Best Bet – Prayer For Relief
Best Longshot – Dreaminofthewin
Top 4 – 1,4,7,8
About the Race: The San Fernando Stakes is for 4 year olds only and has drawn an intriguing field of eight. Prayer For Relief and Tapizar are heavy morning line favorites, but both have major question marks. Both are trying to use this race to move on to bigger and better things, but might have their hands full in this one.
1 – Prayer For Relief – The hard-nosed stakes horse from last year is making his first start of 2012 as well as his first start at Santa Anita. Prayer For Relief pulled off four straight wins in 2011, but struggled in the last two finishing 3rd in the Oklahoma Derby and 9th in the Clark Handicap. It’s very hard to determine just how talented Prayer For Relief is, but I think the much-needed break he was given after the Clark will benefit him. Look for a top effort here.
2 – Balladry – I’m pretty hard pressed to find much I like about Balladry. He’s trying a stakes for the first time and looks out-classed in this one.
3 – Riveting Reason – Here is a horse that a lot of people have lost money on over the last few months. Last February, Riveting Reason was thought to be a rising star, but has faltered since getting beat by a nose in The Robert B. Lewis Stakes. He hasn’t shown me any signs of coming around, so I’ll pass on him in this one.
4 – Dreaminofthewin – Call me crazy, but I think Dreaminofthwin has a big time chance in this race. A quick look at the past performances tell you he’s just as good as any of these. His only bad race was the Oklahoma Derby, where something obviously went wrong. He’ll be making his first start Jackson, and Martin Garcia has signed on to ride. Look out for this one!
5 – Irish Art – I could talk about this one all day, but this is the bottom line: He’s never ran on dirt. If he likes dirt as well as he likes the turf, he’ll probably win this race. With a pedigree that doesn’t suggest a dirt horse, it’s hard to be too confident though. Very interesting horse that could ruin your superfecta!
6 – Spud Spivens – I love this one’s name, but not much else. He just looks out-classed against this group. Mike Smith is the rider, so that is the lone bright spot.
7 – First Strike – You better take a hard look at this one. First Strike has won three in a row, including the Zia Park Derby in his last start. It’s hard to find anything not to like about him, and the pace sets up very nice for him. It feels like he has a real good chance to sneak into this one and take ALL the money home with him. Here is another good thing: He’s won the last three races at 8-1, 6-1, and 6-1. I’d expect even higher odds on him on Saturday.
8 – Tapizar – Once a hot Triple Crown candidate, his trail was derailed with an injury last February. Since the injury, Tapizar has come back to win an Allowance at Belmont, and finished 5th in the Breeders Cup Mile. Logically he’s a decent pick against these, but I’m not high on this colt. He’s always been a little head strong, and I just don’t think you can trust him enough at the short price he’ll be. Keep him in your exotic wagers, but I wouldn’t bet him to win.
Here is Prayer For Relief’s first Stakes victory; The Iowa Derby (Grade 3)