Horse Racing

2024 San Felipe Stakes Betting Odds and Contenders Preview

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2024 San Felipe Stakes Betting Odds and Contenders Preview

The $300,000 San Felipe Stakes (G2) is part of a stakes-laden card on Sunday, March 3 at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California. The race was originally scheduled for Saturday, but a rainy forecast caused Santa Anita to push its showcase card a day in order to get better weather and track conditions.

Not only is the San Felipe the final local prep for the Santa Anita Derby, but it virtually guarantees its winner a spot in the Kentucky Derby, assuming they are trained by an eligible trainer. With 50-25-15-10-15 Road to the Kentucky Derby points on offer, the winner’s share is historically enough to earn them a trip to Kentucky, and horses who run well can make it with another good prep performance or two.

However, only two of the five entrants in the San Felipe are eligible for Road to the Kentucky Derby points. The other three are trained by Bob Baffert, who remains ineligible to run at Churchill Downs tracks and earn Kentucky Derby points. His runners can still race in California and earn purse money, but Nysos, Wine Me Up, and Imagination cannot amass Kentucky Derby points. (They are eligible to run in other Triple Crown races.) Scatify, trained by John Sadler, and Mc Vay, trained by John Shirreffs, will earn points toward the Kentucky Derby.

The San Felipe has a long history of producing classy horses. Triple Crown winner Affirmed (1978) won this race on the way to that glory, as did Kentucky Derby winners Sunday Silence (1989), Fusaichi Pegasus (2000), California Chrome (2014), and Authentic (2020). Other recent stars to win the race include Point Given (2001), Bolt d’Oro (2018), Life Is Good (2021), and Practical Move (2023).

San Felipe Stakes 2024 Information

  • Race Date: Sunday, March 3, 2024
  • Track: Santa Anita Park
  • Post Time: 3:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time
  • Distance: 1 1/16 miles
  • Age/Sex: three-year-olds
  • Where to Watch: FanDuel TV
  • Where to Bet: and FanDuel Racing

San Felipe Stakes Odds

This is the field for the San Felipe stakes, including post positions, trainers, jockeys, and morning-line odds for each contender.

ML Odds
1ScatifyJohn SadlerHector Berrios6-1
2Wine Me UpBob BaffertJuan Hernandez8-1
3NysosBob BaffertFlavien Prat1-5
4Mc VayJohn ShirreffsAntonio Fresu20-1
5ImaginationBob BaffertFrankie Dettori6-1

San Felipe Stakes Prep Results

Four of the five runners in the San Felipe all come out of the previous Kentucky Derby prep at Santa Anita, the Robert B. Lewis. Morning-line favorite Nysos was odds-on in the Lewis and won it convincingly over stablemate Wine Me Up. Third-place Scatify and fourth-place Mc Vay also return for another shot in the San Felipe.

The only horse who does not come out of the Lewis is Imagination, who makes his stakes debut in the San Felipe. In his last race, he missed by a neck to stablemate Maymun in a first-level allowance dirt mile.

San Felipe Stakes Contenders

These are the contenders in the San Felipe Stakes, organized by post position:

Scatify: He set an honest pace in the one-mile Robert B. Lewis, but was no match for Nysos or even Wine Me Up in the lane. Expect him to send from the fence again, but he will have an even trickier time with Imagination breaking from the outside and likely to either make it a fight or even outjump him. Perhaps Scatify can tap into that stalking style he used on debut if that happens, but he will have to improve.

Wine Me Up: He stalked the early pace set by Scatify in the Lewis and was no match for Nysos when the real running began. The mile and a sixteenth is an interesting question: on pedigree, he should love every bit of this distance and more, but he has yet to be a real winning threat over the trip, suggesting that he either has maturity or class to find.

Nysos: He is untested in three starts, all of which he won by open lengths in fast fashion. He has shown the versatility to either set the pace or track a few lengths off, and he has proven he is just as effective at Santa Anita or Del Mar. He has never raced in the mud, but even if there’s some remaining water from the storms, his pedigree is strong for it. The price will be short, but if Nysos runs back to any of his previous races then the rest of the field is probably running for second money.

