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2023 San Marcos Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Dicey Mo Chara Aiming For 2nd Straight Score
Dicey Mo Chara (Benoit Photo)

2023 San Marcos Stakes Preview & FREE Picks | Dicey Mo Chara Aiming For 2nd Straight Score

Mike previews the 2023 San Marcos Stakes (G3) from Santa Anita Park, then gives his top picks & long shots. Trainer Leonard Powell’s Dicey Mo Chara returns to the local turf seeking his 2nd straight score following the 2022 San Gabriel Stakes (G2), but is there a chance for an upset? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The track press release:

Trainer Leonard Powell’s English-bred Dicey Mo Chara seeks his second graded stakes turf win of the meet as he heads a field of 10 older horses in Sunday’s Grade III, $200,000 San Marcos Stakes, to be contested at a mile one quarter of the Santa Anita turf.

A gutty half length winner of the Grade II San Gabriel Stakes at a mile and one quarter on Dec. 26, Dicey Mo Chara, who overcame a rough start, will be reunited with leading man Juan Hernandez as he pursues his fifth win from 18 overall starts.

A versatile 5-year-old gelding, Dicey Mo Chara, who is owned by Red Baron’s Barn, LLC and Rancho Temescal, is 8-2-2-1 over the Santa Anita lawn. A tough luck second in his only try at a mile and one quarter three starts back here in the Grade II John Henry Turf Championship, Dicey Mo Chara should be tough to deny on Sunday.

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Phil D’Amato, who will saddle four horses in the San Marcos, has a big look with 6-year-old Masteroffoxhounds, who pressed the early pace and finished third, beaten 1 ½ lengths by Dicey Mo Chara in the San Gabriel as the 6-5 favorite with Mike Smith.

Victorious in his only pairing with Umberto Rispoli three starts back here in the Grade II John Henry Turf Championship, he’ll be reunited with the talented Italian rider and could likely go to the early lead, as he did in the John Henry.

A full horse by War Front, Masteroffoxhounds is owned by Gary Hartunian’s Rockingham Ranch. With two wins and as many seconds at the distance, Masteroffoxhounds, a winner of the 2021 San Marcos, seeks his third graded stakes victory as he tries to improve upon an overall mark of 21-4-3-5.

A front-running winner of the Grade II, mile and one half Hollywood Turf Cup two starts back at Del Mar Nov. 25, D’Amato’s Irish-bred Prince Abama was subsequently fourth, beaten 2 ½ lengths by Dicey Mo Chara in the opening day San Gabriel.

A 5-year-old gelding owned by Michael House, Prince Abama has three seconds and a third place finish from six tries over the Santa Anita turf. With Flavien Prat back aboard for the third consecutive time, Prince Abama will try to improve on an overall mark of 11-3-4-1.

A close second to Prince Abama in the Hollywood Turf Cup two starts back, Graham Motion’s The Grey Wizard rallied for an eye catching allowance win at 3-5 here going a mile and one quarter on turf Jan. 20 and has the look of a “now horse” for owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Albert Frassetto.

One for two in his native Ireland and one for six here in North America, 4-year-old gelding The Grey Wizard will try to make it two for two over the course with John Velazquez up for the third consecutive time.


Race 6 of 9 | Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT

  1. Evan Harland—Edwin Maldonado–120
  2. Masteroffoxhounds—Umberto Rispoli—124
  3. Opry—Lanfranco Dettori—124
  4. Prince Abama—Flavien Prat—124
  5. Yes This Time—Joe Bravo—124
  6. Cash Equity—Jessica Pyfer—120
  7. Dicey Mo Chara—Juan Hernandez—124
  8. Say the Word—Kent Desormeaux—124
  9. The Grey Wizard—John Velazquez—120
  10. Avenue—Kazushi Kimura–120

First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.