How to bet the 2022 San Juan Capistrano Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

June 18th, 2022

A well-matched field of eight turf stayers will travel about 1 3/4 miles on the Santa Anita green in Sunday’s $125,000 San Juan Capistrano S. (G3). The test for class and stamina lacks a standout and I will search for value with my wagers in the grassy tilt.

My top selection is #7 Modus Operandi (4-1) for conditioner Brendan Walsh. By Frankel, the four-year-old has flashed potential on a few occasions since arriving in the U.S. and seems poised to give a good account of himself while making his California bow. The gelding had a less than ideal trip when finishing 3 1/2 lengths back in the Louisville S. (G3) at Churchill Downs last time out, and he will enjoy a better voyage on this occasion.

Modus Operandi has also raced over surfaces that were good in his last pair, and my opinion is that the bay is much better when racing over firm ground, which he is likely to receive on Sunday. Bred in Ireland, he is lightly raced with just 10 career starts under his belt with room for improvement, and I envision him tracking a modest early pace before getting the jump on the deeper closers turning for home. Umberto Rispoli riding adds to his appeal.

#1 Breakpoint (6-1) was 5-for-5 with three Group 1 tallies in his native Chile prior to coming to the U.S. but has yet to prove himself in the States from four tries. Now in the hands of Neil Drysdale, the bay son of Constitution has too much back class to completely ignore at a nice number, and he comes in fresh for his seasonal debut for an expert layoff conditioner, as well.

The five-year-old is training well and should benefit from both the stretch-out in distance, as well as being assigned the advantageous rail post. Breakpoint will be well placed to make a major impact in the race at the top of the lane with Tyler Baze in the silks.

I will also dabble with morning-line choice #5 Red King (5-2), who finished a solid third in the event in 2021. Trained by Phil D’Amato, the eight-year-old son of English Channel is a five-time winner on the strip and had a fine prep for this when a clear second in an allowance try at 1 1/4 miles at this venue. He will be dangerous with his best under Cedillo.

San Juan Capistrano Wagers

  • $10 win and place #7 Modus Operandi ($20)
  • $5 exacta key box 7 with 1,5 ($20)
  • 50-cent trifecta 1,5,7 with 1,5,7 with all ($18)