How to bet the Joe Hernandez Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

December 30th, 2020

A deep field of 11 will go postward in the $200,000 Joe Hernandez (G2) at Santa Anita on Friday.

Joe Hernandez Analysis

Doug O’Neill’s #7 Wildman Jack is inconsistent, but the gelded son of Goldencents looks especially dangerous in the feature if he puts in his best effort. The bay 5-year-old is a Grade 3 winner on the course, capturing the Daytona S. in May, and he comes off a big effort when prompting the pace and leading to midstretch, before tiring late in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Keeneland.

The lightly raced Kentucky-bred has a lot of pace in a field that oddly lacks early runners. If Wildman Jack runs to his recent works and gets out of the gate in fine order, then I think that the race goes through him. Abel Cedillo has the assignment.

I am intrigued by Grade 1 victor #11 Ohio at a decent price for conditioner Mike McCarthy. The 10-year-old son of Elusive Quality is a proven miler who has endured good success locally, and his late kick might be enhanced with the cut back in distance on Friday. Bay Brazilian-bred makes his first run since March, and I will bet on him firing off the long absence under Gonzalez.

#8 Chaos Theory always fires and has put in a trio of fine efforts since being claimed by John Sadler. Curlin gelding will be running on late with Rispoli retaining the mount. Defending champ #1 Texas Wedge can’t be ignored for turf sprint wizard Peter Miller. The 6-year-old son of Colonel John had a nice prep for this when a close second behind Chaos Theory at Del Mar, and he will be in the mix late if able to overcome the tricky one slot.

Joe Hernandez Wagers

  • $20 Win: #7 Wildman Jack ($20)
  • $10 Exacta Box: 7-11 ($20)
  • $.50-cent Superfecta Key: 7 with 1,8,11 with 1,8,11 with all ($24)