Spot Plays: Santa Anita, February 12, 2017

Zayat Stables LLC’s Aquamarine steps up to graded stakes company in the February 12 San Vicente Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita.   Photo by Benoit photo


The Green Sheet rebounded from a cold snap yesterday, as Almanaar (GB) won the Gulfstream Park Turf Handciap (G1) returning $8 to win, and favored McCraken ($5) came through at 3-2 to win the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) in track record time. Additionally, at a decent 7-2 price tag, Light In Paris (IRE) was a good second behind heavily-favored Isabella Sings in the Lambholm South Endeavour Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs.

Last year, Nyquist parlayed a win in the San Vicente Stakes (G2) into a victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented By Yum! Brands (G1) and this afternoon, five West Coast-based three-year-olds will attempt to replicate that feat in this year’s renewal of the seven-furlong extended sprint.

On paper, the 2017 edition of the $200,000 San Vicente (G2) is a glorified “non-winners of two lifetime” allowance heat that attracted a small field, however it’s a contentious, compact crew that will go postward.

I’m giving the edge for top honors to Zayat Stables LLC’s Aquamarine, a chestnut son of Gemologist that broke his maiden right out of the box over a muddy, sealed racetrack in Arcadia on January 13. Battle of Midway, a $410,000 son of Smart Strike, and Iliad, a $285,000 Ghostzapper ridgling, will also garner attention at the betting windows.

I’ll be featuring races from all over the country for next week’s installment including El Camino Real Derby (G3) from Golden Gate Fields, the Royal Delta Stakes (G2) from Gulfstream Park and a pair of stakes races from Laurel Park in Maryland—the Barbara Fritchie Stakes (G2) and the General George Stakes (G3).

Furthermore, on Monday, February 20—President’s Day—I’ll provide FREE selections and analysis for the Razorback Handicap (G3) and the Southwest Stakes (G3) from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

For today’s spot plays from Santa Anita Park, click HERE.

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