How to bet the 2021 Triple Bend Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

May 28th, 2021

Five will go postward to contest Saturday’s $200,000 Triple Bend S. (G2) at Santa Anita. One of three graded races on the card, the seven-furlong tilt is led by Grade 1 winner #5 Eight Rings, who will be making his four-year-old debut. While the colt didn’t show much progression from two-to-three, I expect him to be on point and fire a big shot in his four-year-old bow.

The dark bay son of Empire Maker led throughout when dominating the 2019 American Pharoah S. (G1), but the colt has failed to hit the board in three subsequent outings. In defense of the $520,000 yearling purchase, he did face off with some fine foes along the way. Eight Rings has trained in fine fashion this campaign, including a pair of recent bullet morning moves.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Eight Rings will show speed and force the pace from the outset. Look for him to forge to the front in early stretch under the guidance of top local pilot Flavien Prat. Eight Rings gets top billing.

#1 Exaulted, one of two talented contenders in the cast for conditioner Peter Eurton, will be the main danger to the top pick inside the final furlong. Steadily improving son of Twirling Candy rallied from well back to be a solid third in the San Carlos S. (G2) while making his initial stakes try last time out, and he's worked in rapid fashion since. And while the pace of the Triple Bend will not be as swift as his latest contest, the rail draw combined with the brief rest will benefit the Kentucky-bred. Abel Cedillo gets the nod.

Baffert’s #4 Magic on Tap could be sneaky at a fair price in a small cast following a poor showing in the Californian S. (G2). Tapit five-year-old had been first or second in each of his four previous tries to date, including an impressive local allowance tally after a lengthy absence two back. I think that he fits the profile of a closing sprinter perfectly, and Magic on Tap couldn’t be training much faster as of late, either.

Triple Bend Wagers

  • $20 to win on #5 Eight Rings
  • $10 trifecta: 5 with 1 with 4
  • $5 trifecta: 5 with 4 with 1