How to bet the 2024 San Pasqual Stakes

January 26th, 2024

A total of eight horses will travel 1 1/8 miles on the Santa Anita main strip in Saturday’s deep $200,000 San Pasqual S. (G2). Conditioner Bob Baffert has a pair of dangerous contenders in the cast, and I will give top billing to one of his entrants. 

San Pasqual Wagers

#6 Mr Fisk closed 2023 with a pair of stakes tallies at Del Mar, led by a victory in the Native Diver S. (G3), and I expect this one to have a very good four-year-old campaign, starting in this spot. By Arrogate, the colt has run a few clunkers in his career, but he also impressed on more than one occasion, and he seems like the type who will improve as the distances increase, as well. 

The Sunny Brook homebred is not especially swift from the gate, but he does possess a solid cruising speed as well as a fine turn of foot, and I like the four morning drills that he has posted in advance of his seasonal bow. Juan Hernandez, who has been aboard the four-year-old in each of his three lifetime wins, will take the reins and have the top pick relaxed in the early stages of the tilt. 

Baffert’s #4 Newgate is also one to consider in the event while making his second run since February. The 2023 Robert B. Lewis S. (G3) star has finished first or second in each of his trio of races on the Santa Anita oval leading up to Saturday, and the expensive son of Into Mischief had a solid prep for this tilt when a closing second in a swiftly run sprint on the strip on January 6. I feel that the grinding type will appreciate the move to 1 1/8 miles, and he will always be forwardly placed against this cast, too. The $850,000 yearling purchase picks up Joel Rosario, which is always a positive. 

The likely one to beat is recent San Antonio S. (G2) hero #5 Newgrange for conditioner Phil D’Amato. By Violence, the five-year-old dons a sharp 4-for-6 mark on the surface, and he also drilled a bullet five panels leading up to his third run off the bench. A winner of the race last campaign, the Kentucky bred is proven at the distance and has a versatile running style, as well. Victor Espinoza will put the potential favorite in the mix from the opening stages of the contest. 

I’ll also dabble with #1 Two Rivers Over, who has never been better for Doug O’Neill. The gelding will have to pass a major class test against this field, but he has come out on top in his last four races on the dirt, and the son of Tamarkuz will be saving ground every step of the way from the rail, too. The bay could add value under Maldonado.