How to bet the Sensational Star Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 21st, 2021

A seven-horse field will dash six furlongs on the Santa Anita lawn in Sunday’s $100,000 Sensational Star S. The feature for California-bred runners attracted a well-matched group, and my top pick will offer very good value on top of the vertical wagers.

The Craig Lewis-trained #5 Margot’s Boy (6-1) has picked up each of his three lifetime wins on this course, and is very appealing making the dirt-to-turf move in this spot. By Clubhouse Ride, the four-year-old was outrun in the Tiznow S. going one mile on the main surface most recently. But he cuts back in distance on the surface change, while adding blinkers as well.

The bay gelding is equipped with tactical speed, and I envision him tracking the pace from a few lengths back early before putting in his winning run late. Juan Hernandez retains the mount, and the price will be right in a winnable race.

#7 Brandothebartender (7-2) has a powerful turn of foot and brings strong form to the field for Craig Dollase. The eight-year-old son of Tribal Rule owns four lifetime tallies on the Santa Anita sod, and comes off a fine try when beaten a neck while third in the Tiznow S. on dirt.

Brandothebartender hails from a barn that does good work on the move to the green, and he will be the one to hold off late with Umberto Rispoli signed on. If the pace is swifter than expected, he could even win.

I will base all of my wagers with the aforementioned duo, as I expect both having a major impact on the race inside the final furlong.

For the lower rungs of the gimmicks, #1 Jamming Eddy (7-2) has obvious top-three appeal off the claim for Andrew Lerner. The Square Eddie gelding has been consistently solid since the last campaign and comes in off of a fine performance locally, when he took the lead only to be run down late in a sprint on this course.

The gray should be close to a moderate tempo from his rail slot under Flavien Prat.

Sensational Star Wagers

  • $10 Win and Place: #5 Margot’s Boy ($20)
  • $8 Exacta Box: 5-7 ($16)
  • $1 Superfecta: 5,7 with 1,5,7 with 1,5,7 with all ($16)