has steadily grown into a fine turf performer for D’Amato. The Hollywood Turf Cup (G2) hero has won or placed in eight of his last 10 engagements, with the last four coming against stakes foes, and the five-year-old son of Tamayuz seems poised to be in contention late once again with Flavien Prat taking the reins. The chestnut will be stalking the pace from the outset.

San Marcos Wagers

  • $12 win and place #9 The Grey Wizard ($24)
  • 50-cent trifecta 7,9 with 2,4,7,9 with all ($24)