How to bet the 2022 Santa Anita Oaks

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

April 8th, 2022

A compact field of five three-year-old fillies will vie in the $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks (G2) on Saturday. The 2022 Road to the Kentucky Oaks contest will reward the top-four finishers with a total of 170 points (100-40-20-10) towards earning a spot in the starting gate in Louisville on May 6.

The 1 1/16-mile affair is headlined by the superb #5 Adare Manor (3-5), who is 2-for-2 at the meeting by a combined 25 lengths, and I can’t go against the likely heavy favorite in this spot. By Uncle Mo, the sophomore miss graduated in her third lifetime race on the surface by 12 lengths two back, which preceded a 13-length romp in the Las Virgenes S. (G3) in her most recent performance.

Adare Manor has obviously taken a huge step forward since stretching out in distance following a pair of sprint runs to commence her career, and she appears to have everything in her favor on Saturday. The $375,000 purchase draws perfectly outside of the small group, she continues to train well, and the dark bay is also the swiftest horse in the field if John Velazquez wants to send her from the start. She will be formidable.

The value in the tilt has to come in the vertical exotics. Richard Mandella’s recent maiden victress #4 Micro Share (6-1) has improved her Brisnet Speed figure in each lifetime try to date, and the dark bay worked a rapid half-mile in preparation of her debut with stakes competition, as well. The expensive Upstart filly was no match for the top pick two prior, but she is getting better at the right time, and the Kentucky-bred has a lot of exacta appeal to me. I don’t love that she loses Mike Smith to one of her foes, although picking up Victor Espinoza will help ease that pain.

I expect the versatile sort to track from off the pace early on before being asked for her best approaching the turn for home. While I don’t envision the lass making up 12 lengths on Adare Manor, I do predict that the margin will be much smaller on this occasion.

Santa Anita Oaks Wager

  • $30 exacta 5 with 4 ($30)
  • $10 trifecta 5 with 4 with 3 ($10)