Mc Vay: Still a maiden in three starts, he has been keeping good company: he chased Wine Me Up on debut, was second to Maymun next out, and attempted the Lewis last out. In that outing, he tracked the pace early and weakened to finish a long-looking fourth of five. He will have to take a major step forward to do anything more than that in this spot; on pedigree, the extra sixteenth doesn’t hurt, but this field isn’t exactly replete with sprinters, so that might not matter. So far, he just isn’t fast enough.

Imagination: A new face to the graded-stakes level, Imagination has never been worse than second in four starts. He went gate-to-wire in his maiden win, and then prompted the pace, led, and just missed to pricey stablemate Maymun last out. He has enough stamina underneath on his pedigree to suggest he’ll be one of the Into Mischiefs who stretches out, and with a likely clean outside stalking or pacesetting trip, he has the most upside to topple his heavily favored stablemate.

San Felipe Stakes Past Winners Past Performances

San Felipe winners tend to come out of stakes races, though there is no single stakes race that provides a preponderance of the winners of the last race. (The last ten runnings of this date back to 2013, since the San Felipe was skipped in 2019 due to track issues at Santa Anita.) The Sham (G3) leads the charge with two: Authentic (2020) and Life Is Good (2021) both won the Sham. Forbidden Kingdom (2022) won the San Vicente (G2).

Three of the six other winners who came from stakes came out of three-year-old races: Dortmund (2015) won the Robert B. Lewis (G3), California Chrome (2014) won the state-bred California Cup Derby, and Hear the Ghost (2013) was second in the listed San Pedro. Three others came out of juvenile races. Mastery (2017) and Practical Move (2023) were last seen winning the Los Alamitos Futurity, while Bolt d’Oro (2018) was third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).

The only recent winner to come out of a non-stakes engagement was Danzing Candy (2016). He came into the race out of an allowance win, and made his stakes debut in the San Felipe.

San Felipe Stakes Undercard

The San Felipe Stakes will be run as the sixth of ten races on the Sunday card at Santa Anita. It is one of the biggest cards of the meet, featuring four stakes races. In addition to the San Felipe, the card features the $400,000 Santa Anita Handicap (G1) for older dirt routers, the $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1) for older turf milers, and the $200,000 Buena Vista (G2) for filly and mare turf milers. The card features classy racing and solid fields all day long, making Saturday an excellent day to watch on FanDuel TV and wager through FanDuel and TVG!

Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita Park began as a part of Rancho Santa Anita. After a series of owners, it was acquired by horse breeder Lucky Baldwin, who built the original Santa Anita Park in 1904. That facility closed in 1909 after a California law banning racetrack gambling, and burned down in 1912. Horse racing became legal again in California in 1933, after which the Los Angeles Turf Club was formed. They built a new track, the present Santa Anita, which opened on Christmas Day in 1934.

Santa Anita's main track is a one-mile dirt oval. The turf track inside of it is a 0.9-mile grass oval. A unique feature of that Santa Anita turf track is the downhill course, which juts out to the northwest over the far turn, crosses over the dirt, and then joins the turf oval. Santa Anita runs 6 1/2-furlong turf sprints over that course, and also uses it as a start for some of its longer turf routes.

San Felipe Stakes FAQ

Q: When is the San Felipe Stakes?

A: The San Felipe Stakes will be run on Sunday, March 3, at 3:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. It is the sixth of ten races at Santa Anita that day.

Q: Where is the San Felipe Stakes?

A: It takes place at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.

Q: Which trainer has the most wins in the San Felipe Stakes?

A: Trainer Bob Baffert has the most wins in the San Felipe with eight, most recently in 2021 with Life Is Good. He has three entrants in the race this year: Nysos, Imagination, and Wine Me Up.

Q: Who is the favorite for the San Felipe Stakes?

A: Nysos is the 1-5 morning-line favorite for the San Felipe. After his three impressive races, including the Robert B. Lewis against three of his four San Felipe foes, he will be an odds-on favorite just as he was in the Lewis.

Q: Who is the best San Felipe Stakes jockey?

A: Jockey Chris McCarron has won the San Felipe the most times: seven, between 1982 and 1998, with that last win coming with star sprinter Artax. Among jockeys riding in this year’s edition, Juan Hernandez is the only one who has won this race before. He won in 2022 with Forbidden Kingdom, and will try to win again with Wine Me Up.

Q: Who won the 2023 San Felipe Stakes?

A: Practical Move won the 2023 San Felipe Stakes for trainer Tim Yakteen and jockey Ramon Vazquez. Neither returns to the field this year.

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