Maxfield gets top billing in Big 'Cap

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 5th, 2021

A strong field of eight will go postward in the historic $400,000 Santa Anita H. (G1) on Saturday. The 1 1/4-mile event is part of a huge day of racing at "The Great Race Place," which plays host to five stakes races, four of which are of the graded variety.

The unbeaten #2 Maxfield (8-5) faces his toughest assignment to date in the "Big 'Cap," but after unsuccessfully trying to upend him in his last two outings, I have learned my lesson. The lightly raced Grade 1 star is improving with room for additional growth, and I love how he has put himself into his races as of late after being something of a one-run closer early on in his career.

Maxfield has been expertly handled to this point by conditioner Brendan Walsh, and the Godolphin homebred gives every indication of a horse who will thrive going 1 1/4 miles. Florent Geroux comes along to ride the four-year-old son of Street Sense who will track the pace to the top of the lane before edging clear late.

I have a lot of interest in Richard Mandella’s #7 Tizamagician (12-1) at a square price. The dark bay son of Tiznow has been stubborn in a pair of races going shorter in 2021, and I think that he could get very brave on the front end when he clears early beneath Drayden Van Dyke.

The Kentucky-bred has been first or second in four straight outings for a conditioner who has saddled the winner of the race on three occasions. And I think that he will be dead-fit third time off the shelf following a stamina building seven-furlong drill last week.

For the trifecta and superfecta, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see any contender in the cast fill out the vertical gimmicks. It’s very hard for me to find any separation among the other six, as each boasts enough quality to be in the hunt inside the final furlong.

Santa Anita Handicap Wagers

  • $20 Exacta: 2 with 7 ($20)
  • $7 Exacta Box: 2-7 ($14)
  • $2 Trifecta: 2 with all with 7 ($12)