How to bet the Santa Ysabel Stakes
A compact but talented field of three-year-old fillies will go postward in the $100,000 Santa Ysabel S. (G3) at Santa Anita on Sunday. The 1 1/6-mile affair is a Kentucky Oaks (G1) prep race, with the top-four finishers earning qualifying points on a 50-20-10-5 scale. I think that at least two of the fillies in the field have Oaks potential going forward, and they will be the pair that I will center my wagers around.
Trainer Bob Baffert has a trio of imposing sophomores in the field, but I will side with another fine prospect in the cast who could offer a bit of value. Don Alberto Stable homebred #5 Moraz was a solid third in the Las Virgenes S. (G2) last time out behind budding star Moonlight d’Oro, and I expect her to make good in her second graded stakes attempt.
Conditioned by Mike McCarthy, the dark bay filly was outrun on debut prior to putting in a fine performance second time out, when she drew off to a commanding 11-length romp at Santa Anita. The daughter of Empire Maker drew the rail most recently and will benefit from being assigned the outside post in the Santa Ysabel.
Moraz has trained well in preparation of Sunday’s engagement with two strong morning moves as of late. And with her tactical speed, she figures to receive a fine trip tracking the pace to the top of the lane under regular rider Umberto Rispoli.
Of the Baffert trio, I feel that #2 Beautiful Gift has the most upside in the long term. The Baoma Corp. homebred showed big improvement when graduating in her second career performance on this surface when gamely running down a clear one late. Off since October, the well-bred lass has trained forwardly since, and she picks up John Velazquez for the voyage as well.
Beautiful Gift will never be far back in the race while saving ground throughout. I envision her getting into major contention in early stretch for a fine layoff outfit.
Santa Ysabel Wagers
- $30 Win: #5 Moraz ($30)
- $5 Exacta Box: 2-5 ($10)