Tipsheet: 2023 San Felipe Stakes

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

March 2nd, 2023

A fantastic field of 11 three-year-olds will travel 1 1/16 miles on the Santa Anita dirt in Saturday’s $400,000 San Felipe S. (G2). The key 2023 Road to the Kentucky Derby challenge series tilt will reward the top five finishers with qualifying points on a 50-20-15-10-5 structure.

San Felipe Stakes Picks

  • #7 Hejazi
  • #2 National Treasure
  • #10 Skinner
  • #3 Practical Move

San Felipe Stakes Wagers

  • $30 win: 7 Hejazi
  • 50-cent superfecta: 7 with 2, 3, 10 with 2, 3, 10 with all

San Felipe Stakes Contenders

#1 CHASE THE CHAOS: Ed Moger's Astern gelding rallied to post a triumph in the El Camino Real Derby last time out and draws inside on the synthetic-to-dirt move. He was second on debut in his lone dirt endeavor to date, and the sophomore has shown nice improvement in his last trio of assignments, so he might be an exotics contender at a price beneath Armando Ayuso.

#2 NATIONAL TREASURE: The Quality Road colt has never run a bad one while always facing the best of his crop. Now in the Tim Yakteen shedrow, he had a nice prep for this when third in the Sham S. (G3) most recently and will not need much improvement to be in the hunt late on Saturday. Regular pilot John Velazquez has the call.

#3 PRACTICAL MOVE: The son of Practical Joke capped a good two-year-old campaign with a fine score in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2). The Yakteen trainee has been training in swift fashion in preparation for his sophomore bow and will surely be a contender with anything resembling his latest showing. The consistently good bay will track the pace early on with Ramon Vazquez in the silks.

#4 BLUEGRASS GO GO: This Doug O’Neill charge is still a maiden following a trio of career outings to date and will run with blinkers off for the first time in this tilt. The son of Sharp Azteca is improving, but he still appears to be an outsider in a field with lots of depth.

#5 GENIUS JIMMY: The Jimmy Creed three-year-old responded to the addition of Lasix and blinkers with a fine maiden win on the lawn last time out. The $30,000 two-year-old purchase must prove that he can carry his form to the dirt at this level and without Lasix, which is not permitted in this race, before I can endorse his chances.

#6 CRYPTO RIDE: The King Glorious S. runner-up was third in an allowance sprint most recently to prepare for this endeavor and will run without blinkers for the initial time for conditioner Craig Lewis. The California-bred chestnut has performed well in his pair of route runs to date but he will need a lifetime-best performance to challenge this group.

#7 HEJAZI: The $3.55 million purchase broke through with a measured maiden win in his three-year-old debut and rates a fine chance to contend in this contest under Mike Smith. The dark bay Bernardini colt has never run a bad race in his career, and he shows four strong morning moves in advance of his second graded try. The New York-bred will be forwardly placed from the break.

#8 GEAUX ROCKET RIDE: The Richard Mandela trainee is the wildcard in the cast following his super-impressive debut sprint win here on January 29. The son of Candy Ride is short on seasoning but long on ability, and I like the aggressive move from a trusted barn that knows how to place runners. Flavien Prat retains the ride.

#9 FORT BRAGG: The bay son of Tapit concluded 2022 with a third-place result in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) and will make his first run since arriving in the barn of Tim Yakteen. The $700,000 yearling purchase crossed the line in first in both of his previous tries locally, and he seems ready to fire a big one following a pair of rapid six-furlong morning moves as of late. Juan Hernandez will be in the stirrups.

#10 SKINNER: The John Shirreffs trainee put in a stout late run to break his maiden last time out, and I like the son of Curlin as a long-term prospect. He was Grade 1 placed at two but looks to have moved forward at three, and the deep closing colt will have a solid pace to rally into on Saturday. Regular pilot Victor Espinoza has the assignment.

#11 MR FISK: The son of Arrogate gets the widest post in the deep field while coming off of a maiden triumph. The Sunny Brook homebred is cut out to run all day, and he also has a measure of early speed, but he will need a major move in the right direction to win from this draw under Frankie Dettori.